The Complete Guide to #FinCon12 ⋆ [FinCon]

The Complete Guide to #FinCon12

#FinCon12 will be here before you know it. Before the holiday weekend hits I thought I’d share my complete guide to #FinCon12. This should contain everything you need to know to have a great time at #FinCon12.

Thursday, September 6th

If you haven’t booked your hotel room yet, I believe there still are a few remaining rooms at the Grand Hyatt Denver. Be sure to ask for the special rate for FinCon. This is no longer guaranteed, but there may be some still available at that price. Need to share a room to save money? Check out the room share spreadsheet. The hotel’s address and phone number: 1750 Welton Street Denver, CO; 303-295-1234.

On your way to Denver, be sure to break out your copy of FinCon Connection, the official magazine of the conference. In it you’ll find lots of helpful articles and conference session descriptions so you can set your plan of attack for the weekend. Please bring it with you to the conference and if you didn’t get one we will have a few extras on hand in Denver.

Two other good reads for your trip to Denver would be:

Finally, this would be a good time to download the #FinCon12 schedule app. Visit http://fincon12.sched.org on your mobile device, login or create an account, and follow the prompts to place the schedule on your home screen as an app.

When you arrive in Denver, you’ll have a few transportation options for getting from the airport to the hotel. They are all explained in this Denver transportation blog post. Briefly, you can take the discounted SuperShuttle, the SkyRide (bus), a taxi (check out the taxi share document), or you can rent a car. Parking at the hotel is $28/night. But there are cheaper parking options nearby.

When you arrive at the Grand Hyatt Denver, you’ll want to check-in with the hotel and then find the #FinCon12 registration table. On Thursday afternoon it will be located on the second floor conference area, just outside of the Imperial Ballroom (check your FinCon Connection guide for other times and locations). At the registration table you can check-in to #FinCon12, get your badge (wear throughout the weekend, please), pickup your t-shirt and swag bag filled with a few goodies courtesy of conference speakers.

After you check-in, it’s tour time! Go explore Denver. We’ve organized several group walking tours throughout the afternoon. I’ll be leading the Denver Mint tours. Come join me and other tour guides who’ve planned special tours for you to experience the best Denver has to offer.

This is also probably a good time to consider becoming a #FinCon12 volunteer. It’s easy! We need a few people to help during the breakout sessions on Fri-Sun, and a couple of photographers to help throughout the weekend.

After the tours be sure to grab a bite to eat. There are several unofficial meetups happening during this time. Check the official Twitter hash tag, #FinCon12, for info on where these events are happening.

The next official event on the schedule is the Welcome Reception courtesy of our main sponsor, Ally Bank. The welcome reception will start at 7pm and run till 8:30pm. It will be held in the Capitol Peak Ballroom, which is on the 38th floor of the Pinnacle Club (the building next to the Grand Hyatt Denver). Wait till you see the views from this room. We’ll have free drinks and appetizers on hand, along with a small guide to help you meet new people and meet your goals for the weekend.

Be sure to shake my hand and say hi when you arrive. Worried about meeting big name bloggers? Check out this guide to meeting people at #FinCon12.

At 8:30 sharp the 3rd Annual Plutus Awards Ceremony will kick off. Flexo (Luke Landes) has promised that his year’s ceremony will be better than ever! Kevin McKee will Emcee and the Plutus Award committee has a lot in store to make this event memorable and special for all the nominees and winners. View the current finalists.

After the Plutus Awards you are free once again to explore Denver. Or you can head to your room to get some rest to prepare for the long weekend. Be sure to utilize the complimentary Internet access in your rooms.

Friday, September 7th

We made it through day one and we still have the whole weekend ahead of us. The conference meeting area (2nd floor of the Grand Hyatt Denver) opens at 7am. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be up that early. The first session doesn’t start until 8:30am. If you haven’t checked-in, make your first stop the #FinCon12 registration table to pick up your badge, t-shirt, and swag bag.

Be sure to grab some food at the Sallie Mae continental breakfast. The muffins, bagels, coffee, fruit, and more will be on display in the foyer outside of the Imperial Ballroom. Grab some food, mix and mingle with attendees, as well as the conference exhibitors who will be on display in the foyer area.

Before the session starts be sure to locate the WiFi password for the free Internet access in the meeting area. The password will be displayed on stage and throughout the foyer area.

At 8:30am we’ll kick off the conference sessions with a talk from Baker (of Man Vs Debt). You won’t want to miss this energizing speech that is sure to set the tone for the weekend. After Baker’s talk and Q&A we’ll jump to our breakout sessions, which will last the rest of the day. Be sure to check out the conference schedule to pick which sessions you’ll want to attend. There are lots of good panels, workshops, and individual speakers for you to see.

Don’t miss the lunch buffet sponsored by Chase. We’ve submitted your dietary needs to the hotel and they will be prepared to make sure you have something to eat.

After a few more post-lunch breakout sessions we will head to Denver’s Lincoln Park for our community service event. This will be a lot of fun, and it will be a great way to spend some time as a community giving back. Join us in making sure we leave Denver better than we found it. You’ll want to make sure you are wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty. Also, make sure you’ve signed the waiver given to you at registration. A small meal will be provided after our work is done at the park (likely pizza or a sandwich).

Up next will be our evening social events. So get back to the hotel quickly so you can change into your evening attire.

Our first stop of the evening will be the GoBankingRates.com happy hour. This will take place starting at 6pm and run till 8pm at Tarantula Billiards (1520 Stout Street). Free appetizers and drinks. The GoBankingRates.com PF Olympics Award Ceremony will take place at 7pm.

You’re on your own for dinner. If appetizers didn’t fill you up, venture out to the 16th Street Mall and pick from one of the hundreds of restaurants.

Our second stop of the evening will be the Ignite FinCon event, which is sponsored by Payoff.com. It’s being held at The Mercury Cafe (2199 California Street) starting at 9pm. Be sure to check out the official Ignite FinCon speakers list. This will be a unique and fun event that encourage you to join me at. Free drinks included.

Are you worn out yet? I’m getting tired just typing this post. Yet we still have a day and a half to go!

Saturday, September 8th

Saturday will be a day stuffed with solid content and information you won’t want to miss. Start off your day with a visit to the EverBank continental breakfast. If this is your first day of the conference be sure to swing by the #FinCon registration table to pick up your badge, t-shirt, and swag bag.

Our first session doesn’t start until 8:30am, so make time to visit our sponsoring companies’ exhibit tables. See what they have to offer, thank them for their support, and start a conversation about improving your business.

Our first talk of the day (8:30am sharp) will be The Official State of the Financial Blogosphere given by Wise Bread 1000‘s Greg Go. I’m really excited to see what Greg has prepared.

After that we have a special guest joining me on stage. Last year’s keynote speaker Ramit Sethi returns to do a Q&A and share the “Secrets of a 7 Figure Blogger.”

At 10am we’ll have more breakout sessions, including the ask the expert tables which will run throughout the remainder of the day in the Torrys Peak room, which is adjacent to the main foyer.

Be sure to check out the plated lunch sponsored by Fidelity. We’ve submitted your dietary needs to the hotel. When you sit down, tell your server of your specific needs.

Our next session is one you will not want to miss. Liz Weston, our keynote speaker, will give a talk entitled, “How to Give Good Financial Advice.” Liz has been doing this for years with MSM.com, her syndicated column, and in her many books. She’s a pro, an asset to our community, and she’s going to help us improve our abilities to give financial advice to our readers.

Once Liz’s Q&A is up, we’ll head to a few more breakout sessions, followed by a break in the foyer (cookies and popcorn).

We’ll close the day with a special panel featuring Jim Wang of Bargaineering.com, Will Chen co-founder of Wise Bread, and Luke Landes (Flexo) of Consumerism Commentary. They’ll be answering your blogging questions, including “how did you build your million dollar blog?” Bring your questions!

Time to get ready for a second night of socializing. First we’ll head to the Bankrate.com happy hour at Katie Mullen’s (16th Street Mall at 1550 Court Place). That starts at 6pm and runs till 8pm. Free appetizers and drinks will be provided.

You’re on your own for dinner again. If appetizers didn’t fill you up, venture out to the 16th Street Mall and pick from one of the hundreds of restaurants.

We’ll end our night at Lodo’s Bar and Grill (1946 Market St.) in The Rox Room for a 90’s Hip-Hop themed after party brought to us by Baker and the Man Vs Debt team. We’ll have a DJ, private room for chatting, photo booth, free drinks, and a lot of fun. Join Baker, team, and I at this after party to celebrate the success of another #FinCon.

Sunday, September 9th

The final day of the conference will bring a little more content for us to absorb and think about on our flights home. The conference area opens at 7am again, with a continental breakfast sponsored by PowerWallet. The first sessions are breakouts and they begin promptly at 8:30am. Be sure to visit our sponsoring exhibitors one last time to strike up deals and learn about new offerings for your readers.

At 11am we’ll all join together in the Imperial Ballroom to hear from our last speaker, J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly, who’s going to offer up an inspiring talk about “Community and Future of Financial Blogging.”

That’s it! What a great weekend we are about to have. I’m so excited and honored that you have chosen to be a part of this weekend and invest your time and hard-earned money to attend. I look forward to seeing your smiling faces, shaking your hands, and talking about our blogs, our finances, and whatever else in on your mind.

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Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor