Here’s a guest article from #FinCon16 speaker John Rampton (pictured above).
FinCon is the world’s largest convention dedicated to financial content.
Leaders in money and fintech converge with the media giants to determine how they can work together to gain brand recognition and clients, as well as provide the best information possible for the consumer and business audiences out there.
There are many opportunities at FinCon to network and attract new business as well as gain insights on how to market yourself better to the media and your audience. Now that I’ve been going to this event for a couple of years, I’ve learned many tips and tricks to getting the most out of FinCon.
Here’s what I recommend for the newbies out there who are checking out this year’s conference from September 21 – 24, 2016 in San Diego, CA.
I recommend bringing business cards and networking with the founders, industry leaders, and fellow colleagues at the networking events, during breaks, and at the booths. As I collect the business cards and contact information it will provide a good list of people to follow up with later. Many of these contacts from the past events are now good friends or even business partners. I have learned a lot from creating these contacts – so networking is on the top of my list every year I attend FinCon.
There are many places on the agenda that provide for networking so plan these into your daily schedule. Don’t be afraid to approach people. It took me the first year to come out of my shell, but I gained confidence when I realized everyone else is pretty much in the same boat and they are waiting for someone to start the conversation. Now, I am the person that starts the conversation, making it easier on everyone else.
Know Who to Network With
I’ve made this easy. Here is a list of the top 50 people you need to know at FinCon this year. While this certainly isn’t everyone, it’s a killer list that you can start with. Everyone on the list is friendly and approachable.
The best way I’ve found to get something is to offer to help. When talking with someone, ask how you can help them. This will establish a genuine relationship between you and the other person. It’s the same in life. It’s not all about you and what you can get but about helping others make the best out of what they have. The best ALWAYS comes back around if I help people with their issues, and at FinCon it’s no different. Teach them something that you know, give away your secrets. Truly help someone.
Make the Conference Hotel Your Home
I stay at the conference hotel because at this hotel I also meet more people in a relaxed environment and can continue discussions with them. Being at the conference hotel also makes it much more convenient for getting to sessions and getting some good food on the breaks.
Come Early, Leave Late
Make sure to participate in the full conference. Best to arrive a day ahead to get acclimated and adjusted before the event starts. There’s so much to see and hear at a conference like FinCon that you don’t want to come for just one day. Make the most of your precious time to take in all the speakers, panels, and events. Each year, FinCon gets bigger – so make sure you have planned to stay for all the new aspects of the conference to get more bang for your buck.
Don’t Skip the Exhibits
I love the exhibits because there are so many takeaways and information offered about the latest products and services that help me add more efficiency in my own business and provide great ideas about where the industry is headed.
Plus, everyone is so eager to discuss what they are doing with you, that all the energy there gets me excited and pumped-up, sending me home even more passionate about what I’m doing than when I arrived.
I would also say that, as in previous years, more than half the exhibits are there to help you, interview and get information from you about what you want to read or need help within your company so they can write better articles and posts with more relevant topics for their readers. Unlike other expos where they are selling, most of the exhibits here are actually trying to help you.
I look to see how I can actively participate in FinCon, and I am speaking at this year’s event. I think it’s a great learning experience to be on the stage just as much as it is being in the audience, plus it is a way to get a greater brand recognition in the process. Think about what you can bring to the conference for all those that attend. You have something to give – give it.
There are also other opportunities to become a mentor to someone new, some company or startup that has come to be in attendance to get inspired.
Plan to Return
Don’t just make one visit to FinCon. Come back each year and incorporate what you learn about here. There will be plenty of memorable moments for you who are participating in this year’s event. You don’t want to miss all the upcoming trends and issues that are discussed and revealed as you get involved and join in as a member of this industry. I know I’m returning!
About the Author:
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online payments company, Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #2 on the Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and a blogging expert by Time.