There are so many conferences going on all the time that it is easy to miss out on ones that would matter. Not only that, but it is easier to throw your hands up and just not go when it might actually be a really good thing to do.
In 2008, one of the most successful things I did for my business was to really make an effort to get out there and network. I found myself in Phoenix, Seattle, and Las Vegas for conferences last year. In addition to the ones I traveled for, I also went to a lot of meetups here in the Tampa area.
Loren Baker (of Search Engine Journal) started the Tampa Bloggers meetup on meetup.com and I went several times. He eventually handed over the reigns to Josh Carrico who has taken the group into a different direction (more like a “tweetup”) which is actually quite cool and I continue to attend.
I also joined up with a private mastermind group where I meet bi-weekly with some characters like Ryan Wade, Kyle Graham, Tony Teegarden and several others. I also started a more public mastermind group on meetup.com for the Tampa Bay area. Our last meeting was last week and we had about 20 attendees.
So far on my radar for this year is:
- Rockstar Platinum, Las Vegas, March 27-29
- Mass Control Workshop, San Diego, April 24-25
- Affiliate Summit East, New York City, August 9-11
- Izeafest, Orlando, October 1-4
- BlogWorld Expo, Las Vegas, October 15-17
We’ll see if anything else pops up that I think might be worth the trip.
So, what about you? Are you going to any conferences this year? Are you attending any meetups?
You might be worried about the travel costs. That is completely understandable. However, I wouldn’t want to see anybody miss out on the numerous benefits of personal networking and learning that can be had from conferences because of just that. If cost is an issue, I would recommend picking at least one conference that is most relevant to you, your blog and your goals. Then, make arrangements to go to that one conference and go there with the aim to get as much out of it as you possibly can.
I can only tell you that it has been very valuable for me. And I think it would be valuable for you. And, who knows, maybe we can hang out at one of these conferences. I’d love to meet up with some of my readers. I’ve met many regular readers who reside here in the Tampa Bay area, but I’d love to meet the rest of you, too.