Words can't describe how amazing FinCon15 was! I got to meet many more people than I did last year, have the experience working a booth, and party.

FinCon15 Experience: Amazing

Words can't describe how amazing FinCon15 was! I got to meet many more people than I did last year, have the experience working a booth, and party.This weekend was absolutely amazing. I’m going to tell you all right now, there are no words to properly describe the experience I had at this FinCon. I think that’s an accurate representation of how much things have changed for me since last year.

Why? Last year I had no idea what I was in for. I had quit my job to relocate to Charlotte only a few months beforehand. I was finding my footing as a freelancer, and felt insecure in this space. Sure, I had been blogging for over a year, but that was nothing compared to what most people had accomplished.

I also wasn’t sure what my purpose was at the conference. I knew I had to network and find opportunities, but being an introvert, I found it difficult to approach people and strike up a conversation.

Not this year. I took full advantage of the fact the conference was four days instead of three, and tried to meet all the people I wanted to. Being an exhibitor was also a huge change of pace, and it helped ease me into things as I kind of had to talk to people coming up to the booth.

I’ve been at a good place with the clients and work I have, so I wasn’t necessarily there to seek opportunities. I wanted to strengthen existing relationships and form new ones with people I admire and care about, and I think I was able to do that. I left last year with a few regrets, and I think it’s safe to say I don’t have any this year.

Doing FinCon as an Exhibitor

Working a booth is different from being a regular attendee, but it was really cool to be able to talk with so many different people about what they do and how we could possibly work together. Those that stopped by were mostly representatives of other companies – not bloggers – and the dynamic was completely different.

Wherewithal's Booth at Fincon15
Wherewithal’s Booth at Fincon15

That said, everyone that stopped by was really nice, and I’m happy most people were interested in the concept of being able to save money while shopping online (the cash back goes directly into your savings account). We’ll be looking for a group of people to test everything out once we’re closer to launching in a few months, so we’re focusing on outreach right now.

Wherewithal didn’t win the FinTech Startup Competition, but I think all the companies that competed had a unique offering that met the needs of consumers. I love seeing people working toward making personal finance easier or more accessible!

Winners of the FinCon15 Fintech Startup Competition
Winners of the FinCon15 Fintech Startup Competition

I Didn’t Go to Any Sessions

Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t attend any of the sessions, unless you count Shannon’s live broadcast of Martinis and Your Money (which was awesome, of course) and a few keynotes. Between Thursday and Friday, I was in the Expo Hall at the booth, and Saturday and Sunday were just too crazy with meetups and events.

I wasn’t planning on going to many anyway, and you get a Virtual Pass which gives you access to all the panels that happened. I’m not trying to downplay the importance of learning – I just didn’t find the sessions fit the purpose of the conference for me. There are always amazing people sharing their knowledge and you should take advantage of that if you need it, but I find networking to be more worthwhile.

Martinis and Your Money - Live!
Martinis and Your Money – Live!

Talking Business and Money

There are two huge topics of discussion at FinCon – money and business. I got to talk strategy with so many people and I loved every second of it. I actually met up with a few people over lunch and we talked about saving, emergency funds, and how we spend our money. It was awesome.

I never felt like an outsider. Everyone “got” each other immediately. I think that was well-represented in Grant’s keynote at the end, as it spoke to a lot of us. There’s a certain energy around FinCon that can’t be replicated outside of it.

Carl Richards had a great opening keynote!
Carl Richards had a great opening keynote!

I looked forward to seeing “my people” every day and getting to bond over the most seemingly random things. There’s nothing quite like it, and I hate that we all have to wait until next year to experience it again.

The People

I can’t begin to name everyone I met this year. It was a huge improvement over last year. I got to meet all my clients, even if some meetings were a bit shorter than I would have liked. Each and every person I met was kind and welcoming, and I miss you all so much already!

Here are a few highlights I should mention:

I spent most of my downtime with my fellow “Cat classmates” – we all went through Cat’s freelance writing program and had planned on meeting up. Kayla (Shoeaholic No More), Kristi (Moderate Muse), Jessica (Settle Your Finances), Jenna, and Choncé (My Debt Epiphany) were a blast to be around and I can’t wait to see where these ladies will be next year. They’ve already had such success in a short amount of time and are hustling like crazy to make it work.

The ladies I spent the most time with at FinCon15
Cat is our mama duck =)

Also by chance, we ended up running into Steven (Even Steven Money) on Friday. For some reason, he came back to talk to us crazies on Saturday while we were getting our drink on. I have a feeling he and Will (First Quarter Finance) were just sticking around because of how entertaining and awesome we were. Just saying.

Saturday night was the Plutus Awards, and I was beyond excited to see so many of my friends take home well-deserved awards. Tonya, Shannon, Melanie, Natalie, Michelle, Carrie, Holly – all fantastic women I look up to who are kicking a lot of ass. Girl power. That’s all I have to say.

Winning ladies of the Plutus Awards
Some of the winning ladies!

Things wound down on Sunday, but I was able to hang with my girls for breakfast, go to the keynote, and then meet with some great people for pizza. I spent the rest of my day hanging with Michelle (Shop My Closet Project), who is just amazing. Seriously. Pretty sure she also convinced me I need to visit Denver.

Plutus Awards After Party
Being awesome at the Plutus Awards After Party

Overall, I left feeling really inspired because of everyone I got to meet. It’s safe to say most people in attendance were working toward a greater purpose or had huge ideas. As a collective, us money nerds don’t settle for less. We’re dreamers and planners who reach for greater heights and keep going. We don’t limit ourselves, and I love that.

I’m still trying to gather my thoughts in-between catching up on work, but I’ll be making a Being Grateful – FinCon Edition post this weekend. In the meantime, if I met you at FinCon, please feel free to shoot me an email or message on Twitter. (Or I’ll hunt you down.) There’s no reason to let the connections we made fade over the year as we wait for FinCon16 (which is in San Diego – and yes, I have my ticket already). I’m looking forward to a bunch of Skype/Google Hangout dates!

Love you all, and thank you for such a memorable weekend. ♥

Erin M.

Erin is a personal finance writer and virtual assistant who loves talking about money and how to use it as a tool to get what you want out of life. When she's not obsessing over numbers or working (which is rare), she can be found messing around in Photoshop, laughing at her cat, watching YouTube videos, playing video games, chair dancing, or any random combination of the above.

27 thoughts on “FinCon15 Experience: Amazing

  1. It was SO awesome seeing you in Charlotte!!! Like I said during the podcast recording, I specifically remember you being one of the people to tell me to start a podcast and you would support it and it really did mean a lot to me to see you standing in the audience. I am glad that you had a great conference and can’t wait to see you when you come back up to NY!
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted: Music Mondays – HappyMy Profile

    1. Aww, I’m so glad I got to see it happen! I remember talking about the podcast at last year’s Plutus Awards, so you definitely came full circle. You’re all such a great group and play off each other so well. Really happy you won!

  2. Great recap!! I didn’t even know you had a booth there! I’ll have to go back and see if I can catch some of the sessions via a virtual pass. I’m not even sure I have one. drats! Loved meeting you in person and I ditto everything you said about what a great conference it was!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted: Feeling EmpoweredMy Profile

    1. I’m pretty sure all passes came with the Virtual Pass. You don’t have to pay separately for it. At least, I hope you get access to it!

      It’s so funny to say, but I felt like I had already met you after watching your videos. I think you’re doing just fine being you. =)

    1. Yes, so happy we got to meet! It’s seriously crazy to think a year has passed by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday I was making the decision to go last year. It’s great to realize that growth, though.

  3. Hi Erin!!! It was so nice meeting you at FinCon!! Being at a booth too, I think we got a different experience, but I think it was awesome!! I got to meet SO many people just by being at the booth, it was crazy. I didn’t go on Saturday or Sunday b/c of family obligations and I’m so sad I had to miss out :(

    I will say, I have never been so motivated in my entire life. Talking to all you amazing writers and bloggers has got my wheels spinning!! I’m sure you can agree :) I think BIG things are in store for all of us PF writers and bloggers. I’m so excited to see where everyone’s journey leads them.

    If you ever need anything from me, don’t hesitate to reach out!! Again, it was wonderful meeting you!
    Sarah recently posted: Here’s Why We Upsized Our HouseMy Profile

    1. It was great seeing you the first day, I’m glad you stopped by! Yes, you definitely get to talk to more people working at a booth. It was nice overcoming that initial hurdle right away as I was pretty shy last year.

      Definitely agree. I think most of us got a lot out of the experience, and I’m always inspired after meeting such awesome people in person. I know your schedule is a bit busier with the kids, but if you ever want to meet up, just let me know!

    1. I missed a LOT of people last year – it’s hard when there’s so many of us. That’s why I enjoy just walking around, rather than going to sessions. You never know who you’ll bump into! It was great seeing you there, though!

    1. Aw, don’t feel that way! There are plenty of people who couldn’t make it for one reason or another. While it’s great to meet people in person, email and Skype always work well, too. =) Hopefully you’ll be there next year?

    1. Yes, it was great to hang out! I’m sure we’ll all keep succeeding. =) I have a lot of travel plans to make next year, and I’d definitely love to reconnect with people so I don’t have to go a whole year without seeing them again, so I’ll let you know!

  4. It was so great to meet you and spend some time with you! It was my first FinCon and I had so much fun and I’m feeling so motivated to hustle. I am so excited it will be in San Diego next year since that’s a short drive for me. I already bought my ticket too. :) I look forward to seeing you in person then, but of course we’ll keep in touch in the meantime!
    Jessica recently posted: My First FinCon: The Good, the Bad and the AwesomeMy Profile

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