FinCon17: What the hell just happened?

84 thoughts on “FinCon17: What the hell just happened?”

  1. That seems like it was an awesome trip!! I’m an extrovert and thrive on those situations, but my husband is super introverted so I definitely understand your pain that comes from those situations. Sounds like you made some great connections (including in the bathrooms? πŸ™‚ )

    Glad it went so well! And great tips!

    PS. Cait’s talk sounds like it was awesome!! She is a pretty awesome blogger as it is!

  2. It was a pleasure to meet you and your wife, Steve! I completely agree with your round up… be yourself and don’t overthink it. I found the best conversations came from randomly bumping into someone while roaming the expo halls or hanging out in the evenings. Have a great winter in AZ!

  3. It sounds like you had lots of fun and learned a lot. I would have loved to attend Cait’s session. Too bad I missed out. Are you going back next year?

    Looking forward to reading your new and improved blog, even though I don’t know how you can improve what’s already great 😊.

    99to1percent recently posted…Our 6 Financial Mistakes and 15 Lessons Learned

  4. Thank you for the awesome summary. I would love to go to Fincon to meet other bloggers in person as well.

    I have been following and comment I on their blogs. But I would love to gave a conversation in real life with them! πŸ™‚

  5. It was lots fun and great to finally meet you in person. You are right, I found many of the sessions I went to were super useful. I need to spend some time to process all the great knowledge I got from FinCon.

  6. Orlando is just a days drive from my home in SC. I’ll plan to go. The conversation stuff does intimidate me, even as an extrovert. I love people, but 10 years in IT has caused my social skills to atrophy. Something that has made it a challenge to network and grow. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  7. I didn’t make it this year. tear I was debating the idea (literally) ALL year long. Ultimately, I waited too long to decide and my job decided for me. I needed to be at work. Blah. I must say though that part of my debating was me being intimidated. Crazy, I know. Everyone seems so approachable and nice in this virtual sphere that I can’t imagine it’s any different in person. My goal is Orlando in 2018. No excuses. Hoping to see you guys there and get a warm welcome πŸ™‚

  8. Perfect summary of how to do it! Although I did do the late-ish night parties and will definitely do them again. It was awesome to hang out with y’all and share some truly memorable and ridiculous times. Let me know when the Airstream makes its way north on I-15 – first drink’s on me!

  9. As an introvert myself as well, the networking part kind of stresses me out. Glad to hear that it came more naturally than expected. I plan to go next year, and I very much look forward to meeting everyone!

  10. It was SO COLD at FinCon. I kept looking around for hot tea/cocoa/coffee to find some warmth. I admit I went and sat in my car with the heater on in between meetings. And shit, sorry Steve, I meant to find you and say hi. Next year in Orlando!

    Jim$ was easily one of my favorite costumes. πŸ™‚ I had to do a double-take because it was like, “Wait, that’s not J$. Well, it’s just a different J$.” πŸ™‚

  11. So great to meet you and hang out!!
    Couldn’t agree more on the coffee! I did find a Starbucks close by, but it was a bit $$$$.
    What??? A pic in the bar without me in it? Ha!!!!

    Let me know if you ever swing through Colorado Springs and I’ll show you what a great city it is.

  12. FinCon…..the place where otherwise rational people give themselves Mohawks. ‘Nuf said. On a serious note, thanks for the shoutout. It was really, really great meeting you, Courtney and the other “virtual friends” we’ve all known for so long. It’s an amazing community, and the opportunity to spend quality time with all of you was beyond words. Quality over quantity, good call. I’m proud to consider you a member of the “quality” circle of friends!

    1. “FinCon…..the place where otherwise rational people give themselves Mohawks.” – Ha! That’s perfect.

      Likewise, Fritz. Awesome meeting you. You’re the life of the party, my man. And yup, you are definitely a quality friend!

  13. That was a great recap! I agree, I also got something out of almost all of the sessions I attended. Keeping your own schedule is perfect advice. I went for a run Wed afternoon, and even Sat. afternoon because I felt like I needed to get out and clear my head. It gets so overwhelming in there, especialyl that first day before the reality of it all sinks in. πŸ™‚

    I agree, there could be more coffee there than what actually showed up. It was great meeting you two and getting to hang out a little. See you next year, maybe Orlando won’t be as chilly, inside or out.

  14. Awesome post and, of course, great to meet you (and Courtney!)!! It was days of non-stop fun and meeting tons of great people. You said it best with:

    Conversations will typically start out with the socially-accepted greeting of β€œHow ya doing?”, but that’s where the platitudes generally end. We all know each other’s stories. All that’s left for us to do is meet face-to-face, and FinCon is a perfect opportunity to make that happen.

    For any newbies considering going next year, know that this is the best part. It makes it so much easier to develop great relationships!

    Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando… unless that Airstream is ready for a trip to Ohio! πŸ˜‰

    — Jim

    1. Likewise, Jim! Totally cool hangin’ with you, and next time I’ll be sure to bring my own damn jacket – yes, even to Orlando! Cause, you never know…Dallas is supposed to be warm this time of year too. πŸ˜‰

  15. It was my first, but won’t be my last! I agree with your take and your favorite talk (I have experienced the RockStar Effect first hand!). Everyone seemed to enjoy the conference, but we can all explore it different ways.

  16. Great to have met you, Steve & Courtney! It was my first FinCon, too, and it was a whirlwind. Like you, we tried our best to end our nights on a high note and turning in early. We also failed, but it was Saturday night — I guess that makes it alright.

    You really do have to sneak away from the main areas if you want to have a good conversation that goes beyond the surface level. I don’t know that I had much more than three minutes with anyone in the grand hall without interruption, and I know I was an interrupter at times, too.

    I wish I had spent a little more time chatting with some of the vendors. I put it off for Saturday, not realizing they were all packing up for good Friday night!

    All in all, it was a wonderful time — I’m working on a recap of my own, and I’m impressed that you and several others already have yours complete and published.

    See you in Orlando!

    1. Thanks PoF! Oh yeah, getting away from everyone is a good way to actually start up a conversation that would last. Did that several times, in fact – especially during the costume party. Could hardly hear yourself think in there! πŸ™‚

  17. I love how you explained that FinCon really is what you want it to be! It was awesome meeting you and Courtney in person. And I agree with Mrs. PP above that the coffee would have helped us from FREEZING in those sessions. Not sure what was up with that – but it definitely kept you awake! My advice – don’t be afraid to talk to anyone. People were so incredibly nice and generous with their time. As a newer blogger, there was no need to be intimidated at all. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Orlando next year!

    1. Thanks Vicki! Looks like many of us wished there was some free coffee provided. Yup, freezing indeed. Why are conference areas always so damn cold, anyway?

  18. I was surprised and moved by the instant friendship aspect of FinCon. It was really cool how quickly you’re able to become old friends with people. I second the advice on taking breaks. The first day I felt guilty doing it because I was missing opportunities to talk to people or go to sessions. In the end, though, it’s better to be comfortable than to be drained and stressed. FinCon was a lot of fun, and I can’t imagine turning it into something stressful and obligatory.

  19. Steve! Truly thrilled to meet you and Courtney, and learn even more about you two. I hope her jump back in to work this week isn’t too painful. So many great memories, new friendships, and big ideas came out of FinCon. And we’ll always have the making of Jim $. πŸ˜‰

    1. Yup, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Jim$. Man, that guy was super cool, just like you. Totally awesome meeting you. We definitely need to hang out again if you make it out to Orlando next year.

  20. I said the same thing about coffee in the Fincon Follow up survey!! Very nice to finally meet you in person too my man – and your beautiful wife πŸ™‚ I feel closer to you guys already! (awwwww)

  21. Trying to make it out to next year’s FinCon in Orlando. As an introvert myself I know the feeling of uneasiness especially in huge crowds. You sum it up great on how to deal with it especially in conferences like FinCon.
    Sounds like you had a lot of fun Steve, glad to hear that.

    1. Trust me, it’s a lot easier than you might think. After the first day, I practically turned into an extrovert for the remaining three days! πŸ˜‰

  22. “When in doubt, stick with Fritz.” Best damn advice I’ve heard in a long time. So glad you were able to meet Fritz, Amy, and Chris. Truly fabulous people. See you at FinCon 2018.

  23. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m not so great at the social/networking stuff after 10 years of working in IT. I hope to get better in the coming years. I’d go to FinCon in Orlando since it’s about a day’s drive from SC. Thanks again. πŸ™‚

  24. Steve, great to have met you and Courtney! As mentioned, let me know if you ever swing my direction let’s get together – would love to show you around.

    I agree with you re: coffee, although like ESI mentioned, it’s easier to get away from folks to get coffee and talk more. (And I should add that ESI asked me to join him for coffee on day one – and what a wonderful time that was.)

    As a newbie, I was amazed with how welcoming and friendly everyone there was, and how much, too, we all had in common with one another when it came to passions. Very encouraging, and I hope I’m able to go again!

  25. Nice to meet you in person Steve! It was fun geeking out about PHP and waving a fist at new technology like an old men mad at clouds. Ok, so we’re not that old, but the focus on shipping over “using what’s new” is a fun topic.

    I’d agree on the coffee side too. I went down to order a coffee in the lobby, and thought “I’ll try a Pumpkin Latte” — almost $8. I changed that order to a basic coffee real fast.

    1. Hope to see you there! FinCon alternates between September and October each year to make sure people with fixed yearly schedules won’t always be out of luck.

  26. Great tips! The week after FinCon is always one of my favorite weeks of the year so I can live vicariously through the attendees. I’m hoping to make it in 2018 for the first time if my schedule allows.

    1. Thanks Erik. Sounds like you did the right thing for you at FinCon. I’ll probably try to employ the same strategy next year, but we’ll see. πŸ™‚

  27. Steve – it was so great to get a chance to meet you face-to-face in Dallas. Thanks for the kind words about my podcast voice – if I get the time to ever put a podcast together, I’ll definitely reach out for you to be my first guest!

    Hope you and Courtney had a smooth trip home. Let me know if you’re ever going to be bringing the AirStream through Wisconsin – we’d love to treat you guys to dinner and some Wisconsin craft beers!

    You said you love grilled onions, right? I make some mean fajitas πŸ™‚

    1. Likewise, Chris! So nice to connect face-to-face. And yes, I LOVE grilled onions…and peppers, too. Basically, anything grilled. I’m down for some fajitas and beer when we roll through Wisconsin!

  28. I ate cough drops all weekend sitll totally lost my voice for 10 hours. Couldn’t say a word. Oddly, enough it didn’t slow me down. Someone I hung out with for a few hours thought I was a mute. She was so inspired that I had “found” my voice in blogging. I think she was let down that I had only temperarlly lost it. =) But the first day was a bit overwhelming, meeting so many people for the first time. Next year might be a bit easier.

  29. Yes, yes, yes to all of this. FinCon was way more than I had expected. And I am loving reading all the recaps because I feel as if I haven’t left yet. Good beer, good times and great company. Definitely thinking to make this an annual tradition!

  30. The sessions were REALLY good this year. A big improvement. So I second the opinion about going to them if you can. I didn’t get to talk with you that much but it was nice to briefly meet you and your wife on the first day at check-in while I was volunteering!

    Onto Orlando!

  31. What a conference! It was awesome getting to meet you in person and getting to chat a little bit! Great tips and I agree that first day was definitely pretty crazy as everyone was in full on networking mode! Next year I plan to try to book a few more meetups with others beforehand to have more of a schedule and not rely as much on the main night events. I would love to focus on fewer people next year and go deeper vs spreading myself so thin!

  32. Steve, thanks for sharing your takeaways and tips. FinCon came across somewhat intimidating especially for a new and introverted individual like myself. However, after reading your post and many others it seems like my kind of place :). I liked how you prepared for the event (how to tips) but ultimately decided to go with the flow focusing on quality over quantity … I will keep that in mind for 2018.

    1. It is definitely easier than it sounds. I find that you’re just along for the ride, in many ways, at FinCon. That actually helps if you’re an introvert. πŸ™‚

  33. Love this recap. So glad you were able to come Steve, and that it exceeded your expectations. Also, love what you said about the sessions. Yes, you can watch them afterwards, but the face-to-face interactions with speakers are huge.

  34. Loved Fincon as a first timer and newbie blogger all the way from the UK. Really enjoyed reading your recap and meeting new people. It was just lovely to be surrounded by so many people who had the same β€œnerdy” interests and goals, there was a real buzz of genuine excitement and enthusiasm at the whole event. One tip I would add, if you can afford to, try to stay in the event hotel. It makes it so much easier to disappear for an hour or two to go catch a little snooze or take some time out. Also be prepared for the sheer volume of freebies you may be coming away with! I nearly needed to purchase an extra bag for the journey home. Would definitely recommend attending Fincon to anyone even remotely interested in money and personal finance.

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