10 Ways to Attend a Social Media Conference on a Budget

mebiz, tech, & social media

Dying to go to a social media conference? Dying to get some new mad skillz and meet your online friends IRL? The pros of attending a social media conference far outweigh the cons, yet the reality is they still cost money.

The reality is that money doesn't grow on trees and nowadays, brands are bombarded with sponsorship requests and just can't help everyone who needs help getting there. So, how can you afford to attend a social media conference?

Here are 10 ways:

  1. Offer to volunteer. All conferences need a team of volunteers. Offer to volunteer early in the game and get on the list. Most times, a volunteer role is compensated with a free ticket.
  2. Watch out for conference giveaways. Evo Conference, for example, has tons going on right now! Click here for more information.
  3. Go after a sponsorship. Reach out to any brand or agency contact you have and make them appealing offer, letting them know what you will do in exchange for their sponsorship dollars. Even a partial sponsorship is helpful in offsetting conference costs.
  4. Ask to speak. Often, conferences cover at least a speaker's cost of admission, which helps tremendously in reducing conference costs.
  5. Choose conferences to attend that are close to you geographically. That way, you'll cut down on transportation costs.
  6. Find roommates. Pack as many people as you can into your room. I once paid $30 a night for a hotel room at a conference. This not only helps saves cost, but also helps you build relationships.
  7. Take advantage of free food. Eat meals offered by the conference and check out the parties for food before paying for dinner. And, take snacks in your suitcase.
  8. If the hotel doesn't have a free shuttle to and from the airport and it saves money to share a ride, arrange to share a shuttle/taxi ride before you go with other conference attendees.
  9. Only pack what you need, leave space in your luggage for swag, and avoid luggage fees on flights by carrying on your suitcase.
  10. Buy the conference pass at the lowest possible rate. Most conferences offer early bird pricing. Take advantage of purchasing tickets well in advance of the conference to maximize on the savings.

The pros of attending a conference far outweigh the cons in getting there. So, have a look around the internet, see what social media conferences are taking place, and sign up soon! I hope to see you there.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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