Have you ever skipped going to a beneficial business conference because you didn’t think you could afford it? I can relate. I almost missed a fantastic event in January because I believed that attending a pricey conference on a budget would be impossible. I was wrong 😉
The conference was the Affiliate Summit West 2015 in Las Vegas. Seeing as I am a web publisher, it only makes sense for me to cultivate relationships while continuing to gain more in-depth knowledge of the affiliate business.
Here’s how it all went down:
Limited Conference Access Pass
I chose the least expensive, limited, Networking Pass for $250. This pass only gave me access to the keynote presentations and the exhibit hall. It did not give me access to any of the other sessions that were included in the more expensive passes. If I would have registered sooner as an Earlybird, I would have gotten the worm, and only paid $99 for the same pass. Grrrrr.
Despite the limited access to sessions, the conference was an extremely valuable experience. I met people left and right that were relevant to what I am doing and there was some type of knowledge exchange, camaraderie or business possibility with each one.
A few years ago, I participated in a teleseminar with Tim Ferriss, best-selling author, and he shared that in his pre-fame days, he would hang out in the lobby at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) to network and educate himself. The Networking Pass is the same concept 😉 The key here is not to be shy. If you are, it’s good to break out of your comfort zone. Networking will get easier with practice and improved social skills can pay off in many life scenarios.
Travel & Lodging
- Airfare – $138 round trip total. Southwest had a fantastic deal of $69 each way. What?!! Is that even possible anymore?! Yes, it’s true.
- Hotel – $200 total. I chose a hotel across town at a rate of $69 per night plus hefty fees. For the price, the hotel was clean and worked very well. Rooms at the conference location (Paris Las Vegas) were three times that nightly rate. A conference pal shared that she booked the conference hotel six months prior for $99 a night. Another example of the early bird getting the worm 😉
- Transportation from airport to Conference – $8. Group shuttle bus, but I had it to myself at 7:00 am 😉
- Transportation from Hotel to Conference – $0. Carpooled with pals.
- Taxi from hotel to conference – $30
- Taxi to airport from conference – $8. While in the taxi line at the conference hotel, I spotted some folks with conference tags and asked them if they’d like to share a taxi. We each paid one third of the total fare.
- Breakfasts -$10.00. Oatmeal, coffee & tip for free breakfast voucher from a pal.
- Lunches – $10.00 total. $5.00 pizza each day
- Dinners – $25.00 total. First night – $18.00 at hotel buffet. Second night – $7.00 at fast food Chinese restaurant.
My three days at the conference summed up to a total of $679. Not bad!
I found it very worthwhile to do this conference on a budget, even though it was a scaled down version of the huge event. I met lots of good people, made new connections, enhanced my knowledge in the area of affiliate marketing and throughly enjoyed the entire experience.