Sneaking in a quick blog update from my hotel room before heading out tonight with a few other personal finance bloggers for dinner — I landed in Chicago last night and got in super late, so have been a bit exhausted all day getting work work done before I head out for the weekend.
It’s definitely an interesting mix of people here — I wondered how many I would recognize, and how many, if any, would know of me or my blog. As I haven’t been the best in keeping this blog updated, there aren’t too many people who follow me regularly (well, apparently there are 150 of you that do / subscribe.) Still, I’ve been writing on and off on this account for a good six years, which means random people have seen me around the interwebs.
I’m really enjoying the few conversations I’ve had so far with folks at this event with folks like Give Me Back My Five Bucks, Blonde and Balanced, Faith Based Finance, Glenn from Prosper, and a few other folks. It’s so faux paus to discuss financial matters amongst friends, but I love to geek out about this stuff. That’s not to say I’m very wise with my money, but I enjoy learning better ways to increase income, save, and invest. It’s fun to be with other personal finance geeks who at least share an openness to talk about money.
In other news, the most hilarious thing ever was the giant swag bag they gave away at check in at the conference. It’s hilarious because as a marketer I know there’s quite a plethora of crazy swag you can buy and brand and hand out — but some of these items were just so silly. I’ll upload photos later, but Krystal at Work (Give Me Back My Five Bucks) and I both decided that the prize for worst swag ever goes to:
Regiftable — a snow globe of a woman holding gifts. Now, most of us flew in for this event, and aren’t going to bring a fairly large glass snow globe with a company logo back with us, even if the quality of the item is decent. Second worst swag item goes to the foam finger that says “blog on.” At least I know that didn’t cost them a lot, and it’s kind of funny, so it got the point across and had good logo placement. But a snow globe — really?
A Personal Finance Calculator from the “For Dummies” brand — it’s pretty awesome, and an easy way to calculate compounding interest, etc. I’m sure it will come in handy in the future.
Anyway, enough complaining about the swag. 🙂 What this event is really about is getting a bunch of personal finance savvy folks together at one time. It’s fun to run into folks whose blogs I’ve read (or occasionally read) for years. Tonight I’m headed out to dinner with a few bloggers, then there’s a reception and a “speed networking” session. The speed networking session is actually a great idea — you get one minute per person to introduce yourselves, it will help a lot for us introverted bloggers to have a chance to meet people before the big conference day tomorrow.
I’m definitely glad I came to this event — even though I feel like everyone else here is a lot smarter about money than I am. A lot of them are legit banker/accountant/finance writer types by day, and that I am not. I look forward to everything I’ll learn this weekend, the people I meet, and the “time off” from 24/7 thinking about my day job to think a bit about my financial future. This is my idea of a vacation. 🙂