Is it weird that I bought a plane ticket to Portland, Oregon for World Domination Summit 2013, and then spent my days cafe hopping with a laptop in my bag?
I think not.
I’ll admit it: I was along for the ride with high hopes of making it to lunches and after-parties that would allow me to meet, spend time and build relationships with some amazing Entrepreneurs and attendees that I’ve been looking forward to chatting with for months.
Guess what? It worked.
Dominating The World One Meetup At A Time
Yep, I never once set foot in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, which is where the conference was actually held, and yet, I had an amazing time mingling with some of the most inspiring minds in today’s online world.
You might be thinking, “Why wouldn’t you just buy a pass to the conference?”
Bottom line: I wasn’t one of the lucky 3,000 attendees who nabbed a pass early on to ensure I wouldn’t miss a beat. However, I wasn’t willing to let that determine whether or not I went to Portland, OR.
Building connections and networking
I decided to go to Portland, OR without admission to the conference because I wanted to meet people who I’ve been chatting with via email, on Facebook, through Twitter and all these other social platforms for months on end.
I wanted to build a face-to-face relationship with the people I admire – who inspire me to be better at what I do, and who can help me achieve the goals I have set for myself. And I knew I could do this without a pass to the Theater.
There’s something to be said of “attending a conference” without actually having a pass, especially if you’re new to the industry and looking to build relationships.
WDS is known for bringing the brightest and most inspiring minds together in one place for a weekend no one will forget. I knew that if I could get myself there, then I wouldn’t regret it – pass or no pass.
Tight on funds? Buddy up!
I know there are a ton of people out there who would love to attend several conferences, but it sometimes comes down to a lack of funds – not a lack of desire.
If you can afford a plane ticket and are able to snag a place to stay (airbnb is quite affordable if you do your research), then you can still get a ton of value out of the meetups and mingling without having to buy the pass. Also, if you know someone who will be attending the conference, ask if you can bunk up to save some cash during your stay.
Exploring new places
The fun doesn’t stop with meeting amazing people, either.
In addition, I got to explore the city of Portland for two full days due to the fact that I wasn’t attending the day-time sessions.
Once the weekend wrapped, I had visited a total of 13 different cafes, stopped into the famous Powells book store, and even managed to scarf down a couple Voodoo donuts (yuummm)!
Why you should consider attending that conference anyway
In a nutshell, here are 5 reasons “attending a conference” without a pass can be the golden ticket:
- You’re going to miss out on same amazing speakers and a lot of really great knowledge, advice and tips, but the fact of the matter is that not buying a pass can save you a ton of money.
- It allows you to explore a new city, and being an avid traveler I love killing two birds with one stone.
- You have access to hundreds – if not thousands – of like-minded people who are in one place at the same time. Getting away from your home base is necessary, and when you happen to be doing it with thousands of others with little-to-no distractions, good things happen.
- Meetups are awesome (who doesn’t love a good party?) Conferences are typically held in some pretty killer downtown areas, filled with vibrant nightlife and great restaurants – a perfect scene to meet and greet, even if you aren’t the most outgoing person in the bunch.
- You get to build insanely valuable relationships. Pick the right conferences, and you’re guaranteed to be spending quality time with quality people.
Not every conference is right for everyone
Not every conference if right for everyone, but don’t let not having a pass be your excuse for not getting yourself in front of the people who make up your community. Think of those who are sure to support and motivate you through the good times and the bad that you’ll meet when you’re there!
When you have 3,000 like-minded people in the same city working towards similar goals, amazing things will happen. You might even dominate the world.