The biggest conference of the year is coming up in a just a few short weeks and everyone is getting prepared… buying tickets, planning outfits, looking for last minute sponsors. Are you really prepared? Have you figured everything into your budget?
Even if you get your conference ticket, flights, and hotel room sponsored, you will still have expenses associated with a blog conference. This post is to help you plan for those other out of pocket expenses and budget for them so they don’t break you and keep you from attending conferences in the future.
Planning meals into your conference budget:
Some conferences supply all meals during the conference and some do not. If the one you are planning to attend doesn’t, then you need to be prepared to purchase meals. If possible, take some light snacks with you to help you during the non-covered meal times.
If you are staying a bit longer than the conference, be sure to figure those meals into your plan.
Don’t forget to figure in meals at the airport during a layover!
Planning airline/flight expenses into your budget:
Airlines are getting more and more expensive with all the extra costs:
- Anything more than non-alcoholic beverages and peanuts (or gingerbread cookies) is going to cost you on your flight(s). Even a pack of M&Ms is going to cost you a few bucks. I suggest hitting up your local CVS or Walgreen’s before going on you trip to get a few snacks for the flight. The prices there will be at least 1/2 of what it would cost at the airport on or your flight! Remember: you can’t take liquids over 3 ounces through security, but you can take an empty bottle or two and fill them from a water fountain after going through security!
- Luggage fees these days are just plain outrageous! If you want to check even one suitcase, it is going to cost you! Try to get everything you need into one carry-on and one personal item so you don’t have to check anything. Not only that, but airlines are famous for losing luggage – you do not want to arrive at your conference with no luggage!
- Entertainment on flights can even cost you these days! Not all airports have free WiFi and if you need earphones, that is another few bucks out of your pocket! Plan for these, do your internet in the free places and take earphones with you. Planning to read a book? Buy it at your local store before heading to the airport to avoid their inflated prices.
Planning clothing expenses into your budget:
Plan your outfits carefully to get everything you need into one carry-on, but be sure to take an extra bag or flattened USPS flat rate box to get all your swag home! Back to clothing; this section is actually much too long for this post, so stay tuned for my upcoming post, Dressing for Conference Success on the Cheap!
Planning business marketing expenses into your conference budget:
Be sure that you have plenty of business cards for other bloggers plus media kits for the company and PR reps that you will meet! Vistaprint can help you print these supplies as cheap as possible and Blog Print Media can help you design them. Be sure to use the code BUDGET during check out to save 40% at Blog Print Media now through the end of July!
That’s it, the next post in this series will be coming soon!