Is Blogworld Worth it?

This is my first day back in the office since Blogworld Expo. It was an amazing time with amazing people. People that didn’t go to Blogworld seem to ask the question, “Is it worth it?”

That’s a great question. So I’ll go through my expenses and ways to find out if a conference like Blogworld is worth it.

List of expenses:

Thursday
Blogworld Weekend Pass $240.00
Plane ticket to Las Vegas $490.80
Parking at Airport $60.00
Hotel $235.00
Lunch on Plane $8.00
Shuttle $6.00
Dinner (Paid for by the Awesome Maren Kate) $0.00
Friday
Breakfast – Starbucks $7.57
ATM charge (was $5 but my bank had a $2.00 foreign atm charge!) $6.99
Lunch Border Grill $20.00
Dinner at Cafe $14.00
Saturday
Breakfast – Starbucks $8.00
Lunch Border Grill $20.00
Dinner at Trevi in Caesars Palace $28.00
Stratosphere $16.00
Sunday
Breakfast Starbucks $3.50
Lunch Cafe $17.00
ATM Charge $6.99
Dinner $4.64
Monday
Taxi to airport $15.00
Hudson News $3.99
Breakfast in Airport $2.66
Total $1,207.49

More than one third of my expenses were taken up by my plane ticket. Flying from Maine to Las Vegas gets pretty pricey. I searched for every deal possible, and used FareCompare to wait until the right time to buy but I still spent almost $500. (and that was for a red eye!)

I have been told that food is really expensive in Las Vegas. It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. Most normal dinners were around $20.

I also don’t gamble, so I didn’t lose (or gain) any money!

The Stratosphere is a very tall building that looks out over Las Vegas. It wasn’t a business expense. Erica (Erica.biz) was a great tour guide and showed us the Bellagio and other sites in Vegas. She had a car so we were able to save cab fare! (thanks Erica!)

Total Spent $1207.49

Are Conferences Worth It?

It depends. (don’t you love my non-answer?)

My mentor loves to say that networking isn’t a long term investment. If you do it right it’s a short term strategy. He was in Las Vegas the same weekend for a different convention. He looks to create revenue short term by creating strategic relationships and finding clients. Revenue is usually the only reason he goes to conferences.

He wanted me to get at least one new coaching client from the trip. In order to do that I would have to have at least 10 conversations about my coaching with people. But my reasons for going to the conference wasn’t to gain clients. I didn’t want to spend my whole time selling and not be able to meet and form real relationships with the people I wanted to meet.

(and while I sell very ethically and non-intrusive, I didn’t want to push my wares the entire trip)

My mentor calculates the exact ROI (Return on Investment) of the conference based on how much revenue he received from the event and how much he spent. He wanted me to do the same.

While I like this approach, and think it should be part of the picture, I think it’s missing intangible benefits. ROI isn’t the only method to test if something is worth it. If it was, I would still be stuck at a job I hated.

You cannot measure how much you grow as a person, how many quality relationships you have made in your industry or how much better your life turns out to be because of one event.

I suggest you do the following to decide if it’s worth going to a conference:

Write down the best that can happen if you go. If everything were to happen perfectly, and you were able to get out of it exactly what you expect, what would it be? Include intangible benefits, and how much fun you might have.

Write down 3 other things you could spend the money on. Guesstimate the cost of the conference and travel expenses. Then brainstorm three different ways of using that money to achieve your business goals.

Write down the worst that could happen. Your business goes haywire while you are away, or you don’t make any contacts or get anything out of it. You spent a lot of money on nothing.

By now you might get a small feeling in your gut of whether it’s worth it or not. While you cannot predict the future, if it feels like the right thing to do, do it. You will not get more business or create more opportunities unless you are out and cultivating them.

If your answer is yes, then next question is: How can I make the most out of my trip?

Planning ahead of time what will make the experience worth it can help tremendously. Set goals for being there, whether you want to cultivate new relationships, get sponsors or new clients. Then do your research on who will be there and plan accordingly.

Was BlogWorld Expo Worth It?

Since I love what I do and the people around me, it could have been considered a vacation.

But the amount of learning, business and networking that was completed makes the trip worth it on it’s own.

It was still worth it even though I wasn’t a fan of most of the sessions. My favorite one was a keynote with Darren Rowse, and it wasn’t so much for the education but for the inspiration of it.

I could tell most of sessions were aimed at a new blogger. The funny thing is, I am a newer blogger! I started earlier this year but I felt like I already knew the content in the sessions.

Here are a few things I got out of Blogworld:

  • The inspiration I received to push my business even bigger than I thought possible because of talking with like minded people and seeing the amazing Cirque Du Soleil Show Mystere. Cirque can make the impossible seem possible.
  • Free stuff! (I brought home 6 t-shirts, 10 tubes of Chapstick, a membership to Shutterstock, a journal, a book on social media, and a few toys for the kids)
  • Ken, a social media business owner I met in the hotel that wasn’t going to Blogworld, and I are discussing ways to work together. A client of his is another business coach I know in Maine. (Ok, you are right, Maine is really small and apparently I know everyone from the state)
  • Relationships created with entrepreneurs from all over the country, and discussing the state of viral videos, or their plans for growing their business. I’ve already spoken to a few people about doing joint ventures.
  • Finally getting to see Las Vegas!

Inspiration was a big part of this trip. There were amazing stories at Blogworld. Stories of people hating their jobs and quitting to start their own business. Stories like the one I heard from Darren Rowse, when his wife said he had six months to start earning a living blogging. There were people that made a million dollars in a year.

My final answer is, YES. It was completely worth it and I am looking forward to going next year.

10 Responses to “Is Blogworld Worth it?”

  1. Natalie Sisson

    Hey Jaime

    You forgot meeting me! That must have been a top highlight ;)

    Seriously though that’s an impressive breakdown of your costs. I’d say mine was slightly cheaper as I only came in from LA and got a great deal on the hotel.

    But I think it was totally worth the investment – the people I met including yourself, the networking, the new friendships, the opportunity to meet vendors and companies empowering bloggers and the inspiration from the key note with Darren, Brian and Sonia rocked.

    I’ve totally stepped it up a million notches since getting back in terms of going for my goals and thinking bigger.

    Looking forward to adventures together and seeing each other grow.

    Great post.

    Natalie

    Reply
    • Jaime

      Haha, you are included in the “possible joint ventures” ;)

      I’ve been reading Blogworld recaps and thinking “gosh people I know well didn’t even add me to their recap!” Ah well. Next time I better leave an impression!

      You can’t put a price tag on stepping it up. It was so awesome to meet you, glad you thought it was worth the investment to go. (and we need to schedule a call or something to get to know each other better!)

      Reply
  2. Luci Weston

    Thank you for sharing both the financial and social details of your trip. It is interesting to learn that the sessions leaned toward new bloggers. This surprises me since it seems that anyone attending would have been at the blogging game for a while. In any case, it is always good to network and put names to faces. Perhaps next year we’ll be at one of these functions together… And I promise to put the Eventual Millionaire, AKA Jaime, in my trip recap!

    Reply
    • Jaime

      Haha, thanks Luci! I think the content titles were really good, but there was such a mix of people a lot of the talk went to newer bloggers. I felt like each session had to figure out the basic fundamentals first before diving into deeper content. But maybe that’s just because it wasn’t what I was looking for. And I’ll make sure to include to too! :)

      Reply
  3. Stephanie Treasure

    Thanks Jaime for sharing your experience with attending Blogworld. Anyone who is serious about building a presence and growing a business online will need to attend a ‘live’ event at some point. I am not there yet, but plan on attending at least 2 next year. 1. Underground Online Seminar 2. BOSS 2010

    The first will be a sizeable expense right off the bat. It started at $1495 back in September and will keep going up. (And I did not purchase my ticket yet)And I imagine hotel, food and many of the costs you listed here will add up.

    My rationale for deciding to go or not is based on what I can learn and how it is related to my business future and growth. As I intend to get more serious about growing my information marketing business, creating passive income, events like these are critical. I see the opportunity to learn from people who are where I want to be in business, form JV partnerships and leverage the relationships I have already started to build virtually.

    So yes, I think LIVE Events are worth it, if you are clear on your business goals and how the theme of the event fits in with those goals.

    Reply
    • Jaime

      It’s amazing what the LIVE experience is like after you have been meeting people online. I felt like I knew so many people already. Usually it’s just trying to know everyone’s names, but now we can see the list before hand and meet them virtually ahead of time. It’s an amazing age we live in. :) I would love to hear how your conferences go!

      Reply
  4. Amanda L Grossman

    Hello!

    Sounds like a nice trip. I love the freebies as well (I did not go to Blogworld, but have been to numerous other conventions…and walked away with bags I had to lug several blocks:)).

    Thanks for the write-up.

    Reply
    • Jaime

      I know! I wasn’t sure if I could fit everything in my luggage since I just used one carry on. After a good few minutes of trying to zip it, it finally did! :)

      Reply
  5. Barb Friedberg

    Jaime, I really enjoyed the detail of your analysis. I believe the inspiration one receives from conventions is priceless…. Only time will tell the actual dollar payoff.

    Reply

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