Five Ways to Hit the Conference Circuit Without Breaking the Bank #SCCTO #Blissdom

So here’s another list for all of you because I am in love with lists right now. They keep my thoughts orderly. (I need a lot of help with that.)I am not a newbie to conferences. I have been doing this for a few years. I frequently speak at conferences where the topic is child welfare and adoption. I also travel often to learn about children with special needs. It’s research. Last week at Shes Connected 2011 I was inspired, but I was also conscious of costs to myself and my family. Because even when there are sponsors, and even when you are getting to attend free there can be a great cost to your family when you attend these things, so I thought I would post my:

Five Tips to Budget Friendly Conference Style:

1. Carpool: Saves money and gas and the environment too.
2. Stay With a Relative or Share on Room Costs. Ask around a see if someone can share the room costs with you. I lucked out this time around being able to take the Subway to my brother’s house and sleep there. Super fortunate to save on food costs that way too.
3. Earn Your Keep: Speaking at these conferences has often meant I save money on registration and other costs at times. Alternatively you can offer to work at the conference or seek sponsorship. Start several months in advance.
4. Maintain clothing, suitcases, shoes and other conference clothing all season long Change it up with maybe one or two pieces. I literally had no time to shop before Shes Connected. It was a good thing. I saved lots on clothing. I spent $20 on a sweater dress before going. That was it. I wish I had the time and the money to redo my entire wardrobe but until then I can live frugally on a couple of cute pieces.
5. Inquire about bursaries. While this isn’t an option for many conferences, I have often argued effectively as a parent that I should get a bursary to attend a conference on special needs children or FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder) or adoption. This is an invaluable savings. It has meant the difference between me learning how to parent a child with special needs or staying home and struggling.

Hope this helps you to attend a conference you are eyeing in the future.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

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