For the past two years, I’ve attended FINCON. It’s a conference with about 2000+ attendees geared at financial media. I’m an active duty airmen who has a small real estate blog, so Curtez Riggs suggested I attend the first Military Influencer Conference taking place at the same location as FINCON a few days before it begins.
Two for one!
It was hard to know how this new conference would turn out, being in it’s first year and all. Lots of things were up in the air.
- Would it have enough attendees?
- Would it attract big enough talent? (speakers)
- Big enough money? (sponsors)
- Networking opportunities?
- Well organized?
I’m happy to report, Hell yes on all fronts!!!
The conference was a massive success and everyone that attended had glowing reviews. Everything was amazing. Here are some of the things that stuck out to me:
It started off with a keynote by Emily Cavness, CEO of Sword & Plough. She came up with an idea for making bags and other things out of military surplus items just as she was coming into the army. It’s became a massively successful business and her insights and story was amazing!
My favorite presentation was Kayla Roof. She is a business advisor for military spouse entrepreneurs and she runs a website that teaches how to work from anywhere. Nothing is more needed in the military spouse community! She was an amazingly impressive businessperson who has also been incredibly successful and was an inspiration to myself and many others.
The conference brought in one of the producers from the TV show Shark Tank and featured several entrepreneurs who were successful in getting funding from Mark Cuban on the show. They talked about their experiences on the show as well as in their business.
There was a great social event at a brewery that evening where everybody was able to eat, drink, and network. This is where the real magic happens. I get more out of meeting my fellow attendees in settings like this then I do out of the organized presentations throughout the day.
Ryan Guina, who runs a very successful blog called The Military Wallet and is a veteran FINCON attendee, gave a presentation on increasing website revenue through optimization. This stuff was pure gold to me. It’s not just that his presentation was helpful, but he was available throughout my two days there to answer my many questions about trying to reach his level of success. He, like many other successful military influencers I met at this conference, are willing to help anyone who asks. This is what I love about this military influencer community.
Doug Nordman was not a speaker at this conference, but much Ryan Guinea, he is a well respected blogger in the FINCON and military community with tons of experience. He’s a retired Navy submariner who saved smartly and reached financial independence at retirement. He has a popular military blog The Military Guide and wrote a book called The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement.
Doug is the kind of attendee you want at a conference like this. Just like he does at FINCON and most events he attends, he spent the entire time mentoring others and giving advice. He’s been a mentor to me over the last year and a mentor to hundreds of others. Did I mention he lives in Hawaii and surfs?
As I mentioned earlier, what makes this event useful is the quality of people you get to network with, both speakers and attendees, and how willing they are to help you and each other. This is an amazing community. There is more a feeling of collaboration here than competition.
For anyone that is planning to do some type of business, even non-profit, that will involve military or veterans, you will benefit hugely from attending the military influencers conference. This is true if you are just exploring, a beginner, in the middle of your journey, or a well-established blogger, brand, or sponsor. This is the place to be.
The conference was top notch. Curtez Riggs, the person who organized it, is talented and professional as they get. Next year I can guarantee it’ll be bigger and better. You can buy a ticket here. Don’t forget to reserve a room. They’ll sell out quick! Orlando baby!
Rich on Money