As promised from last week, I am going to share how to get into events for free. Well legally of course. When you are starting out on your entrepreneurial journey you are most likely not to have the funds to attend the events and conferences where connections are made and you learn of the new trends in your industry.
I know personally there are lots of events and conferences I got into free for doing some work. Hey that’s the catch you will work in order to get free admission. And other times I am unable to attend even for free bc of the location of the event. If it’s too far and it’s not in my budget for hotel and travel then I can’t attend.
I suggest at the end of every year to plan which events and conferences you want to attend and begin reaching out. That way you can get into the ones you really want. And you have time to put the hotel and travel expenses in your budget.
So how can you get into events for free?
There are several ways to get into events for free. I will link up one event per category to show where I personally was able to use each of these strategies.
When a conference or event is made public they usually have a call for speakers. This not only gets you in free (some events/conferences make the speaker pay- new trend) but you get an opportunity to showcase your expertise and may end up making money for your business.
The organizer of events can’t emcee and run the event at the same time. This is your chance to showcase your humorous side and on the spot thinking. It’s a great way for people to see a little of your personality. This could lead to more paid opportunities.
Some events hire people to host their events. I know I do for Fusion Tour. You will help coordinate the event and be the go to person of the day. This lets the attendees know you are someone they need in their circle. Not all events/tours pay but WAGC does.
If you have a blog, this is a great chance for you to “act” as media. I have been contacted and have contacted organizers to attend events as a blogger. I usually write a pre and post blog post. And at the event I will do some live tweeting. It’s not that much work seeing how most people do that anyway. But you do get recognized in front of all the attendees and get new blog readers from it.
Most huge events and conferences need volunteers to help keep the program running smooth. You will have to apply like the previous positions. But this position is the most unique. You do the most work but you have hardly no barriers to key people and speakers. I personally volunteered last year at the Texas Conference for Women and now this year I am on the speaker line up. This is the biggest conference in the country for women and my name is on the line up. I do expect to see more requests for speaking in the future.
I was on the committee for Females are Fabulous conference in 2012. Now like being a volunteer you will work in this position. But this position gives you probably the most klout. Being on the planning committee means everyone who attends, volunteers, speakers, etc will know your name. They will see the work you have done. They will more than likely reach out to you about hiring you. Being on a committee is a long term commitment unlike the others. It can be from a few weeks to a year. But all that you do should go on your resume as a skill you have.
Win a Ticket
Some events and conferences have contests, giveaways or raffles so attendees can get in free. If nothing else, you enter for a chance to win. And if you do get the ticket then definitely make the most of it.
Not all positions are paid but they give you an opportunity to make quality connections with the organizers of the events, speakers, attendees and key people. These quality connections if you follow up, will help you position yourself to be able to say ‘YES’ to exactly what you want in the future.
These are just a few ways I’ve been able to get into events for free that have positioned me to be more visible. And being more visible leads to more private invites. When you get into events for free you are making it easier for your business to be visible and people to know you exist.