Attending business events can be a great way to improve your expertise, make new connections, and learn about interesting new developments in your industry. However, the cost of attendance can also be quite steep and along with travel expenses can make the entire experience cost-prohibitive for many blossoming entrepreneurs. So, how do you make it to the most important industry events if you can’t afford to do it? If offline networking through conferences, summits, and other professional meetups is something you’ve been wanting to get into but haven’t been able to afford, consider the following 4 options for financing your attendance and travel expenses:
1. Use Microfinancing or Alternative Lending
Microfinancing providers like BingoLoans offer a variety of options to small business and individuals who are in need of funds for any reason. Taking out a couple of these loans could be an easy way to get the money you need for the event tickets and travel fare without having to save a portion of your income for weeks or come directly out of pocket. This is a good option if you really want to make it to the event but you don’t want to put a dent in your wallet in the process.
2. Use Crowdfunding Sites
Crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe can give you a platform that can be used to organize and promote your own fundraiser. While you’ll still need to do your own promotion in terms of pushing traffic and potential contributors to your campaign page, it could be a worthwhile effort if it means you’ll be able to gather up enough funds to attend an event or two by the end of the year. You’d be surprised how many people want to help others reach their goals if you just get out there and try to find them on social media.
3. Pool Together with Other Entrepreneurs in Your Region
Pooling funds together with other like-minded individuals in your area could at least help cover the travel expenses and it could wind up becoming a fun group road trip. If you’re in a rural area, this might be difficult. However, it’s great option for anyone who lives in a highly populated city.
4. Start a Relevant Media Outlet to Gain Free Press Access
This one is more of a loophole than a financing method, but since you’ll be gaining free attendance it is essentially the same outcome. This can often be done simply by starting a popular blog, YouTube, channel, podcast, or other media distribution platform. If you can show that you have a decent following, you can contact event organizers directly and pitch them the idea of letting you attend for the purposes of spreading awareness around the event.
Why Not Try all of the Above?
Chances are, if you actually follow through with the 4 tips given above, you’ll be able to raise enough funds to attend a couple events per year without negatively affecting your personal finances.