7 Ways To “Hack” Yourself Into Conferences For Free
When Timothy Ferriss came on Mixergy, he said meeting bloggers in person at conferences helped make his book a New York Times Best Seller. When Craig heard that, he brought up a good point. What if you’re a startup and can’t pay for a ticket? Or what if you work for a company that doesn’t see the value in buying you a ticket?
Here are some techniques for getting in for free, based on what I heard in my interviews and events.
Borrow a badge – Writer Sarah Lacy borrowed a speaker’s badge for the Web 2.0 conference from Marc Andreessen. She wrote about it in Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good, the book she talked about at this Mixergy event.
Copy a badge – I promised not to reveal his name, but a guest I met at a Mixergy event told me that he gets into top conferences by photocopying his friends’ badges.
Volunteer – Even if you’re willing to pay, TED is a notoriously hard conference to get into. When I interviewed Douglas Campbell, he told me that he got in by volunteering to help, which is how he met people like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
Offer to write – When she was out of work and couldn’t pay for a conference, Olivia Kuhn-Lloyd wrote to the organizer and offered to blog about the event. She ended up becoming good friends with the organizer.
Work the parties – When I interviewed Rick Calvert, founder of Blog World, he told me about the hard work he put into getting superstar speakers to his conference. The one place where you could see them all together was at the pre-conference party–which was free. Conferences always have parties.
Use someone else’s name – A friend (who I can’t name) told me that he gets into internet events in SoCal by telling people at the door that he’s me. He figures organizers often comp me a ticket for helping them, so he uses my name. I’m not condemning or condoning this method. Just reporting.
Offer to speak – My friend Tim Street gets paid to go to conferences because he speaks about online video, an especially hot topic right now.
Do you know other ways for ambitious people to get into conferences? Add them to the comments or email me.