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Are conferences really worth the time, money and effort?

 

Are you disconnected from your herd?

 
One of the main worries members of our forum have is about feeling a little out of step.

How many people do YOU know who have even thought about building more freedom into how they live and earn money, let alone are seriously prepared to action it? No wonder it can leave you feeling at best a little isolated, at worst a naive chump.

Most of us have experienced the blank look, the mild scoffing, the patronising smile when you try to explain that it is possible to live on your own terms, earn a living using a mix of skills and leveraging the power of the new-fangled inter-web and travel when you please.

 

Look in the right places

 
The great thing about conferences are they are full to the coffee-station of people who are a lot like you. You can skip a lot of the preliminary justifications; they get it.
 

Traverse Brighton

This month we went to Traverse in Brighton, which was fab for many reasons, although the ones that stand out are the UK location (these are rare); the ridiculous number of free bar events (the organisers know what pleases a crowd) and the really informative and practical workshops.
 
Here are some tips I learnt from my top two:
 
Photography (courtesy of Tom Robinson www.tomrobinsonphotography.com @Mr_Tom_Robinson)

Tom Robinson

  • Set the scene for your photos by taking 3 types of shot; landscape (scenery); portraits (full body or face shots); detail (the specifics, like a coffee cup). This will create a full sense of place and occasion.
  • Light is far better at dawn and dusk.
  • Stick someone next to a window to get a better photo of them.
  • Look for symmetry in your landscapes and consider your land/sky ratio; you want to try to avoid 50/50 as this tends to make a less interesting shot.
  • Keep the edges of your shot clean i.e. avoid half an arm.
  • Think about the story the photo is telling. Taking a picture of a person in their environment can explain a bit about them and the occasion.
  • Think about what is in your frame. Does it add to or distract from the purpose of the shot?


 
Writing (for travel bloggers) (courtesy of Steven Keenan www.travelperspective.co.uk @StevenKeenan)
Steven Keenan

  • Be careful of writing in the first person all the time. Your readers might be a lot less interested in you than you might think. Try to focus on the subject.
  • Read, re-read, be brutal in what you take out; make your writing as tight and concise as possible.
  • A chronological account rarely works (unless you can build the suspense sufficiently that your reader is desperate to know what happens next)
  • Like a good photo, make sure your writing covers the full picture- the wide angle perspective (landscape, history, social context) to the close up for colour and detail (characterisation, conversation).
  • Take your readers on a journey of small, feel, touch, taste.
  • Consider what your angle is, and why you are the best person to write about it. Make it relevant, topical. You are offering a solution with your writing- but what is the problem?
  • Supplement your words with multi-media, images, video, slide shows, graphics.


 

Topping up your energy

 
It was really refreshing to attend an event full of people who are not just passionate but verging on obsessed about travel. We’ve only been home for 3 months but already that top-up of enthusiasm was long overdue. An event doesn’t have to be travel related either. For a couple of years we got huge benefits from attending marketing and on-line business events. Gravitate towards what feels right for now and find the people who will inspire you to keep moving forward.
 

Final reminder; different doesn’t have to be wrong!

 
On our drive back home we saw an exotic billboard advertising some holiday destination or another with the slogan ‘escape to the sun’. When you are feeling like no-one else wants or sees the possibilities of lifestyle changes you do, it might help to remember; most people think saving all year for a 2 week holiday where you get to escape your normal life is perfectly reasonable behaviour. You however fall into the category of those who know you can create a life you don’t feel the need to escape from.

Our recent conference recommendations:

Traverse Brighton -> www.traverse-events.com/brighton
World Domination Summit (WDS) -> www.worlddominationsummit.com

 


Join us on the Love Play Work Forum

 
Each week new folks tap into our forum to ask us questions and just hang out with other people on the same path. Take a look here-

http://www.loveplaywork.com/learn-how-to-become-location-independent/

 

Do you have any other events you can recommend? What do you get from attending conferences?

 

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7 Responses to “Are conferences really worth the time, money and effort?”

  1. Nice overview. I’m really pleased I checked out this post because you went to completely different workshops from me. Gutted I missed the writing one especially.
    Arianwen recently posted..Bad news Brazil: attempted molestations and muggings

     
    • Thank you! I know- there were so many that I wanted to go to- especially at the time we were doing ours. Guess it would have looked bad if we had skipped out of our own workshop early!

       
      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  2. Great round up. I’m just sorry I missed the photography workshop. It was so hard to choose what would be best when I knew I needed to learn more about everything!
    Clare recently posted..Life’s a Party in Liverpool; the City with a Soundtrack

     
    • Thanks Clare! Sounds like you could have got burnt out if you hadn’t been forced to choose! Lucky the free bars were on hand to keep you sane. I do love learning new things at conferences, and i think most people come away feeling like ‘arrgh, there is so much more stuff I need to be doing!’
      H

       
      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  3. Totally agree with this. Not only do you learn a great deal, and make interesting connections, but you get a massive injection of energy and motivation that can keep you going for a long time.
    paula gardner recently posted..A Chat With Travel Blogger Mrs O Around The World

     

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