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Why FinCon Matters to Me and to Experian

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I am part of a community that completely energizes me, makes me believe that there are good people in the world and that makes me want to be better. Over the course of four days in September, my co-workers and I were transported into the world of self-proclaimed “money media nerds” at FinCon, the Financial Influencers conference, where people share thoughts, best practices and update one another on the latest trends. FinCon is THE annual event for the financial media community.

What FinCon is really about is trying to help people and each other. Whether it’s helping someone understand how to invest, how to plan for retirement, or in Experian’s case, help others understand and learn more about credit and financial empowerment, we are all a part of this education ecosystem.  Of course, none of us attending FinCon do this alone. We have our co-workers, our peers and our mentors that help guide us and work alongside with us to work toward a common goal. Personally, I love that the company I work for cares about financial education, cares about consumers and empowers our team to go forth and make those long-lasting connections at FinCon.

The energy at FinCon is contagious and you tend to build up a kind of super-human strength that gives you the ability to go without sleep indefinitely and miraculously have meaningful, educational conversations even though your body is on auto-pilot.

It’s been a few weeks — I’m caught up on sleep, my feet have healed from the blisters and I’m not on a sugar high from eating a dozen Ally white chocolate covered Oreos — so I thought it would be a good time to give you my top three reasons why I think this year’s FinCon was so fantastic and why we want to do it again and again:

The Expo hall rocks: Everyone can learn something from someone else and FinCon is no exception. This place is filled with some very smart people and smart companies. The Expo hall is a great investment for a company that is interested in sharing tools, services and thoughts with the FinCon attendees and as a company. We find a lot of value in setting up a home base for a few days at the conference and it gives people a place to find us. This year’s expo hall was full of energy (and great swag like yoga mats, selfie sticks and cocktail flavored jelly beans to name a few) and we at Experian found it to be the perfect backdrop for recording podcasts with a large number of FinCon experts. We loved helping these bloggers/writers share and deliver their unique content to an even broader audience.

Expo

I Heart inspiration: You don’t have to look far at FinCon for inspiration. The keynotes, the sessions and even just hallway conversations can spark an idea, create a new passion or give someone the confidence they need to try something new. One guy was even inspired to wear money-print pants. For real. Anyway, the keynotes moved people. Carl Richards reminded me why I love to do what I do and motivated me to be better at it. Grant Baldwin made a huge impact on people by discussing balance for a successful life and how just saying no isn’t as hard as you think.

Mike Delgado's Panel

Carl Richards, Patrice Washington, J.D. Roth, Liz Weston and Mike Delgado at the How to Build Relationships with Social Influencers Panel

One source of my personal inspiration at FinCon was watching our Social Media Guru, Mike Delgado, constantly drive content via Periscope with our Director of Public Education. They were ”Scoping” from sun up to sun down and it caught on like wildfire. By the end of the conference, everyone was feeling the love for Periscope and viewers were sending hearts in droves. This kind of sharing and helping people, as well as one another, happens so organically at FinCon.


Winning isn’t all that matters, but it sure feels good:
Part of the FinCon tradition is the Plutus Awards, which is an annual awards ceremony that celebrates the best in personal finance. It was amazing to see so many bloggers recognized for their hustle and run up on the stage to accept their awards. We also couldn’t be happier that Experian was honored with a Plutus Award for Best Use of Social Media by a Brand (for the second year in a row—whoop whoop)! The nomination means so much to Experian as a company, and to be chosen as the award winner is a true honor for us.

This is just a small snapshot of what FinCon is every year. There’s so much more. We’re already thinking about next year’s conference in San Diego and are excited to start planning and connecting with our FinCon family.

If you want to know more about how to connect with us and join in our weekly conversations with consumers, see the links below: