I was feeling the dreaded FOMO a couple of months ago when I saw many of my FI friends were going to the 2022 EconoMe conference in Cincinnati in March. The conference was officially on Saturday and Sunday.
I thought I should find a roommate and go. Go, so I could check in with past friends. Go, so I could meet some content creators I wanted to thank. Go, so I could meet some new amazing people. And, also, but last on my list, go, so I could learn some new things.
This was the third year of the conference and you could tell it was finely tuned for a great attendee experience.
1) the session structure was very, very good. There were 20-minute keynote talks on the main stage each morning for 60-80 minutes. After a 2-hour lunch break, there were 2-hour deep dives into very specific topics. Then an hour break followed by a 1-hour time slot for topic breakouts. This was the schedule for both Saturday and Sunday.
2) the speakers were all quite good to excellent. They had passion, knowledge, and plenty of experience. They created information flow and discussions. The attendees had plenty of knowledge to add.
One very important takeaway I often have at any FI event where people are paying to attend; the attendees are knowledgeable and I can learn from every single one. I don’t have to agree with all they say/do, but I always respect their opinions/positions and learn.
Besides the sessions, there were plenty of additional events to attend and hang out and have discussions with anyone/everyone. It’s amazing to walk up to ANY PERSON and just say “where are you on your FI journey” and immediately be in a great conversation with a thoughtful and intelligent person.
We had pre-event activities Friday morning, early and late afternoon, then evening. There were activities Saturday and Sunday evenings. There were late evening “sessions” in the hotel(s) breakfast/lounge areas. Many people were visiting until well after midnight.
I will admit that I wasn’t really as interested in the keynote talks because I wanted to visit and meet people, but I was so very impressed at many of the talks. The perspectives, experiences, and successes (and challenges) were so insightful.
If so many of the attendees weren’t so financially secure to leave their careers they would surely be leading many organizations. But instead, we’re all working to help each other lead our most amazing lives.
Here’s a strange thought. Since this was so interesting, with so many great people, I asked my wife if she wanted to attend next year. There are enough people you’re not confined in a room for hours like a happy hour with a local group, or in the woods all weekend like the amazing CampFI events. At EconoMe you can hang out visit, just listen, or do whatever and nobody will notice. I’d bet a large percentage of the attendees are introverts and feel comfortable because they’re around their people. Have you found your people? That group of like-minded people you can just walk up to and start talking? A group that will open up and let you join right in? EVERYONE let everyone jump right into their circle, every time. That’s special.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.
I forgot. One thing that was very interesting to me is that I never heard anyone talking about basketball scores. Almost everywhere else I go in March it’s all basketball talk. At Econome, all the talk was about living great lives!!!