The Practical Costs of Attending A Creative Conference (Part Two: the Extras)

In last week’s post we talked about the 4 basic costs of attending a creative conference.  While the majority of your spending will be from those cost areas, it’s time to think about some of the not-so-obvious things for which you’ll spend as you prepare to attend your next creative conference.  

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Let’s call this category of costs the direct expenses:

Transportation

Don’t forget to account for Uber trips, taxi rides, rentals, and shuttles to and from the airport or during the course of your travel.  While these expenses might be small, $8 here and there can quickly add up after a few days.

Baggage fees

Unless you plan to pack efficiently, you’ll want to factor in baggage fees if you’re flying.  These fees can cost you $25 per bag per leg of your trip.

Tips

Always bring along a bit of cash to tip drivers and hotel staff and housekeepers.  

Incidentals

Forget a daily essential?  Found a boutique with cute trinkets?  Whether it’s to be found at the hotel convenience store or at a conference-sponsored pop-up event, it never hurts to have a little extra room in the budget for unplanned spending.

The next category of costs is optional expenses:

It’s the cost of fresh business cards, new clothing (if special attire is required that you don’t already own), and/or supplies you might need to run your business remotely during the conference such as a battery pack or additional cell phone data for mobile hotspot usage.  

If you’re bunking with another creative, it’s a nice gesture to present her with a small token of thanks for being a hospitable roommate.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful.

And last, let’s consider the effects of your absence from the business.

You will still need to pay yourself, so you may need to put in additional working hours before or after the conference to make sure you’re still delivering to your clients as usual.  

You may need to hire an assistant or add hours for your existing assistant to help manage your business and client load while you’re away.  

If you’re a mom, you may even need to hire a babysitter for the extra hours you’ll need to work to stay ahead or catch up, plus the time that you’re away.  So be sure to factor in the cost of that, too.

These are the extra costs of attending a creative conference - some necessary, some discretionary.  Next week, we’ll continue the discussion of what it costs to attend a creative conference by looking at major ways to save in each of these areas.  

Are there any costs you’d add to this list?  Let’s chat about it on Instagram!