How to Spend Less On Your Next Creative Conference (Part Three: Spending Less)

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, we discussed the basic and extra costs associated with attending a creative conference.  We covered the absolute necessities, as well as some of the expenses that can crop up unexpectedly and seem pretty minor until we take the time to assess them in total.

If you haven’t already figured it out, attending a creative conference can turn really expensive, really fast.  But, I’ve got a few tips to share that can save you money and reduce your expenses with minimal effort.

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Here’s where to find your savings!

Conference Fee

The key is to sign up early.  If you know that you want to attend the conference, don’t delay in signing up.  Take full advantage of early-bird discounts and special offers to get the best bang for your buck.  

Another option is to apply for a sponsorship or enter a giveaway for free admission.  While these two options are not sure-fire methods, you might luck up and win!

Transportation + Travel

Research and choose the least expensive travel option - air, train, bus, or car.  Traveling by car? Look for ride-share options with someone else attending. Traveling by plane?  Buy your ticket early! Or use reward miles to purchase a discounted ticket. Megabus has $1 travel options to certain cities.  Check to see if your destination is on the list.

When you arrive to your destination, share taxi and Uber rides. Or take in the city, and walk if you can.

Lodging

Consider sharing a room with another conference attendee.  Or use rewards points for a free room or reduced rate. Or, book early at the reduced room rate for conferences held at a hotel with a room block for conference guests.  AirBnB is a popular option as well. You can often find lodging with room for multiple guests and with the full use of a kitchen for less than a night’s hotel stay. Stay with a friend who lives in the same city.

Meals and Entertainment

Pack your own snacks.  Stay away from little convenience stores and vending machines.  Little costs can add up quickly! Take advantage of the hotel continental breakfast if one is offered. After all, it’s already included in your room rate.  Set yourself a daily per diem rate for your meals and entertainment, and stick to it.

What other ways to save can you think of?  Share them with me in the comments!


Have you seen the Creative Conference attendee worksheet?  It’s a Google Sheet that helps you budget your conference spending.  It’s in the Academy for Little Black Desk Society. Click here to sign up for a free trial to tour the Academy and download your free worksheet.