How To Work A Conference Before It Starts

I am attending two conferences next month and I want to make the most of them. Marci Alboher gives some great tips on how to “pre-game” for a conference.



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Spend some time online. Visit the conference’s website and start studying the speaker list. If
the conference is using a social networking tool like Crowdvine to encourage
people to meet one another, take the time to fill out your profile
and see who else is attending. Find out the conference’s
Twitter hashtag
and start checking  Twitter to see if anyone is talking about it. If you’re active on LinkedIn or Facebook, mention that you’re going to the conference in your status update.

Email people in advance. Once you discover whom you want to meet or friends you want to meet up with, email
them to see if you can set up some for a coffee meeting.

blog it

My advice: Make sure you have plenty of business cards and/or a Poken to connect with people once you are there at the conference.

Finovate Cocktail Party

Tonight I mixed and migled with many of the attendees and presenters of Finovate 2009. Finovate is like TechCrunch 50 for banking and investing and finance-related start-ups. I will be at the conference tomorrow for most of the day except for the hours I will be doing bookkeeping.

It was good to see Jon and Michael from SmartyPig as well as Murali from Billeo. We were on a panel at SXSWi back in March.

I met these cool guys:
Christophe, founder of
Mark Clare, from New Zealand and Value Cruncher.
Dan Rosen of Highland Partners
James Hyde of iPay
Yoni Assia of eToro
Felix Brandon Lloyd of Skill-Life
Vaibhav Puranik of Opera Solutions

Many of the people I spoke with have created applications or websites that make managing personal finance, investing, banking easier and more transparent.

Job Hunt and Career Networking Links

Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist is now a social network which is like a  Facebook  for professionals. is a new site for social recruiting. KODA allows emerging talent and smart companies to go beyond the resume or traditional job posting with employer and employee profiles that allow both sides of the hiring equation to get to know each other. Currently Koda is free to use during its beta period.

Also, how much should you spend on your job hunt? Mary Pilon of the Wall Street Journal’s The Wallet asks the question. Social Networking with Entrepreneurs

Radishes with Butter and Sea Salt
If you are new to Keeping Nickels, I want to let you know that I have recently combined my love of food photography to blogging about business and personal finance. East post will feature a picture I have taken in the last week.

 Friday night, I attended BizNik event at In Good Company. Biznik is a social networking community for entrepreneurs.  They have groups most on the west coast in cities including Portland, SanFrancisco and Seattle.  When I arrived, I immediately ran into my friend Erica Ecker,  a home and office organizer, and it was good to catch up with her.

Hosted by Jezra Kaye and Caroline Green, the happy hour was full of friendly people doing interesting things.

Celia Currin is the founder of Whisper Street, which builds automatic websites.

Stephanie Cockerl runs NextSteph, and she  is a blog designer and SEO consultant.

Hideki Aono is a graphic and digital designer.

Sharon Beason provides concierge servcices in Brooklyn.

Anastasia Toom is a spiritual counselor and healer.

Phyllis Taylor is a virtual assistant.

Girls In Tech, Feast and New York Times Small Business Summit

With an eye on keeping expenses to a minimum, it’s good to focus on business-related that can inform, inspire or connect you to the right people. I recommend these events below.

Tonight, Girls in Tech hosts pitching expert Laura Allen tonight for a super-fast 15-second pitch session for Women in Start-ups. Fee: $10.99

On October 16, the lovely folks from All Day Buffet are holding their first conference, The Feast. Speakers include Dickson Despommier, Dale Jones and Summer Rayne OakesI’m going to this event.

On Monday, November 17, the New York Times will be hosting its 4th Annual Small Business Summit. Speakers include Liz Lange and Gary Hirshberg from Stonyfield Farm. (I love their yogurt!)  I went last year, and enjoyed it.

Ripple6 Tweetup

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Phillip Robertson (ooVoo) Kathryn Jones (, Matt Caldecutt (TrylonSMR), originally uploaded by ckieff.

Monday, I stopped the offices of Ripple6 for conversation, community and lots of wine and cheese. Ripple6 is a white label social media platform.