Costs for BlogHer fall into three categories: Conference ticket, lodging and travel.
I have found the Kaiser Mommy method of finding conference sponsorship to be 100% effective. I thought about asking people to pay me for my knowledge but then decided that was snatchy and counterproductive and wouldn’t help the community as a whole, so for you, free of charge, The Kaiser Mommy Method of Conference Sponsorship.
Before you sit to read, please find three containers – bowls, ziplock bags, shoe box, mr potato head…. whatever. As long as there are three of them. And get something to write with.
1. Conference ticket sponsorship: Early bird registration pricing of $202.95 (including eventbrite fees) closes on February 28th – 30 weeks from now. $6.77 cents each week from now until then. I choose one of my three containers now and write “Conference Ticket Sponsorship” on it. This is the time to raid the money stashes, the spare change. The couch cushions, coat pockets, bottom of purse (sadly lint is non negotiable. Oh if it had cash value I would be oh so rich.) That took care of about four dollars AND I found a pair of earrings I was looking for. From now until 2/28, any time I get change back or run across change, it will go in the Conference Ticket box. When I go to the grocery store I will pass up 2 impluse purchases (candy bar, magazine, drink, muffin, 14th bottle of lotion) and I will throw that money into the box. I fully admit, we are not on a particularly tight budget, be we do try to watch what we spend. I will do this until I hit that magic $202.95, then buy my ticket. And put a sticker over an old conference button that says “Conference Ticket Sponsored by ME!”
2. Lodging. Label that second container. The Hilton is $199.99 each night, I assume with taxes it is $250/night. $250/night for 3 nights is $750. Divided by 4 people in a room – $187.50. For the 22 weeks from 2/28 (When the conference ticket is paid for.) Till August 1st, I need to save $8.52 each week. Dammit. I was hoping it would be less. So same routine as above – but I have to forego even more impulse purchases at the grocery store. I can do it though. While I’m NOT buying things I can look for 3 roommates. And make a sign to hang on my hotel door that says “Hotel lodging Sponsored by ME!”
3. Travel. Third container out. Third container labeled. Get an idea of how much to spend: Check flight prices (I like kayak.com), train prices (amtrak.com), bus prices (greyhound.com) and carpool prices. As a backup plan, find 2 other people to carpool with and be ready to do the BlogHer roadtrip next year, I wouldn’t PLAN on it, but it would rawk to have no travel costs, but gotta have that cash on hand for travel if needed. To my delight and shock I can fly to NYC for about 300*. Back to saving. 300 dollars, 52 weeks – $5.77 each week. Perhaps if I just eat a side salad or appetizer each time we go out to eat? Skipping that entree… Or not getting Alex a kids meal and having him eat off our plates (He’s two, that’s still acceptable at restaurants.) That could work. Then I can wear another button, “Travel sponsored by ME”
* Flights to NYC: Edmonton – 707; Vancouver – 502; SanFrancisco, Seattle – under 400; Houston, Phoenix – 350; Cinci – under 300; Miami; Kansas City, Minneapolis, LA – 250; St. Louis, Dallas, Denver – under 250; Chicago, DC – under 200
Another way I could sponsor myself to BlogHer 10 that uses less math – get 1 envelope, label it BlogHer -10 and one day each week put a 20 dollar bill into it, and just make myself make the adjustments in my weekly spending because that money simply wouldn’t be available.
For me – it looks like for 691 dollars I can sponsor myself to BlogHer 10. I can spend the weekend on my own schedule, without needing to worry about working for someone else through the weekend. For $13.28 each week from now until BlogHer ’10 ($1.89 each day) – I can sponsor myself to go to BlogHer 10. When I break it down like that? No worries. Totally doable.