A couple of weeks ago I posted about the upcoming FTU events in NYC and D.C. and I got a few questions from readers wondering it points and miles conferences in general are worth attending. This is something I get asked a lot, so I thought I’d share my thoughts. I’ve attended the Chicago Seminars pretty much consecutively over the last five years and I’m scheduled to speak at FTU Seattle this weekend. In general, I think points and miles conferences have value regardless of how advanced you are. It combines learning and networking, which can be helpful regardless of how much you know about points and miles.
If you’re new to points and miles, conferences like FTU are great starting points. You hear from the most experienced bloggers, ask questions, and connect with people who share the same hobby. Hearing from others about what’s possible in terms of manufactured spending or travel hacking in general is very motivating. You may even pick up tips and tricks that don’t get blogged about (or that haven’t been discovered yet). Plenty of seasoned vets go to these events for the networking opportunities alone. In my experience, they tend to be pretty approachable and willing to share tips in person.
Points and miles conferences like FTU are great for newbies and more experienced travel hackers alike. There’s a misconception that most presentations are aimed at newbies and that’ simply not the case. Guys like Stefan always have interesting presentations about obscure places they’ve traveled to or useful tips on how to save on paid travel. And even if you sit out every single presentation, these conferences are a great place to connect with people who validate and encourage your obsession with points and miles. Even I’ve picked up a few MS tips from people I met at these events.
Overall, I think there’s a lot of value in attending points and miles events like FTU. Not only can you learn quite a bit from the presenters, but it’s a great place to build relationships and pick up tips in a more informal environment. Really, anyone can learn something at these events – regardless of how long they’ve been at this. That being said, I’d love your feedback on this topic and whether you’re attending FTU Seattle this weekend.
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