MicroConf: Attendee’s Guide

By Kai ‚ÄĘ Get daily marketing tips for consultants here


If you’re attending¬†MicroConf¬†for the first time this year, congratulations! MicroConf is an exciting conference that’s a wonderful place to meet fellow bootstrappers and learn interesting topics from expert speakers. And it’s in Vegas!

When I went in 2015, I was excited ‚ÄĒ and overwhelmed. I hadn’t been to that many conferences before ‚ÄĒ a few for work-related events ‚ÄĒ and MicroConf felt like a Big Deal to me. As a smaller conference with a limited number of tickets, I was excited for the more intimate feel and uncertain about what to expect.

Honestly? I was very uncertain. I (and my fellow first-time attendees) had questions:

  • Why am I here?
  • Where do I go?
  • What’s the tone of the conference?
  • How should I dress? What should I pack?
  • How do I talk to people? Is it¬†okay¬†to talk to people?
  • Who is Xander?
  • Why is Vegas so BRIGHT?

Here are some immediate answers and a deep dive into everything a first time MicroConf attendee should know.

Questions? Comments? Feedback?¬†Email me. And if you’re at MicroConf, tweet me a quick¬†“Hey! I’m at MicroConf!”¬†and then come say howdy in real life. (This is what I look like).

Table Of Contents

A deep dive into everything I wish I had known as a first-time attendee:

Answer To Your Immediate Questions

Why am I here?

You’re at MicroConf, a conference for self-funded startups. You’re here to meet people with similar interests to you ‚ÄĒ startups! bootstrapping! building a business! ‚ÄĒ and make connections with them.

There are¬†incredible¬†speakers at this event but the #1 thing to keep in mind is this:¬†the majority of value you’ll receive from this conference come from the relationships you’ll build with the other attendees.

Where do I go?

The conference is at The Palms in Las Vegas, this April 3rd Р6th.

  • The Palms Address: Palms Casino Resort, 4321 West Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89103
  • The Palms Phone Number:¬†702.942.7777
  • If you need transportation, you can get a taxi through¬†LVCabs¬†(702-888-4888) for $10 one-way between the Airport and The Palms. You can also take an Uber or the Bell Trans¬†Airport Shuttle¬†between the Airport and The Palms. (It’ll cost about $10-15 one-way with any of these options).

April 3rd: Registration + Opening Reception

  • On-Site Registration¬†begins at 6:30 pm on April 3rd in “The View” at The Palms.
  • The Opening Reception¬†is from 7:30 pm – Midnight, also in The View at The Palms

April 4th: Conference Welcome, Talks, and Teamwork.com Reception

  • Registration¬†continues in the Grand Ballroom Foyer from 9am – Noon
  • The¬†Conference Welcome and Talks¬†take place in Grand Ballroom 456 from 10:00 am ¬†– ¬†5:40 pm
  • Lunch¬†(exact time and duration TBD, see conference schedule)
  • The¬†Teamwork.com¬†Reception¬†takes place from 8pm – Midnight in¬†The Moon at The Palms¬†(No food provided,¬†eat beforehand)

April 5th: Talks and Closing Reception

  • Talks¬†take place in Grand Ballroom 456 from 10:00 am ¬†– ¬†5:20 pm
  • Lunch¬†(exact time and duration TBD, see conference schedule)
  • The¬†Closing Reception¬†takes place from 8:00 pm – Midnight in¬†The Rain Nightclub at The Palms¬†(No food provided,¬†eat beforehand)

April 6th: Workshops

If you registered for a¬†MicroConf Wednesday Workshop, they take place from 9 am – 4 pm. The location will be communicated to you directly if you’re attending a workshop.

What’s the tone of the conference?

The tone is casual and people are very friendly. Because it’s a smaller, more intimate, single-track conference, it’s easier to meet your fellow attendees and start building a relationship.

How should I dress? What should I pack?

The conference is very business casual. Expect a lot of people in t-shirts and shorts and jeans and a polo shirt with a few in slacks and a dress shirt or suit.

On top of that? Pack light. You’ll be spending your time inside at the conference and outside at bars, casinos, or restaurants. I recommend:

  • One Nice Outfit¬†for when you go out with your friends for a night and plan on taking photos.
  • The Home Outfit¬†for when you’re flying home. I like something comfortable for the return trip to help put me in that homeward bound mental attitude.
  • Casual Clothes / Business Casual Clothes¬†for wearing during the day at the conference. Nice jeans and a polo shirt. Khakis and a button down. A light sports jacket to throw on at night. There aren’t that many suits at MicroConf. You’ll see more casual clothing than at a typical business conference.
  • A Water Bottle. Or buy a big bottle of water once you’re in the casino. Once you’re in your hotel room, your choices are ‘pay per drink’ or ‘tap’ and neither is fun. And it’s convenient to have your own water bottle during the conference.
  • External Phone (iPhone) Battery ‚ÄĒ My phone has a habit of quickly hitting 5% during conferences and events and¬†that sucks. I love the ZVOLTZ iPhone 6S / 6S+ external battery case for having an extra 8-hours of battery life on my iPhone.

How do I talk to people? Is it okay to talk to people?

It is encouraged to talk to people. You will get the most value out of MicroConf from the relationships you form with your fellow attendees.

The talks and presentations are¬†fantastic, but the real value ‚ÄĒ your ‘Return On Investment’ ‚ÄĒ will come from talking to other people.

If you’re wondering¬†how¬†to talk to people,¬†here’re some notes on how to build relationships and network with your fellow attendees.

Who is Xander?

Xander¬†is the event organizer for MicroConf, helping bring Rob and Mike’s vision for MicroConf to reality. You’ll see him at registration, at the evening parties, and throughout the day making sure the event happens without a hitch.

You should thank Xander for all the hard work he does.

You should absolutely offer to buy Xander a drink to thank him for all the hard work he does.

Why is Vegas so BRIGHT?

I know, right? Disneyland for adults.

Bring sunglasses to wear during the day. Yes, you can wear your sunglasses outside at night if you’d like, but it’s not a cool look.

Other Guides

Peter Harkins wrote a great guide to MicroConf (Advice for First-Time Attendees to MicroConf). You should check it out.

Maximizing Your MicroConf Experience

You don’t want to just be an attendee at the conference. You want to take control of your conference experience.

MicroConf provides a forum for you to meet like-minded people who can teach you things and who can help you fulfill your goals.

Think of attending MicroConf with a ‘Return On Investment’ mindset. Is it likely that attending will result in you establishing relationships that build value equal to (or greater than!) the price of the conference and the time you spent at MicroConf? Absolutely.

But you need to put yourself out there, make friends, build relationships, and work the room for that to be true.

Often, new clients, new customers, and new deals can be traced back to the¬†relationships¬†that you start at conferences. Now, these aren’t deals you close on the spot, but¬†relationships¬†you’re building with people who, down the line, may be perfect for you to work with.

You can think of the main purpose of MicroConf as extending your professional network.

Smart business owners spend their time building strong relationships with the people they do business with. Make the most of your MicroConf experience. Build relationships with your fellow attendees.

The Hallway Track

The hallway track ‚ÄĒ the conversations that happen between attendees and speakers in the hallway between talks ‚ÄĒ is the most valuable part of the conference. Full stop. This is where the magic happens.

While others sit quietly, reviewing their notes, checking Slack and Twitter, or sipping bottled water, other people are setting up one-on-one meetings, organizing dinners, and, in general, making MicroConf an opportunity to meet people who could change their lives.

As you meet new people at MicroConf, your goal is to leave a positive impression in your wake. You want to create friendships and achieve the goals on your agenda, not sit and wait for something to happen.

Chat with new people. Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. Strike up a conversation with a stranger.

Based on conversations I had with ‚ÄĒ at the time ‚ÄĒ strangers at MicroConf in 2015, I picked up 15+ new friends that I stay in touch with on a weekly basis.

Identifying People To Meet

Before a conference, I go as far as making a list of¬†specific¬†people that I want to have conversations with. Even if your list only has 3 names on it, it’s valuable to take an¬†intentional¬†approach to meeting people at conferences and events.

Here’s what I recommend: set a goal of building a relationship with¬†two new people¬†at the conference. A potential client or colleague who would benefit from knowing you.

Just setting the mental goal of meeting new people can make a huge difference in how you approach the event:

  • Look at Twitter¬†and see who else is attending and tweeting about it.
  • Do you have a friend or colleague attending the conference? Reach out to them ahead of time to schedule a time to meet.
  • Is there a speaker you want to connect with? Email them ahead of time, let them know you’re excited to see them speak, and ask if you could grab 15-minutes of their time during the event to chat.

Keep a list of people you want to meet the most. As you meet them, check them off your list. Write down what you talked about ‚ÄĒ and make a note about how you’re going to contact them later.

Don’t rely on random chance to meet people at MicroConf. If there’s someone specific that you’re looking to meet, ask the event organizer to point out where they’ll be ‚ÄĒ and watch where they’re sitting. Most people continue to sit in the same seats throughout the conference.

How To Talk To People / Working The Room / Relationship Building

You’re at MicroConf to ‚ÄúShrink the world, Meet people you may not hate‚ÄĚ1. That generally involves building relationships with new people.

Talk To The Other Attendees

Make a point of introducing yourself to the people sitting around you. Just a quick “Hey! I’m {name}! Who are you?” can do¬†wonders¬†to make friends at the event.

Take the initiative and be the first person to say hello. This demonstrates confidence. The best icebreaker is a few words from the heart.

Your goal is to start a conversation, keep it going, create a bond, and leave with the other person thinking “I dig that person.”

You’ll want to open up in your conversation to find similarities. Expose your interests and concerns. Make the space for others to do likewise.

When you meet people, don’t just introduce yourself; introduce the folks you meet to other people. If your new acquaintances don’t quickly take up the conversation, offer a fact about one to the other.

Master The Quick Conversation

There are different types of conversations at MicroConf. During the time between talks or at the evening parties, you want to talk to lots of people. After hours, you can reconnect with people that you connected with during the day. 

If all the time you have with someone is 2-minutes, your goal is to leave that quick (~2-minute) conversation with an invitation to reconnect at a later time.

It will take an effort on your part to quickly make contact, establish a connection, secure the next meeting, and move on. But it is achievable. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You’re not looking to make a best friend. You’re looking to make enough of a connection to secure a follow-up conversation. Find commonalities. Identify the value¬†for the other person¬†in having a follow-up conversation with you.
  • Tune into their ‘What’s In It For Me’ frequency. Meetings and conversations take up time. If someone is having a conversation with you, they aren’t having a conversation with someone else. You want to be aware of what would make a future conversation beneficial to the other party and highlight that for them.
  • Ask questions that revolve around the other person. People love to talk about themselves. Ask questions about the other person, their business, what they’re thinking, and what’s troubling them.¬†(Kurt Elster wrote a great article about this approach to networking after the 2015 MicroConf US)
  • Don’t rush around selling yourself. Focus on building a relationship. Sales ‚ÄĒ of any sort ‚ÄĒ will come later in follow-up conversations after the conference. For now, you want to focus on building trust and a relationship, not selling.
  • Focus on having warm and sincere conversations. If you only have thirty seconds to spend with someone, make the conversation full of warmth and sincerity.
  • Bring business cards with you. Be liberal about handing them out to people you¬†want¬†to continue a conversation with after the conference. Likewise,¬†ask¬†for business cards from people you want to continue the conversation with.

Understanding Your Body Language

Your body language will influence how people perceive you. There are some common sense things to keep in mind:

  • Smile when you meet new people
  • Shake hands with the people that you meet
  • Maintain a good amount of eye contact (~70%) while having a conversation
  • Unfold your arms and relax. Avoid a ‘tense’ posture like with your arms crossed over your torso.
  • As the conversation progresses, nod your head, lean in, and engage further.

Develop Conversational Currency

You want to have something interesting to say. Thankfully, it doesn’t only have to be about the conference, the most recent talk, or building a self-funded startup.

Ultimately,¬†what¬†you talk about is less important than¬†how¬†you talk about it. It’s always interesting to hear someone talk about something they have a great interest in.

If you have a passionate interest, but it’s outside of the realm of self-funded startups, don’t be afraid to share it in conversation. Your interests ‚ÄĒ no matter how niche ‚ÄĒ are opportunities to connect with your fellow attendees human-to-human.

That said, don’t monopolize the conversation or go into long-winded stories. You want to encourage the person you’re talking with to talk about themselves.

The Mirror Technique

One helpful technique while networking at conferences is the Mirror Technique. With the Mirror Technique, you envision yourself as a¬†mirror¬†to the person with whom you’re speaking.

You want to keep an eye on the following elements and adjust your conversation to match them:

  • What’s the cadence of their speech?
  • How loudly do they talk?
  • What’s their body language?

By adjusting your behavior to mirror the person you’re talking to, they’ll feel more comfortable talking with you. The Mirror Technique is a technique that helps show that you’re sensitive to the emotional temperament of the person you’re talking to.

Learn To Listen

When the conversation starts, don’t interrupt them. Focus on giving the other person the floor to speak. Show empathy and understanding by nodding your head.

You want to ask questions that demonstrate that you’re interested in what they’re saying. You want to encourage the person you’re talking with to talk more about themselves.

During the conversation, talk in terms of the other person’s interests. Focus on their triumphs. Laugh at their jokes. And remember the other person’s name.

Remembering Their Name

Nothing is sweeter to someone’s ears than their own name. I am¬†terrible¬†at remembering people’s names. These are the few things you can do to help you better remember names:

  • When you first meet someone, say their name
  • In the first few seconds of the conversation, repeat their name to make sure you have it right
  • Throughout the conversation, use their name periodically
  • When you end the conversation, use their name

This way, throughout the conversation you’re forming a mental association between¬†The Person You’re Talking To¬†and¬†The Name Of The Person You’re Talking To.

Exiting A Conversation

Sometimes you want to exit a conversation. Maybe you want to talk to other people. Maybe you want to get a drink. Maybe you want to take 10-minutes to yourself to gather your energy.

Whatever the reason, there are a few elements you should keep in mind when exiting a conversation:

  • End on an invitation to continue the relationship¬†(“It’s been wonderful to talk to you. I’d love to continue this conversation. Do you have a card?”)
  • Be complimentary and establish a verbal agreement to meet again, even if it’s not business related¬†(“It was wonderful to talk to you about visiting and living in Japan. I’d love to meet up again soon and keep the conversation going. Do you have a card?”)

For making the actual exit, here’s a script courtesy of the wonderful book “Never Eat Alone.”

¬†“There are so many wonderful people here tonight; I’d feel remiss if I didn’t at least try to get to know a few more of them. Would you excuse me for a second? Before I go, I’d love to get your card so we can continue the conversation.”

How To Have A Conversation With A Speaker

Chances are, there will be a speaker or two that you want to talk with. Right after the talk, people mob up (well, 5-15 people) to the speaker to talk with them about their presentation.

That makes it hard to build a relationship. Here’s how to overcome that.

First, try and talk with speakers before they’ve given their presentation on the stage. After they’ve spoken, they’ll take on the aura of celebrity. You want to find them before they’ve gained celebrity status at the conference.

When you see the speaker during the day, walk up to them, wait your turn to speak, wish them luck, and hand them your business card and say you’d love to speak with them after their talk / later on in the day.

Here’s a script you can use, from “Never Eat Alone”:

¬†My name is {Name}. I know {Common Acquaintance} and they mentioned that you and I should talk, and I thought I’d just make the introduction myself. I know you’re busy, but I’m wondering if I can call your office and arrange a time to meet with you when we get back home?

If you miss out on talking to them before their talk, then you’ll want to start a relationship with them while taking up as little of their time as possible. When you see them, walk up to them, wait your turn to speak with them, and then just say:

“Your talk was wonderful. I’d love to email you a follow-up question after the conference. Do you have a card?”

Take their card. Give them one of your cards. Walk away and let the next person talk with them. Now you can follow up with the speaker after the conference.

How To Follow Up Effectively

After the conference, how do you follow up effectively with the people you’ve met? What I’ve found works best is this:

  • Collect business cards from everyone you meet that you want to follow up with
  • While you’re on your flight home, write up and send a follow-up email to people
  • Follow up. After that, follow up again. Then, follow up once more.

Don’t put off following up ‚ÄĒ or it might not get done at all. You want to¬†be intentional¬†about following up with people. Again,¬†the majority of value you receive at MicroConf will be from the relationships you build with your fellow attendees.

Everyone you talked with at MicroConf needs to get an email from you reminding them of your/their commitment to talk again.

Even if you didn’t get a chance to meet the speakers, send a note to them thanking them for their talk. They’ll appreciate it.

Here’s a short script you can copy, paste, and personalize for your initial post-event follow-up:

Hey {Name},

Wonderful to see you at MicroConf. Sending this as a quick follow-up email to keep our conversation going.

{Relevant question, topic, note, or resource}.

Excited that we met! Let’s stay in touch,

‚ÄĒ {Your Name}

Other Tips

  • When you see Rob or Mike¬†(the conference founders/organizers), thank them for planning and manifesting MicroConf
  • When you see Xander¬†(the event planner), thank him for making such an excellent event happen
  • Make friends with the person live blogging the conference. They’re doing a lot of work to make the event information and notes available to everyone
  • When you see one of the speakers at a party¬†‚ÄĒ if they aren’t engaged in a one-on-one conversation ‚ÄĒ approach them and tell them you really appreciated their talk

People You Should Meet

I’m biased. This is a list of my friends who are attending MicroConf. They’re all wonderful, amazing people ‚ÄĒ just like you ‚ÄĒ and the world will be better off if you met:

MicroConf: An Overview

The schedule for MicroConf is posted online. Here are the highlights.

MicroConf Event Schedule

April 3rd, Registration + Opening Reception

  • On-Site Registration¬†begins at 6:30 pm on April 3rd in “The View” at The Palms.
  • The Opening Reception¬†is from 7:30 pm – Midnight, also in The View at The Palms

Registration is where you pick up your attendee badge and check into the conference.

The Opening Reception is pretty awesome. You get to meet and network with your fellow attendees. Stories will be swapped. Drinks will be consumed.

Talks on the 4th start at 10:00 am, so you’re safe staying up late. If you’re asleep by Midnight, you can get 8 hours, wake up at 9 am, grab breakfast on-site at the¬†24/7 Cafe¬†or¬†Bistro Buffet, and make it to the first talk by 10 am.

April 4th, Conference Welcome, Talks, and Teamwork.com Reception

  • Registration¬†continues in the Grand Ballroom Foyer from 9am – Noon
  • The¬†Conference Welcome and Talks¬†take place in Grand Ballroom 456 from 10:00 am ¬†– ¬†5:40 pm
  • Lunch¬†is 90-minutes long, from 12:20 pm – 1:50 pm
  • The¬†Teamwork.com¬†Reception¬†takes place from 8 pm – Midnight in¬†The Moon at The Palms¬†(No food provided,¬†eat beforehand)

Everything starts at 10 am. The day is broken up like this:

  • 2 Speaker Talks (60-minutes each)
  • Lunch (90-minutes)
  • 2 Speaker Talks (60-minutes each)
  • Attendee Talks (Four 12-minute attendee talks)
  • Closing Talk (30-minute talk)
  • Evening Reception

April 5th, Talks and Closing Reception

  • Talks¬†take place in Grand Ballroom 456 from 10:00 am ¬†– ¬†5:20 pm
  • Lunch¬†is 120-minutes long, from Noon – 2:00 pm
  • The¬†Closing Reception¬†takes place from 8:00 pm – Midnight in¬†The Rain Nightclub at The Palms¬†(No food provided,¬†eat beforehand)

Everything starts at 10 am. The day is broken up like this:

  • 2 Speaker Talks (60-minutes each)
  • Lunch (90-minutes)
  • 1 Speaker Talks (60-minutes)
  • Attendee Talks (Four 12-minute attendee talks)
  • Evening Reception

April 6th, Workshops

If you registered for a MicroConf Wednesday Workshop, they take place from 9 am Р4 pm in The Rain at The Palms.

How The Talks Work

We’re at MicroConf to hear the amazing talks and meet amazing people. The talks are opportunities to learn new strategies, systems, and tactics that have helped other entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Minimizing Slack and Twitter

You’ll be tempted to follow the conference while at the conference on Slack and Twitter. This is good and bad. Slack and Twitter are great for following the conference back-channel ‚ÄĒ but you want to be careful that you aren’t ignoring the¬†conference itself¬†for the back-channel discussion.

Pop into Slack and Twitter on occasion to see if someone is sharing something particularly relevant. But don’t let it consume your attention at the cost of enjoying the speakers’ presentations.

Getting Copies Of The Slides

Most speakers will make their slides available after their talk, either including a link to download them as part of the call to action at the end of their talk or tweeting out a link after their talk.

If they don’t, emailing the speaker or tweeting at them and asking is a great way to start a conversation¬†(“Hey, I loved your talk!”)¬†and ask for a copy of the slides for reference.

Taking Notes

There’s a¬†ton¬†of actionable, relevant, valuable information in every talk. If you tried to take notes on everything, your fingers would cramp up. (Trust me,¬†I did it in 2015).

Your best bet for taking notes? A yellow legal pad or a moleskin notebook where you can jot down actionable points and relevant information. This will let you focus more on the speaker and less on the tweets, slack messages, and other distractions that pop up on your computer.

Live Bloggers¬†(aka the ‘MicroConf Scribe’)

Every year there’s a person who volunteers to be the MicroConf scribe. This person is the official live-blogger for the conference and their recap lives at¬†MicroconfRecap.com.

Don’t worry about taking notes on everything. You’ll have your notes, slides from the speakers, the live blogger’s notes, and the videos from the event.

Focus on absorbing the talks. Don’t think you’ll need to take notes on everything.

Conference Information

Here’s a bunch of conference information and resources that will help you if you’re attending.

Phone Numbers & Addresses

  • Taxi Phone Number:¬†702-888-4888
  • The Palms Address: Palms Casino Resort, 4321 West Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89103
  • The Palms Phone Number:¬†702.942.7777

Transportation From/To The Airport

When you land, you’ll want to find transportation to the conference. For 2016, the conference is taking place at the Palms. There’s no shuttle from The Palms to the Las Vegas Airport. You’ve got three options:

Uber

It’s $16-21 each-way for an uberX between the Airport and The Palms.

If you decide to use Uber (I recommend it), use my invite code, kaid14, and get a free ride up to $15. Redeem it at https://www.uber.com/invite/kaid14.

Fair warning: Uber/Lyft can be treated as a second class citizen by the hotels. Your pick up / drop off locations may not be close to the valet area

Bell Trans (Airport Shuttle)

Bell Trans operates a¬†Las Vegas Airport Shuttle¬†between the Airport and The Palms. It’s $9.50 for a one-way, $17 for a round-trip ticket.

Taxis

You can get a taxi through LVCabs 702-888-4888 for ~$10 one-way between the Airport and The Palms.

If you decide to go the Taxi route, my general advice is to call ahead to schedule the pick-up for the time that your flight is scheduled to land. That way, by the time you make it through deplaning, picking up your luggage, etc., the cab will have arrived seemingly on time.

The Limo

If you’re traveling with a group of friends, then it’s worth grabbing a limo. The cost breaks down to about the same ($5-15/trip). If you’re planning on a lot of travel as a group, grab the Driver’s card.

Transportation In Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a desert. If you walk outside, you will most likely perish. Your sun-bleached bones will serve as a reminder to future travelers to grab an Uber or Taxi.

When it comes to getting around, you’re looking at four options:

Walking

Not advised. Unless the distance you’re covering is¬†very¬†short, don’t plan on walking from place to place.

The hotels and casinos might look like they’re close, but they’re¬†pretty damn far¬†apart. It sucks to find yourself halfway between two wishing you had never decided to talk.

Walking to nearby (under 10-minute trip) destinations is¬†okay.¬†(’10-minute trip’ might mean ‘across the street’).

Uber

Just take an Uber. It’ll cost you between $5 and $15 to get to most destinations, less if you’re splitting an uber with friends.

Taxis

Ditto for taxis. Expect to be paying between $5 and $15 to get to most places.

The Limo

If you’re traveling with a group of friends (or frequently with a party of five or more), then it’s worth grabbing a limo.

  • The cost breaks down to about the same ($5-15/trip)
  • They don’t have a meter running
  • They’ll take you anywhere you want to go (casino, hotel, fast food, liquor store, etc.)

Recommended Restaurants

Steak

(“For the civilized yet serious carnivore”)

I love a good steak. And I love¬†Brand¬†in the Monte Carlo. It’s a good steakhouse, a 6 to 8-minute drive/Uber/taxi from The Palms.

Brand is a moderately pricey ($$$) steak house. It’s also really delicious.

Here’s the bone-in Ribeye that I had at Brand in 2015:

Yes, I loved that steak so much I kept a photo of it on my phone for an entire year just to share with you in this article. The steak was that good. Contemplate that.

Sushi

My friend Andy highly recommends Umiya Sushi:

  • Great sushi
  • Reasonable prices
  • Late hours
  • Basically across the¬†(albeit big) parking lot from the palms

And who doesn’t love sushi?

Umiya Sushi

 

A Fancy Restaurant

Raku¬†is a¬†highly rated¬†Japanese restaurant 1.1 miles from The Palms. It’s pricey ($$$) but with 4.5 stars and over 1,000 reviews on Yelp, I happily recommend it.

A Casual Restaurant

The¬†Earl of Sandwich¬†is an affordable, casual restaurant that’s a 1-minute walk from the palms¬†(part of the on-site complex, I believe).¬†They are also vegetarian-friendly.

A Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant

Jerusalem Grill Las Vegas¬†is a highly reviewed vegetarian friendly restaurant near The Palms. It’s not¬†explicitly vegetarian, but it is vegetarian friendly. (It is, however, kosher!)

A Super Market

There’s a Whole Foods a 9-minute drive away from The Palms

  • Address: 6689 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119 (Link to Map)

Preparing For MicroConf 2017

Thinking about attending MicroConf in 2017? Here are some things to think about:

Getting Your MicroConf Ticket

If you’re hoping to get a ticket to the 2017 MicroConf (or the 2016 MicroConf EU), here are a few tips:

Go sign up for the MicroConf Wait List right now why are you still reading this text go sign up right now. If you want a ticket to MicroConf, you want to be on the early bird list. The conference sells out before tickets become available to the general public.

This is the order that tickets are distributed:

  • Micropreneur Academy Members¬†get the first round of tickets
  • Previous attendees get the second round of tickets
  • People on the waiting list get the third round of tickets
  • The general public gets access to the fourth round of tickets

If you want to be assured of a ticket to MicroConf, then registering for the Micropreneur Academy is a smart investment. Otherwise, getting on the waiting list gives you a good chance to get a ticket.

Plus, there’s always a brisk trade in tickets before the conference. People buy and end up not being able to go. Check Twitter and the¬†#MicroConf Hashtag. People advertise tickets for sale there.

Sponsor Microconf. Sponsors get one (or more) tickets depending on the level of their sponsorship. If you want to attend MicroConf, but haven’t been able to lock down a ticket ‚ÄĒ and want to be guaranteed of one ‚ÄĒ then think about¬†sponsoring the conference. This is a wonderful way to support the event, get a ticket, and get your product/service/app in front of a few hundred potential customers.

Visiting Las Vegas

Where To Stay

Your best bet is to stay at the hotel that the conference is being hosted at (The Palms¬†for 2016). You can AirBnB it to have your own kitchen, but as someone who has attended a number of conferences and stayed on-site¬†and¬†off-site, you’re better off staying on-site for a conference:

  • You’ll run into more people at opportunistic times. Those late-night-conversations-over-a-drink opportunities happen more spontaneously when you’re staying on-site.
  • It’ll be easier to stumble back to your room.
  • You won’t have to budget lots of time in the morning to travel from where you’re staying to breakfast to the conference. Everything is on-site.

Doing Things In Las Vegas

If you’re in Vegas, it’s nice to make time to Do Vegas Things: see a show, spend time in a casino, sit around and drink with friends.

If you’re planning on taking advantage of anything that Vegas has to offer, I¬†highly¬†recommend scheduling a one or two day buffer before or after MicroConf.

You’ll want to spend your time at MicroConf doing MicroConf things. Stay an extra day and take advantage of what Vegas has to offer.

Arrival / Departure Times

I like having some decompression time before and after a conference. This year, MicroConf is April 3rd – 5th, so I’m flying to Las Vegas on April 1st and leaving in the afternoon April 6th. This gives me a few days (April 1st – 3rd) to explore Vegas and decompress and a day (April 6th) to get myself together before my flight out of town.

If you can afford it (time and budget wise), I recommend adding a day to the start or end of your trip. It’ll leave you less stressed than flying in on the first day of the conference (the 3rd) and out the last day of the conference (the 5th/6th).

Should You Go To MicroConf?

Should you go to MicroConf? I think MicroConf is a wonderful business investment. (I plan on attending the MicroConf for the foreseeable future).

If you’re looking to:

  • Gain actionable advice from your fellow bootstrappers, founders, and business owners‚Ķ
  • Hear experts talks about strategies and tactics that can cut¬†months¬†or¬†years¬†off of the growth of your business‚Ķ
  • Build relationships with colleagues and peers‚Ķ

Then I recommend you go.

That said, there are costs to going:

  • Travel expenses, like your ticket to MicroConf, your flight, and your hotel room
  • Opportunity costs, like the time you spend away from your office of your business

You need to weigh the two against each other.

You will get the most value out of MicroConf from the relationships you form with your fellow attendees.¬†The talks and presentations are wonderful, but the real value ‚ÄĒ your ‘Return On Investment’ ‚ÄĒ will come from talking to other people.

Spending three days surrounded by other smart entrepreneurs will have a positive effect on your business.

If you show up, apply yourself to building relationships, and focus on maintaining those relationships after the conference, MicroConf will more than pay for itself.

I hope to see you there.

‚ÄĒ Kai

1 From the always erudite Rands↩