Conferences are a great way to learn more in depth about a specific topic. Unfortunately, they can be expensive, but rest assured there are 6 ways to go to a conference for free or for a discounted rate.
In addition, a lot of conference speakers also speak at free events, and for tips on how they find them at free events please check out the article here.
A lot of conferences need volunteers and are willing to trade in volunteer hours for a free ticket. Reach out to the event organizer to see if there are volunteer opportunities.
Example: I recently attended TravelCon to learn more about travel blogging and only had to volunteer 8 hours to get a free ticket.
Savings: $300 (3 day general admission). When doing the math for each hour worked it was equivalent to $37.50 per hour. ($300/8 = $37.50)
2. Apply for Scholarships
In addition to volunteering, some conferences also offer scholarships to attend the conference.
Example: For the Create & Cultivate San Francisco conference, there is a scholarship application for round-trip travel, a one-night stay, and a ticket for you and a friend to attend the conference. The winner will also receive $5,000 to fund their business.
Savings: $350 (general admission) + $5,000 (potential funding)
3. Follow the Conference Hashtags for Giveaways on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Conferences usually have a hashtag and there are often giveaways for tickets and merchandise.
Example: I got 2 free tickets for PopSugar Play/Ground after entering multiple giveaways on Twitter and Instagram . I used the event’s hashtag #popsugarplayground to look for giveaways, and also won a BedGym resistance band.
Savings: $55 (single day admission)/ BedGym $79.99
4. Check Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for Promo Codes
Use Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as a search engine for promo codes. Type in the “conference’s name and promo code.” Depending on the website, sometimes you can “stack” and use multiple promo codes, which can lead to you going to the conference for free as well.
Example: For promo codes for the SF/Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show, you can type in “SF / Bay Area – Travel and Adventure Show Promo Code.” One of the first Google search results is this Slickdeals article “Free tickets to the 2018 SF Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show” that says to use promo code TZC18 for free tickets.
Savings: $15 (single day admission)
5. Follow the Conference, Speakers, and Sponsors on Social Media
Most conference speakers and sponsors want a high turnout and sometimes they offer either a free promo code or discounted promo code to attend the event. In addition, sometimes the conference offers early bird or last minute sales for tickets.
Example: For the New York Times Travel Show I was able to get a complimentary ticket by using Patricia Schultz’s (1000 Places to See Before You Die) promo code SCHULTZ. She made a Facebook event for the New York Times Travel Show with the promo code listed in the event listing for a free ticket.
Savings: $20 (single day admission)
6. Join Related Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are a great resource for finding like minded individuals, and sometimes people post promo codes and exclusive offers for events.
Example: I joined the Facebook Group WE NYC to learn about women entrepreneurship. One of the posts was about Manifest It LIVE, and I was lucky enough to receive a free ticket to learn about manifestation.
Savings: $275 (3 day general admission ticket)