FREQUENT TRAVELER UNIVERSITY REVIEW – WORTH IT OR NOT?

Well, many of you know that I recently attended the Frequent Travelers University conference in Los Angeles.  I thought I’d post about my thoughts and opinion on the event.

Overall the weekend was awesome!  I had so much fun and loved meeting all you readers that were there!  Thanks for being so friendly and introducing yourself.  It was nice to finally put a face to an email.  No amount of technology can replace how wonderful face to face connections are.  I had a great time with the group who joined me and went to Hermosa Beach (especially our Target run on the way home  :lol:.  I also enjoyed meeting many other bloggers I have read for years. It was a fun group of people and the energy was amazing!  One reader described it like what he imagined a conference would be with a bunch of Star Trekkies.  It was WAY COOL!!!!

ftu-conference1Me and some awesome readers (Ed & Annie) & one of my
featured writers, Dr. Cindy Maloney 

Anyway, the seminars were very well put together and there were plenty of session choices to attend.  The lunch was so so but hey it was included.  The free Starbucks card from Million Mile Secrets was the best.  Thanks Daraius!

There raffle prizes and fun sponsor giveaways were nice.  There were “secret tips” divulged  that all the conference attendees were sworn not to post online, blog about or share publicly in anyway.  Many of these tips though were things that most advance collectors know about already.  They were probably really valuable for newbies though.  There were seminars about credit card churning, award booking, credit card category bonuses, booking free stopover tickets, earning boat loads of miles/points in extremely creative and crazy ways(aka hiring individuals to earn the miles/points and then managing hundreds/thousands of accounts) and so much more.

ftu-conference2Hundreds of serious collectors taking notes and listening intently.

So, was it worth it or not?  Yes, in my opinion it was.  But for me it wasn’t in what I learned because I didn’t feel like I came away with a lot of new information.  I learned a few little tricks that I didn’t know before which was great but for the most part everything was not news to me.  For me the connections and the energy of being together with people who share this hobby and passion of travel was energizing and inspiring.  For a newbie, I would highly recommend attending an upcoming conference.  It would be well worth your money and time.  You will learn a lot and it’s also just plain fun hanging out with all these hard core points hounds for two days straight.

So if you haven’t check out a conference you should.  I spoke to Randy Petersen, owner of Milepoint and he said they might do next year’s west coast conference in San Francisco which would super fun!  I will definitely plan to attend and hope to meet some of you there.  If you live on the east coast, you can catch the next conference just in April just outside of Washington, D.C.  Here are the details below.


 

Frequent Traveler University

Date:  April 26 – 28, 2013

Get tickets here

CONFERENCE INFORMATION
Host Hotel:  
Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, VA
7920 Jones Branch Dr, Tysons Corner, VA 22102, USA
http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/M/MCLMHHH-FTU-20130426/index.jhtml
Room block is $89 per night

Speakers will be:

Gary Leff (gleff) and Ben Schlappig (lucky9876coins) will share their
experience booking hundreds of millions of miles worth of award tickets.

Million Mile Secrets will offer a solid introduction to those new (or always
looking to brush up!) on the hobby.

Steve Belkin (beaubo) has experience earning tens of millions of miles and
burning hundreds of millions. He’s hired New Zealand college students and
disabled Thai rice farmers to fly for him. He’ll show you how to take the
next big mileage deal and turn it to your LASTING advantage – without having
a run in with the DEA while you’re at it!

mommypoints Summer Hull is the mom to a travel loving toddler, and writes the blog Mommy Points.  Her focus is on helping families (and non-families) learn how to earn miles and points in their every day life, and then use those points for trips they never dreamed possible.   

Other highlights:

— The ONLY educational event that features The Godfather of Frequent Flyer Miles, Randy Petersen
— Milepoint sponsored welcome cocktails with Randy and the milepoint team
— The ONLY educational event where you can meet the loyalty program leaders and ask them questions

— Get a chance to win an invitation to the 25th Freddie Awards super gala hosted by USA Today world headquarters next to the host hotel

Preliminary program

Friday April 26th:

430PM registration opens 

630PM welcome cocktails sponsored by milepoint, hosted by Randy Petersen and the milepoint crew

Saturday April 27th

0800: registration opens

Complimentary coffee and tea available 

0900: Sessions start

12 noon: plated lunch

1PM afternoon sessions starts

Sunday April 28th

Complimentary coffee and tea available 

0900: Sessions start

12 noon: plated lunch

1PM afternoon sessions starts

 4PM program concludes

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