09 Oct What I Want You To Know About MIC 2018
* This article is not sponsored in any way, shape or form. These are my thoughts and experiences about MIC 2018, an event I paid to attend.
No crap. There I was. At the Military Influencer Conference (MIC) 2018 rubbing elbows with some of the biggest Veteran, Milspouse and influencers in the country. And all I could think was how did I get here. It was humbling and inspirational at the same time. An amazing experience I will not soon forget!
It all went down two weeks ago in Orlando, FL. If you aren’t familiar with MIC, it’s the place to be for entrepreneurs in the military community. Active-duty Service members. Reserve. Milspouses. Guard and Veterans. Even the Coast Guard (just kidding coasties)! But MIC isn’t just a gathering of entrepreneurs. It’s for anyone who has a passion for the military.
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I’m writing this article because I want more Veterans, Service members, and spouses to attend next year. I’ve told everyone I know, they should come. Whether you’re on active duty and deciding what you want to be when you get out. Or a Milspouse that’s at their wit’s end trying to keep a job you love. Or if you’ve been out of the military for a while and just haven’t found you’re calling, you should come to MIC. If only to see the possibilities!
It’s like going to a family reunion and finding out a distant cousin started a successful brewery, or a line of coffee, or jewelry, or a service that’s changing fellow family member’s lives for the better. It makes you happy and inspired. And shows you all the things you can accomplish if you are brave enough to try. It’s powerful!
MIC 2018 was my second year attending. I’m excited that I can claim I’ve been to every MIC thus far. I’m a MIC OG (I hope they make me a t-shirt). Both years I purchased a VIP Ticket and both years I’ve been happy with that decision. If you can only afford a Basic Ticket, you’ll still have a great experience but if you can swing the VIP Ticket, I highly recommend it. The VIP Ticket gives you access to more sessions and networking opportunities.
Alright, here’s the highlight reel of my MIC 2018 experience.
The theme this year was, Build, Grown and Give Back. Each session for the conference was focused on at least one of those topics. There were so many good sessions to choose from. Freelancing, reputation building, launching digital products, storytelling, creating your brand. It was hard to pick. I wasn’t able to attend all the sessions I wanted too. But that is another reason to get the VIP Ticket so you have access to the recordings of each session!
I really enjoyed two-panel discussions. One with Kayla Roof and Kristen Smith, Launching and Monetizing Digital Products, How to Create Flexible Fulltime Income. The other was about freelance writing with Rebecca Alwine, Bianca Strzalkowski, T.T. Robinson, and Carla Olivo. I’m always a sucker for panel discussions at conferences because I like hearing different opinions. But also I like to hear what worked and didn’t work for different people. What I liked about these two sessions was that they were shedding light on the under and unemployment problems facing Milspouses and how to take matters into your own hands. Their showing Milspouses how to create their own PCS proof income!
I’d list them all off by name but I’m worried I will forget someone. The attendees and sponsors of this event really make the conference special. There was no shortage of great conversations, amazing sessions or meals that were all made better by the people there. It’s a meeting of military minds for sure. Everyone is welcoming, learning and mentoring at the same time. I enjoyed not only seeing old friends but also meet amazing new friends.
I was blown away by the amazing companies that are supporting the military community by sponsoring MIC. The presenting sponsor is USAA. There support for this conference is a key part of its success. Others sponsors that help make it happen are Comcast NBCUniversal, AETNA, Streetshares, MilitaryByOwner, and GOVX and many more. I love that all of these companies are coming together to lift up the military community in business. High fives to all the sponsors of MIC!
By far my favorite part of MIC18 was the LIVE Pitch Competition by StreetShares Foundation and Sam Adams. Three finalists for StreetShares’ Veteran Small Business Award came to MIC to give their pitch LIVE. Each finalist shared with us how and why their business would use the award if they won. They were competing for the 1st place award of $15,000, 2nd place $6,000 and 3rd place $4,000. After their presentations, the audience voted on the winners. It was a hard decision to make, they were all worthy of the award. The money would have been awesome alone but the winners also received 8 years of business coaching from executives at Sam Adams! There is amazing value in that.
The attendees, the military community and those that support them, make this conference a valuable experience for all that attend. I’ve already got my VIP Ticket for MIC 2019 in Washington, D.C. If you aren’t sure about coming, let me help you with the decision. Save up and COME! It’s an amazing environment for the military community. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year. Hope to see you there.