See you in Tampa? How about Chicago?


I will be presenting at two frequent traveler conferences this fall in quick succession.  First will be Frequent Traveler University (FTU) in Tampa, September 27-29.  Next will be the Chicago Seminars, October 11-13.  Will I see you at either one? 

While these conferences are run by different people, they tend to be pretty similar.  In both cases, newcomers to the hobby learn many valuable tips and make friends who share their interests.  Those who’ve been to these conferences before get a chance to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones as well.  I’ve always had a great time at both of these conferences, and I’ve always learned a lot: sometimes from presenters and always from people I meet.

This will be my second time presenting at the Chicago Seminars and the third time presenting at FTU.  In the past, I’ve never presented the same materials twice.  Partly that’s because the game changes so quickly that my slide decks are often out of date within weeks of a presentation.  Mostly, though, it is because I want to keep my presentations fresh, and I try hard to improve them each time.  This time might be different, though, since the conferences are only two weeks apart and I plan to tell the Million Mile Madness story at each venue.

The goals of my presentations are to educate, to entertain, and to make you think.  If you’re new to my blog, you’ll hopefully learn a lot.  If you’re a long time daily reader, you’ll hopefully find the presentations both entertaining and thought provoking.

At FTU Tampa, my speaking schedule is as follows:

Saturday 2:45 to 4:00 PM: Beyond 5X Everywhere: Earning More Points & Miles Than You Ever Dreamed Possible

Sunday 10:30 to 11:45 AM: Million Mile Madness: The Story Behind the Attempt to Earn 1 Million Miles in 1 Month

At the Chicago Seminars, my schedule is:

Saturday 10:15 to Noon: Likely topic: Million Mile Madness: The Story Behind the Attempt to Earn 1 Million Miles in 1 Month

The full FTU schedule can be found here and the full Chicago Seminars schedule can be found here

Reader / Attendee Recommendations

Have you attended any of my previous presentations?  If so, what did you like and / or not like?  What should I do differently or better?  Did you learn much?  Were you entertained?  Was the presentation thought provoking?  Do you plan to see me talk again in the future?  Please comment below.

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Victor: As Grant said, at FTU you can simply pick which session to go to each time, but you do need to register for the conference overall. Actually, even at the Chicago Seminars you can go to another talk than the one you registered for if you want to.


@Victor, you don’t register for sessions at FTU, you just go to whatever session you want. Seating is limited at some sessions, so go early to make sure you get a seat.


For FTU do we register for the sessions online (like to process for Chicago) or when we get to Tampa?


I’m going to the one in Tampa! I’m so excited and nervous! I’ve seen how mean and impatient some followers can get with newbies like myself! Hopefully they won’t chew me up and spit me back out! Can’t wait!!!


Toni: I think you’ll find that people are much nicer in person. You’ll have a great time. See you there!


FM-Tomorrow (Sunday) at CVS if you buy a $100 GC for any store (JC Penney, Kohls, etc), you will received $15 CVS Bucks. However, he said it was only 1 offer per account (you can’t get one per day). Can’t wait to test it out and see if it’s true.


I will be at the chicago seminars. I’d really really much rather hear your “beyond 5x everywhere” presentation. Million Mile March was novel and fun and all…but it’s not really realistic for most of us. 5x everywhere IS and I think would be much more useful to most attendees. Any chance you’d consider presenting that one in chicago instead?

Love the blog! Read it every day!


Joshua: I’m pretty well committed to doing Million Mile Madness, but if Rick wants to allocate multiple spots for me, then I would happily do both.
JustSaying: The one day session idea sounds like fun! I’m definitely open to doing something like that.
Lively: Thanks!


See you in Chicago…


What I’d love to see you do is have a one day session with just you doing a brain dump to a small group of no more than twenty attendees…….Maybe in San Francisco so you could have a nice mini vacation in the process. Obviously, the twenty would pay more than the FFU fee…….sorta like going from in state state tuition to out of state private tuition but I do believe there are 20 of us who would be all in for this……..and I would call it “frequent flyer makeover” where you surveyed the 20 for what they are presently doing and then you structure your presentation as a makeover for the group so everyone leaves with it turned up a notch……..but not the shotgunning of FTU but a very targeted makeover!

Ryan H.

I’m booked to Chicago, so I hopefully will see you there!


I learned a lot from McLean but also a lot was reinforcement of my knowledge gained on the daily blogs……….was really disappointed that with all the blogger buzz on Vanilla that I did not find one presentation detailing which? Vanilla is good and which one is a brick………..and I also thought the award booking sessions were extremely elementary so I got 3-4 nuances of award booking knowledge but more bravado than anything else which was not helpful……….Your sessions were delightful and I totally agree you should change it all up……..but nothing on the agenda motivates me to want to return this soon after the McLean trip………now if you come to the west coast that’s a different story………


I would love to hear a talk comparing all the prepaid products out there like Bluebird, AccountNow, GoBank, MVD etc. So much of the ability to manufacture large amounts of spend depends on the use of these products.


Smitty06: Thanks for the suggestion!
JustSaying: Thanks, I’m sure I’ll be back to the west coast soon enough
Joe: See you there!


For anyone who has never been to a FTU event, Greg’s presentations are not to be missed. Both funny and informative, educational and entertaining. There are still 2 months before FTU Tampa starts, who knows what crazy things will happen between then and now. Any chance for a FM get-together at either event?


Grant: I’ll think about organizing some kind of FM get together

Heather Miller

@Ron – happy to dispel this notion, we’ve been doing two FTUs a year and 6 months after the last one would have been end of October, just as close to the event in Chicago.

But the specific date picked had to do with my availability. Tommy Danielsen wanted to do it about a month earlier, but I can’t make that work because of an end of August fiscal year at work and then the timing of my annual Board of Directors meeting.

Nothing against Rick at all, and you’ll notice that my award booking partner Steve Belkin (beaubo) is even on the schedule for Chicago.

Lots of events for frequent flyers, often times one weekend is convenient for some folks but not others, and from the way things appear to be shaping up for both events all good for everyone.


Can you comment on why the Tampa one was scheduled when it was? My perception is this group tried to undercut Rick’s. I don’t have a dog in the hunt but from the outside looking in it seemed like a sorry move. I hope I’m wrong.


@Gary “FTU Advanced” — That would be interesting!

Heather Miller

@Marc Scott – no contract has been signed but there is talk of “FTU Advanced” in December, stay tuned.

Katie @ Mile Bucket

I saw you last year in Chicago and you were fantastic! I learned a lot from you and only wish 5x had changed so fast after that. It was the first time I had really heard of your blog and have become a loyal reader since. With your MMM talk, please go into as much detail as you care to share about purchasing/selling. It is an area I hope to break into next year when I do a career change. 🙂


Katie @ Mile Bucket: Thanks!
Gary: Thanks for sharing info about the December event and the planning for Tampa

Marc Scott

I understand that there is a meeting set for Los Angeles in November. Do you have any information on that?

Marshall Jackson

Looking forward to seeing you at both!


I’ll be at Chicago Seminars and am looking forward to hearing more about how you made MMM work.



Was at the last FTU, thought your presentation was very interesting, partially because I haven’t really dabbled in the Citi Thank-you points. Recommendation for FTU-Tampa although not specific to your slots, but, I think it would be interesting if you and Hans Mast did a joint presentation on utilizing shopping portals / FBA. It’d be interesting that given he does that sort’ve thing full time and you’ve wrote about how you’ve “dabbled” in it when there are great deals.


Trevor: Thanks, that’s a good idea. I would be happy to do a presentation with Hans
Jamie: See you there!
Marshall Jackson: Same here!