2014 was the second time at CFBC/HOW Design Live, we put on the “Freelancer Showcase + Matchmaking Happy Hour,” a networking event designed to bring together attendees from all 5 events at HOW Design Live — to mix and mingle and ideally find a way to work together — since CFBC (especially) is all about growing your business.
Last year, this generated projects that paid for the conference itself (and more) for several attendees of the Freelancer conference — and those are only the ones I heard about.
Already this year — only 2 weeks after the event, Tiffany Estes of Whole Brain Creative is being flown across the country for 2 days of strategy sessions with a new client (an attendee of the In-HOWse Managers Conference) who has a project their in-house team doesn’t have time to handle. Here’s what she wrote me about it…..
In-person networking has always been a challenge for me, but the format of the Showcase + Matchmaking session makes it far less intimidating. I did it last year, and gained a new client and some good contacts for my e-marketing efforts. This year is shaping up to be a success as well. During the Matchmaking session in Boston a couple of weeks ago, an in-house manager approached my table, saw my text-heavy work samples and said, “I’m not going to read all of this right now, so just tell me what you do.” I noticed from his badge that he works in an industry that is one of my areas of focus, so I zeroed in on that, and we talked for a few minutes.
Within the next couple of days, I emailed him as he suggested, and also connected on LinkedIn. After the conference, I allowed him some time to settle back into the office, and then reached out via email once more to remind him of our conversation, and the fact that he mentioned he might have some work that requires outside assistance. A couple of days and a phone call later, I am booked for a cross-country trip to visit his office and meet his team for a 2-day strategy session!
One of my goals is to cultivate a business that is truly “geographically independent”—meaning that all of my clients are not local or regional in comparison to my own location. Meeting prospective clients at CFBC/HOW Design Live has been a comfortable and effective way for me to start making that goal a reality.
Anyone else already getting work and/or having promising communications with prospects thanks to the conference or the Showcase?