What a day! After making my way to Chicago this morning, a working afternoon at the hotel, and then joining my creative contemporaries at the conference, I'm a bit tired! But let me tell you, the conference is going to be great. Actually, it already is!
Ilise Benun (Marketing Mentor) and Peleg Top (Top Design) gave an excellent opening presentation, "Secrets of a Successful Solopreneur." They spoke about several areas creative professionals must focus upon to maintain balance and ultimately achieve the freedom of choice freelancing can grant. The eight keys included: Client Relations, Marketing, Money Management, Business Policies, Time Management, Work/Life Balance, Creativity, and Collaboration. They highlighted some important points for each topic, whetting our appetites for several of the upcoming sessions.
After a brief break - Ilise and Peleg ran over, answering questions from the audience - Dyana Valentine took the stage to speak about Creative Collaboration. She led the audience through an exercise to help each person identify their own struggles and strengths, and then through collaboration, find ways of leveraging their own strengths to find solutions for the struggles. It was an interesting exercise, although there really wasn't enough time to complete the process, which was disappointing. I do believe some good connections began to form during the activity, however. This was a workshop topic with which I already felt a reasonable level of competence, considering the recent creation of circle•the•date. We've already got the "complimentary creatives can help each other" thing down! :-)
During the "Opening Happy Hour," attendees had the opportunity to mix and mingle. Peleg offered an activity (a Rainmaker classic), Two Truths and a Lie. Mine were: 1. I have traveld to 9 countries outside the U.S.; 2. I am working on my Masters of Music; 3. My favorite color is green. Know which one is my lie? Unfortunately, not many participated, but it was fun to strike up a few conversations with those who did.
I was pleasantly surprised by how far some people had traveled to be at the conference - I met folks from Seattle, Washington all the way to Massachusetts!
So, tomorrow kicks off with the breakfast roundtables, and then into a full day of sessions. More tomorrow!