In October 2019 a small team of freelancers held a five-day event with 70+ speakers and 200+ attendees with the help of 20+ volunteers and 25 sponsors across 16 venues. In this article I will tell you about what we did, and then in subsequent posts I’ll share the details of how we did it and our plans for next year.
Freelance Business Week is the brainchild of Emily Leach, founder of #FREECON in Austin, Texas (coming to Denver next September) and the Texas Freelancer Association. In early 2019 we connected because I was building a freelance association in Denver called Better Together. She was taking Freelance Business Week national and invited me to bring it to Denver. Never having put on any event like this, I mustered my naiveté and went for it.
Better Together already had a community forming around monthly events so it was the perfect vehicle to do something like this. I was able to put together a team and we set to work. Over the next five months, I and five amazing core team members, with the help of the Denver freelancing community, put on an awesome event.
We had an open call for sessions and boy, did Denver deliver. We had nearly 100 applications for a diverse range of topics. Here’s just a sampling:
- Processes Will Save Your Sanity – Lindsey Anderson
- Marketing, Branding and Creating for a More Inclusive Future – Niki Robins
- The Hybrid Retainer: How to Escape the Cycle of Feast & Famine – Rob Howard
- Taking a Leap: Analog and Digital Nomad – Jessica Moore
- No More FEARlancing: How to Create a More Sustainable and Successful Freelance Career – Julie Withrow
- The Freelancer SEO Checklist – Niki Mosier
- Reclaiming Purpose: How a Spiritual Lens Can Help Your Organization Be More Efficient, Effective, and Holistically Grow – Dylan Doyle-Burke
- Assume the Position: How YOUR Personality Makes Brand Positioning a No-Brainer – Jessica Manuszak
We hosted our sessions across a number of fantastic venues and coworking spaces in Denver.
The real joy of the whole event was the people. There were 23 volunteers (thank you), the speakers, and ticket holders, all coming together to make a fantastic week. Denver truly has an amazing community ready to support each other. The quality of folks who showed up was one of our most commented-on pieces of feedback:
“I met so many great like-minded people and the talks were perfect!”
“LOVED the conference! Great energy, great community…delicious snacks!”
“I could gush foreverrrrrrr about how much I loved the week (like how I’ve since raised my prices because of the great speaker presentations).”
Okay, that last one wasn’t about the people, but you know that someone who throws on that many r’s has got to be pretty fun to be around. (They are, btw.)
Over the week we covered a lot of ground in both location and topics. I’m excited to see what happens next year. You can read more about how we actually pulled this thing off here and if you are interested in learning more about what comes next, check out this post.
If you are interested in speaking, sponsoring, or being a core organizer, please reach out to email@example.com.