Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Since being in business together, Jenny and I have been able to travel and attend four different creative conferences. These have ranged from massive conferences like HOW Design to smaller, more intimate settings like The Makers Summit or Blogshop Video. I use the word "conference" loosely, because I'm also counting more intimate settings like workshops. We also have plans to attend three additional conferences this year, including the one we are flying to tomorrow, ALT Summit. :)

When starting our business, we realized that we didn't have a lot of overhead costs. We didn't need to rent out a studio, we had the equipment we needed and being graphic designers and bloggers doesn't incur very many costs, so we needed to develop a good game plan for our business budget that would be a good investment. The first conference we attended together was when Maiedae was VERY young and we were still working full-time with separate jobs. We got an opportunity to attend HOW in Chicago and went for it. HOW is a huge conference. There are thousands of people there and tons of vendors. It was a little overwhelming, but we loved the travel time and loved the experience. Since going full time, we've put more of our business finances towards attending "conferences" and have already been to a couple this year. The more we go, the more we realize the benefits of attending creative events. Now we make it a point to plan conferences throughout the year to attend and purposefully budget for them. Here are a couple of my favorite benefits for attending creative events:

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1// Travel Time - I've never been the type of person to like a job that keeps me traveling every week. I LOVE being home and being with my husband. BUT I do love me some travel time! At this time, Maiedae hasn't really required us to travel, most of what we do currently can be done from anywhere with good Wifi. Being able to make travel plans with Jenny a couple times a year is the best. We have loved getting to see new places and being travel buddies together. We've made it a point to have an annual retreat for Maiedae and attend 2-4 conferences each year. This is just enough travel time that it isn't too crazy and thoroughly enjoyable. I also LOVE staying in hotels or rentals...like a lot!

2// People - Probably one of the biggest reasons we decided to regularly attend events throughout the year was to meet people. Through just the small amount of events we've attended, we've been able to meet people to collaborate on huge projects with, work for us on our team, make lifelong friends, develop creative connections, find clients, and be incredibly inspired by individuals who are making things happen in their lives. The caliber of people you meet at these types of events is incredible. Jenny and I always walk away overwhelmed and thrilled by the people we meet. I dare say that developing a successful business and brand has networking at its backbone. And with all of the social media we have, it's easy to stay connected to the new people you meet.

3// Learning - So not only do you get to travel and meet AMAZING people, but you also get to learn and be inspired! Conferences and workshops are the perfect place for amping up your "ideation" and soaking in lots of learning. I always leave with a notebook full of ideas and a fire under my behind in the creative department.

4// Growth - Through the combination of networking and learning, we've found that it has greatly helped our business grow. Many of the people who helped with and attended The Maiedae Mixer were people we met networking at events. A lot of new faces have later become clients of ours. Finding people to collaborate on projects with and make connections with has really enabled us to take things even further in our business and grow. This community of creatives is so supportive, encouraging and excited to be part of something. Putting yourself out there is a major step toward growing yourself as a brand and business.

So, the next obvious question is what conferences should you decide to attend? To be honest, we often hear about amazing conferences AFTER they've already happened. But we are sure to make note of them and keep an eye on registration for the following year. We also take a look at what conferences other creative women in our field are attending. There are so many amazing things out there that you're sure to find some that apply to you and fit your budget. Here is a list of a couple of our favorites, some we've attended, and some we hope to attend soon!

* ALT Summit (SLC, NY & SF)
* Texas Style Council
* The Makers Summit
* Blogshop & Blogshop Video - Workshops
* Influence Conference
* Circles Conference
* Camp Mighty

What are your thoughts on attending conferences and workshops? What are some of your favorites?

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