About Darcylea Design

Friday, July 17, 2009

HOW Design Conference 2009: Networking

First and foremost, I have to say that one of the most awesome and powerful experiences that you will gain from attending conferences such as HOW Design Conference are the networking opportunities. The conference provides networking opportunities such as the Networking Lunch (great for new conference attendees) and a Networking Kickoff that takes place before the conference officially begins. It allows people to meet and mingle with others, share information, experiences, contact information, etc. It’s also a great way to make new designer friends to hook up with and attend sessions, make lunch dates, shopping excursions, site-seeing and not to mention fun after-conference events that you wouldn’t experience otherwise. At the end of the conference, not only do you get to go home with a giant stack of cool designer business cards and names and numbers loaded into your phone (and not to mention all the twitter follows), but you also go home knowing that you made some great friends who are also going to understand and support you on the business end as well. And personally, I can attest to this- I met a gal at last year’s conference in Boston and from there we were able to form a friendship and collaborate on a project that actually paid my way to this year’s conference. So right there is proof that networking at conference can be very beneficial!

(Photo courtesy of Kelly Parke)

I also have to throw out this little toot for the HOW forums- When I decided to attend my first conference, considering that I didn’t know anyone that would be there, I decided to venture into the conference forum-land. And I have to say that it was one of the best things I ever did, especially where networking is concerned. The forums provided some familiar names to meet up with at conference. I was able to not only meet some of these online buddies but I also found a roommate that year (which substantially helped save $$$!) Plus, it also gave me so many opportunities to join in on fun events that took place outside the conference. And many of these people that I have met on the forums, I consider good friends to this very day. More than that, I’d even say they could be considered family, in a sense. As my friend and fellow HOWie, Patti, would say, “I LOVE MAH HOWies!” And honestly, if I couldn’t find a way to afford going to the conference itself, I’d try hard to come up with the money so I could see my HOWie friends. They’re THAT awesome!

(Photo courtesy of Kelly Parke)

(Photo courtesy of Kelly Parke)

(And I can't resist posting a pic of Donovan w/ my super cool hula hoop!)

So next time you are at a conference, whether it be HOW or AIGA or MacWorld or whatever, make sure you get out there and meet people!

Next topic: Sessions

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