I learned a lot when I hosted my first-ever conference.
Unlike a lot of the work I do nowadays (like creating educational content, getting clients, being interviewed on podcasts, and so on), this was something that definitely took me out of my comfort zone. While I hosted a number of events for my agency, mostly with the intent of generating sales leads, I never hosted a huge conference.
But I did it. And based on the 60 or so surveys I received back, attendees gave it an average 4.8/5 star rating — yay!
In this article, I’m not going to comb over every talk and summarize what was covered. Plenty of other reviews and summaries, which I’ve listed at the bottom, have already done that. Rather, I’m going to share both what I’ve learned and confirmed after spending a few days surrounded by 120 of some of the most business-minded freelancers, consultants, and agency owners around.
Over the years, I’ve been to a number of conferences. Most of them were technical and were attended by a mix of employees, employers, and freelancers. If anything related to freelancing or consulting, it was during a periphery talk rather than a keynote.
When planning the Double Your Freelancing Conference, I wanted it to be technology agnostic. Whether you’re a Ruby developer, a designer of logos, a freelance blogger, or whatever else, you’d get something out of each talk. And since the focus was entirely on the business behind our crafts, I opened by letting people know that it was safe to unplug from their clients and their projects.
So we kicked off a two-day spa retreat for businesses. And here’s what I learned…