I think it’s safe to say 2020 has been the year of exceptions for everyone. Every routine we’ve had has been tossed upside-down and nothing is “business as usual.” For many freelancers, COVID-19 meant too many learning opportunities, conferences, or events were put on hold. For in-person conferences, you would have been hard-pressed to find 8 or 9 events for freelancers in 2020.
Finally, there are reasons to be optimistic about getting past this pandemic in 2021. I, for one, can’t wait to get back on top of hitting up great events, enhancing my skills, and soaking up knowledge.
If you’re on the same page, start planning now with these amazing 2021 events heading our way.
1. The Freelance Conference
Lovingly called FreeCon for short, The Freelancers Conference is a “for freelancers, by freelancers” event. This conference focuses on helping you build your freelancing business. It’s especially helpful for newcomers but we can all learn a thing or two.
Since 2014, FreeCon has been a place to learn tricks of the freelance trade for managing your budding business. It’s a place for connecting with other freelancers too who understand your journey. This three-day conference is slated for September 2021 in Denver.
2. Monthly SPARK Meetups
You’ve probably heard of the Freelancers Union, but chances are that you don’t know all it has to offer. One of its top perks is SPARK.
SPARK is the union’s monthly educational series. These in-person meetups happen across the country from Los Angeles to New York (except during pandemics). Thanks to COVID-19, SPARK meetups are now virtual, though we expect them to return in person sometime during 2021.
SPARK events are both educational and social. You network with other local freelancers while learning ways to build up your business. Topics change month by month, so keep watching the schedule for ongoing updates.
3. Creative at Heart
Not all but many freelancers are in creative fields: writing, illustration, graphic design, photography, videography, and so on. Building creative businesses presents its own challenges, and that’s why “Creative at Heart” began.
The conference is all about helping creatives enhance their businesses, their skills, and their success. Unsurprisingly, 2020’s chaos got in the way this year. Creative at Heart has already announced its return in 2021, though the dates and location are outstanding. Keep watch for those details because you don’t want to miss this conference.
4. SXSW or SXSW Online
South by Southwest has long been one of the most successful, well-attended conferences in the country. Its topics span technology, art, culture, and more. Essentially, it’s your crash course in the latest trends.
For freelancers, it’s a spectacular conference in multiple ways. First, it gives you an edge over competitors by updating you on upcoming trends and tools. Second, with such an accomplished crowd in attendance, it’s prime networking for any industry.
While an in-person SXSW is still in limbo, SXSW Online is a go. It’s slated for March 2021 so get all the essential details and start getting psyched now!
5. World Domination Summit
Freelancers want to do more than get through daily life. We want to thrive. That’s the idea behind the World Domination Summit. It’s the conference that asks, “How can we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?”
The summit features sessions about growing your skills and ambitions so you can outperform yourself day by day. Hear successful people tell their inspirational stories, discover new strategies for growth, and of course, network with people from around the world.
WDS postponed their 2020 session due to COVID-19, announcing that they’ll return in summer 2021. While no exact dates exist yet, it’s worth checking up on.
6. Unmasked by Circles Conference
While many conferences are geared toward various types of freelancers and entrepreneurs, this one is for creatives in particular. Circles Conferences is a gathering of creatives from all fields and industries. It aims to help these professionals connect while enhancing their skills and developing their businesses.
Unmasked is the theme for 2021’s Circles Conference. It’s all about storytelling, focused on inspiration and innovation for creatives. The event is scheduled for September 2021 in Richardson, Texas.
Getting the Tools for Success
Freelancing success takes more than working hard and being great at what you do. It takes strategic development too. Events and conferences like these are perfect for upping your game, building a supportive network, and rocking it as a one-person business. Add these events to your to-do list now to start down that path.
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