May 8, 2015

10-Minute Marketing: research a conference to attend

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 4:14 pm

1`0-minute marketing: research a conference to attendI just got back to my studio after spending the week attending the HOW Design Conference in Chicago. I’m feeling a combination of exhaustion and exhilaration. It was an amazing experience that allowed me to learn small business skills, network with like-minded people, get creative inspiration—and even brush up on my public speaking skills (I introduced a speaker’s session and hosted a breakfast roundtable).

I try to attend the HOW Design Conference whenever it’s in Chicago, as I never fail to return to my studio with a notebook filled with ideas, job leads, and lots of new friends.

There are two types of conference to attend: 1) one with like-minded individuals in your industry (as I did), or 2) one that your prospects will be attending. I believe both are valuable and should be included in your marketing budget.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Research a conference to attend.

Need help preparing for your conference? Read my post How to Design Your Perfect Conference Experience.

And stay tuned for “what I learned” post about the HOW Design experience next week…

10-Minute Marketing is a weekly series featuring short, easy-to-accomplish marketing tasks. Follow along with past posts here.

July 11, 2011

Business cards going away? I don’t think so!

Filed under: Networking,Small Business — Tags: , , — lidia @ 11:13 am

A recent New York Times article spoke about how, in some circles, the business card is becoming a “relic.” [insert collective gasp from graphic designers everywhere]

My graphic designer-based opinions aside, I host networking events in Chicago and there is never a shortage of business cards being exchanged.

At the recent HOW Design Conference in Chicago, I saw business cards—from attendees and vendors alike—in myriad shapes and sizes, some using interesting formats or folds.

I understand the article’s point of view that in certain environments—such as tech conventions—people are exchanging contacts using technology (i.e. twitter handles or barcodes). But eventually those businesses will need to make themselves stand out or be memorable. And in a crowded marketplace, a well-designed business card can help your business stand out.

Business cards also keep you top-of-mind with the recipient. Many times, I keep a business card on my desk as a visual reminder to follow-up with someone. Can this be done with an electronic contact?

So yes, I think business cards will be stickin’ around.

Read my tips for making your business card more effective

What are your thoughts on the business card? Here to stay or going away?

July 1, 2011

Thinking of going to a conference? Do it!

Filed under: Networking,Small Business — Tags: , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

Scenes from the HOW Design Conference in Chicago

Have you been thinking of attending an industry conference?

What’s stopping you? The cost, travel details, taking time off work? It can all be overwhelming. I know, I’ve been there.

Well, I’m here now to tell you: do it!

Having attended my first HOW Design Conference in Chicago just one week ago, I’m now saying top myself: “what took you so long?”

Here are a few of the post-conference perks I’ve enjoyed:

  • Returning to the office more excited about work
  • Ideas and inspiration to apply to projects I’m currently working on
  • Sketchbook full of ideas—for client and in-house projects, as well as growing my business
  • New creative vendor resources (plus special discounts and perks!)
  • Network of creative people to brainstorm with—and keep me on track with my goals
  • Renewed feeling of how much I love my job

The benefits were well-worth the cost of the conference—and I realized what an important investment in my business it was. And now I’m hooked…I’m already planning for the next conference!

So if you’re on the fence about going to a conference, I urge you to do it. Of course, it’s important to find one that’s right for you. But after you do your research, take the plunge—even if it means saving up the cash or rearranging your schedule.

Read my tips on designing the perfect conference experience.

Have you attended a conference and experienced a “post-conference high”? Or did you have the opposite reaction? Leave a comment!

July 28, 2010

Where, oh where, to network in Chicago?

Filed under: Local (Chicago),Networking — Tags: , , — lidia @ 2:31 pm

As I recently received a request from someone seeking Chicago networking events, I thought I would post a list of networking calendars that I’ve bookmarked.

Chicago networking calendars

And of course, I must mention Neighborhood Networking in Chicago, the monthly networking event that I co-host with my friend and fellow small biz owner, Elizabeth Lulu Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals.

Know of other Chicago networking calendars? Share the URL in the comments section.

January 14, 2010

Who me, network?

Filed under: Networking — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 8:00 am

That’s what I might have said years ago too. Many business owners avoid networking events for lots of reasons: there are too many people, I feel intimidated, I won’t make useful connections, I’m shy, the food will be lousy.

We—that is, myself and Elizabeth Lulu Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals—started Neighborhood Networking last year with these fears and concerns in mind. We envisioned an event that would be approachable and friendly, yet provide valuable networking opportunities. We also wanted to incorporate our values of supporting and promoting local businesses and communities. And we have been thrilled with the result! We have watched business connections being made, new clients found, and even friendships form as a result of our local networking events.

Now we invite you to join us! We will be heading to the West Loop, along with our co-host BBR Chicago (Business by Referral), on Tuesday, January 26th to kick off our first Neighborhood Networking event of 2010.

Stop by Plush Restaurant & Lounge (1104 W. Madison, Chicago IL) from 5:30-8:00 pm and mix and mingle with other businesses— as well as sample great appetizers from this local favorite. As usual, we’ll also have great raffle prizes from local businesses and our other generous raffle donors. Buy tickets in advance here.

We hope to inspire you to achieve your goals of doing more networking this year!

October 22, 2009

Neighborhood Networking in November

Filed under: Local (Chicago),Networking — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 1:46 pm

neighborhood-networking-logo-no-tagNeighborhood Networking is thrilled to be a part of the 7th Annual Networking Extravaganza, hosted by the Lincoln Park Business Development Institute.

Join us at Goose Island BrewPub on Thursday, November 12th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and network with Neighborhood Networking—as well as 10+ other local chambers and networking groups. RSVP and pay in advance here.

* * *

Neighborhood Networking is organized by Lidia Varesco Design and Elizabeth (Lulu) Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals.
Follow us on Twitter #NeighborhoodNetworking for the latest info!

September 16, 2009

Networking with your neighbors tonight!

Filed under: Networking — Tags: , — lidia @ 8:00 am

Join myself and my co-host Elizabeth (Lulu) Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals for Neighborhood Networking TONIGHT! Meet and mingle with fellow businesses and sample appetizers from Chief O’Neill’s. This month, we have again partnered with Business by Referral (BBR) to bring you twice the networking fun. (Yes, you can have fun networking!)

The event takes place at Chief O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant (3471 N Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60618) from 5:30-8:00 pm.

Register in advance until 2 pm today or pay $12 at the door.

Hosted by Lidia Varesco Design and Elizabeth (Lulu) Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals

September 9, 2009

Neighborhood Networking in Avondale next week

Filed under: Networking — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 4:07 pm

neighborhood-networking-logo-no-tagNeighborhood Networking is ambling to Avondale next week!

Join us, along with our co-host Business by Referral (BBR) to meet and mingle with fellow businesses after work, as well as sample appetizers from Chief O’Neill’s. As an added bonus: there’s lots of free street parking nearby!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 from 5:30-8:00 pm at Chief O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant (3471 N Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60618)

Register in advance online for $10 (or pay $12 at the door, please RSVP in advance).

Hosted by Lidia Varesco Design and Elizabeth (Lulu) Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals

August 3, 2009

On the (networking) road again…

Filed under: Local (Chicago),Networking — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 11:01 pm

Save the date… again! Neighborhood Networking is advancing to Avondale in September. Join us at Chief O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant on Wednesday, September 16th from 5:30-8:00 pm. Connect with other businesses, as well as sample appetizers from the charming Irish pub. Great raffle prizes from local businesses too!

Register in advance online for $10 (or pay $12 at the door).

Can’t make it to Chief O’Neill’s? Join us at The Village Tap on Wednsday, August 19th!

Neighborhood Networking is brought to you by Lidia Varesco Design and Elizabeth Lulu Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals.

July 26, 2009

Save the date: Neighborhood Networking on Aug. 19th

Filed under: Local (Chicago),Networking — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 5:56 pm

neighborhood-networking-logo-no-tagSave the date! Neighborhood Networking is heading to Roscoe Village! Join us at one of my favorite Roscoe Village spots The Village Tap on Wednesday, August 19th from 5:30-8:00 pm. Connect with other businesses, as well as sample appetizers from the Tap. Great raffle prizes from local businesses too!

Register in advance online for $10 (or pay $12 at the door).

Neighborhood Networking is brought to you by Lidia Varesco Design and Elizabeth Lulu Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals.

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