We are five women volunteering to put on the first ever Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs. This conference is dedicated to helping independent artists, designers and crafters achieve the dream of making a living doing what they love. CCE will take place from August 13th -15th in beautiful Seattle, WA, and can accommodate up to 300 attendees.
As creative professionals, we’ve been frustrated by how scattered educational resources are. In any given year we’ll sign up for an SBA class on bookkeeping, a tech conference for software and eCommerce, a design conference for technique and marketing, and a chamber of commerce membership for networking. Wouldn’t it make more sense to create one single place where we can all gather to learn, network, and support each other? After all, we fill out the same tax forms, employ the same scrappy promotional techniques and experience the same struggle to put a price tag on a labor of love.
At CCE, we’re offering our attendees:
- Workshop sessions like: “Guerilla Marketing For Your Small Business,” “Starting Your Own Brick and Mortar Shop or Gallery,” “Valuing Your Work and Getting Paid for it,” and “Improve Your Small Object Photography.“
- Inspiring and contextual talks, like: “Building Community with Your Art and Craft,” “The History of Creative Reuse,” and “It’s Not Just 9-5.”
- An “Unconference,” in which attendees get to create their own conference topics.
- Opportunities to network at daily roundtables, a picnic dinner and an evening happy hour.
Like most independent professionals, we’re following a DIY ethos in organizing this conference. We’ve already:
- Put together a fantastic schedule of expert speakers
- Constructed an informative web site
- Booked meeting spaces in the inspiring city of Seattle
- Promoted the event through partnerships and social networking outlets.
- Started working with local businesses to trade contributions of food and supplies for conference passes.
Though we hope to recoup some of our operating expenses through ticket sales, we need to cover a lot of costs up front. The meeting spaces alone cost over $5,000. We also want to be able to take care of our generous speakers by providing airfare, lodging and meals. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, we want to offer five scholarships to artists who really want to attend but can’t afford this trip this year.
If you’re a successful creative professional who would like to help an artist quit their day job, or you just believe in our mission and would like to help us make this an annual event, please pledge to support this conference. Need another reason to pledge? Consider these statistics from one of our community partners in Oakland, CA, The Present Group:
- More Americans identify their primary occupation as “artist” than as “lawyer,” “doctor,” “police officer,” or “farm worker.”
- The number of unemployed artists in comparison to all professional workers during an economic recession is 2 to 1.
For more detailed information about CCE, please visit our web site at http://www.creativeconferencewest.com.