GETTING WORK: Local, Regional and National Events
Some freelancers are always wondering where the next contract is coming from.
Market smart freelancers are constantly looking ahead and making sure their marketing machine is working for them, far in advance.
There is a constant stream of local, regional and national events that freelancers can tap into. These events may be one-time occasions, or regularly scheduled annual occurrences. They all bear looking at for potential freelance work.
Living here in Vancouver, BC Canada, what immediately comes to mind is the 2010 Winter Olympics. Now I know that some of you are saying “2010! That’s a whole year from now.” In reality, it is only 12 short months from now. Think about the timetable and at what must, and will happen in that time.
**UPDATE: The Vancouver Olympics have come and gone … but the same concepts apply to the upcoming London Summer Olympics 2012.
The media will move into place in 2009, a full year in advance. The athletes’ village is in the process of being built. The event venues must be designed and constructed. Millions of dollars will be spent on planning an event that will have hundreds of thousands of visitors pouring into the city. Hundreds of new Olympic focused businesses will start up. This means tens of thousands of documents, illustrations and photographs. Hundreds of new websites. The work is now at a breakneck pace.
If you think further afield, you will realize that the Olympics is a world wide event, that happens to take place in Vancouver. Teams from each country will have their own infrastructure, their own information base. Magazines, newspapers in each country will run articles about the Olympics, and about Vancouver years in advance. How many different languages will be represented? If you are multi-lingual, the opportunities expand even more.
The Olympics is just one event, albeit a BIG worldwide event. Closer to home you will find dozens of other kinds of events that require the services of freelance writers, photographers, illustrators, website designers and programmers.
Locally you will find fundraiser events of all types and sizes. In cities and towns across North America, Europe and Australia hundreds of thousands of people participate in hundreds of walk/run/bicycle type fund-raisers. There are summer and winter festivals, multicultural awareness events, theater and performing arts events and film festivals, some of which take place over a period of weeks, not just hours or days!
Regionally, you will have the statewide or province-wide events. These could include birthday or anniversary celebrations. Governments often have large budgets for these celebrations and make sure that even the smallest communities are somehow included.
In North America, national events include celebrations such as the 1st (Canada) or 4th (US) of July and Labor Day. National observances include the upcoming Remembrance Day (Canada) or Veteran’s Day (US).
All of these events generate potential work for freelancers press releases (someone writes them), pamphlets, brochures, websites, articles. And yes, I know that some of this is done by volunteers! We’ll talk about YOU being one of the volunteers in Part Three of this series on Events.
Take a peek at this Remembrance Day site created by the Canadian Federal Government. Someone got paid to research and write the information. Someone got paid to write, design and create these WebPages.
And here’s a site developed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs http://www.appc1.va.gov/vetsday/
In order to tap into the freelance contracts generated by Events, you have to do your research months or even years in advance.
Here are some places to get started:
- the local chamber of commerce
- convention bureau
- city, regional and province/state tourism boards
- city, provincial and national government websites and publications (who develops, writes, designs these websites?)
- check historical records to find annual, semiannual events — the local newspapers (daily and weekly)
- press announcement lists or websites
- an Internet search using Google, or your favorite search engine
Just out of curiosity I decided to do a Google.com search on Vancouver events. Within less then 30 seconds, I found an up-to-date list of over a hundred Vancouver events that will take place within the next six months. Not all of them will have work for freelancers but some of them will!
Another source of event related work is though the various event coordinating companies. These companies are often hired to oversee, promote and run an event. Find out which companies operate in your area. Get to know them. Make working with them one of your goals, even if it takes years! The contracts and exposure you get will be well worth it!
Research is only the first step of many. Next you must tap into your network, contact, call and meet with your potential clients Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ and of course — get the business.
Developing business in the events marketplace can be very rewarding personally. Get on the team, tap into the synergy, and become part of something exciting and meaningful.
In the next segment on Getting Work, I will look at how to get work from “late breaking news” types of events.
The author, Melanie Rockett, is a Search Marketing Consultant who works with freelance writers and photographers who are struggling to attract more clients and increase revenues in their businesses.
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