Meeting Topics

Not surprisingly, CICers and lone writers (LWers) differed in the topics they’d like to hear about or have found useful in SIG or chapter meetings. There were a couple of areas that overlapped, namely marketing and networking. Meeting formats also generated some really good responses. Most people in both groups were very positive about their experiences with informal meetings where they could network, share ideas and problems, and review each other’s work. CIC RESPONSES CICers were primarily interested in marketing, selling themselves and their services, opportunities to network, contracts and rates, and running a business. Almost everyone who responded made some reference to marketing: marketing tools (like brochures), how to find clients, selling yourself, and marketing techniques. The second most popular meeting idea was contracts and setting rates. Meetings where SIG members can informally network – such as lunch and dinner meetings and/or round table discussions – was a very common meeting idea and most people seemed to think it is an extremely productive format. Other ideas included print production and using print brokers, time management, motivational subjects, communicating/understanding clients, and tools education (software, web page development). One idea that came from the CICers was to hold an *affordable* seminar or conference focusing on running a consulting business: contracts, rates, taxes, insurance, accounting, etc. It could be done on the regional level to make it more accessible to people. Anyone who’s interested can contact Linda Gallagher. LW RESPONSES LWers were interested in tools, support and information from peers (via networking opportunities), and marketing. I also included some information from a recent thread on the LW SIG mailing list regarding transformation where several members discussed networking and chapter meetings. Tool information/tips/training was mentioned a few times. And looking at past mailing list threads, it is definitely a topic of interest to LWers. Marketing ideas for LWers covered both internal marketing ( a couple of people mentioned covering how to prove value to your fellow workers/boss/company) and job-related marketing (portfolio, resume). LWers want opportunities to network more with their peers. For many LWers, SIG-level meetings are more appealing for networking and sharing information because it’s a group of peers who have the same interests/needs/perspectives. Several LWers discussed feeling out of place at chapter meetings but have felt more comfortable at SIG-level meetings or think that they would fell more comfortable with them more than chapter-level meetings.