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Today we follow up with part two, an interview with Ilise Benun, founder of Marketing Mentor and the HOW Creative Freelance Business Conference (CFBC) which focuses on helping freelance creatives navigate challenges and meet real business goals.


Q: I notice that the Creative Freelancer Conference has undergone a slight name change. Could you speak a little bit about what’s behind it?

Ilise Benun: We simply added the word “Business” to clarify what is to me the main difference between CFBC and the rest of the HOW Design Live events (of which there are now 5 instead of only 4): this event focuses on the business aspects of your work life…which isn’t to say it’s not the creative aspects. Because I maintain that running a business can be incredibly creative, if you approach it that way.

Q: You’re bringing back the option for attendees to exhibit. Can you speak a little bit about that?

Ilise Benun: It’s a “matchmaking happy hour” between freelancers and those who hire freelancers, including in house design dept managers, small firm owners, and other freelancers looking for collaborators or virtual team members.
Here’s a post from the blog about last year’s, which will be similar (but better!).

Q: What do you expect will be the most exciting aspect of this year’s conference?

Ilise Benun: This is the first year that CFBC will be fully integrated into the rest of HOW Design Live, not the little sister. That means the schedule is aligned so that if you have the Big Ticket, you can choose a CFBC session or any of the other 3-4 sessions happening at the same time. And if you can’t choose, you can know that you’ll get recordings from everything after the fact, so you won’t miss anything. Plus, we have lots of extras this year, including headshots taken on site for those who need a new one, speed coaching with some of the speakers and, of course, the Netwalking, early morning walks along the Charles River with fellow attendees (my favorite part of the entire event!)


Q. What would you say to those who are still undecided about attending?

Ilise Benun: Several freelancers met actual clients last year at the Freelancers Matchmaking Showcase and the jobs that resulted covered their entire expense (and more!). So you may not be able to afford to miss it. That could be you!
Here’s an example of one of those situations:

There’s still time to register for HOW Design Live 2014 and to get an extra $50 discount. Full information can be found here.
Keep your eyes glued to this space for post-conference coverage.
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