How to Network When You Are Traveling

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This month I was invited to take a trip out to New York with my good friend, and of course I jumped at the opportunity! I like to make traveling and experiencing new things a priority in my life; I love to explore new cities, meet the locals, and feel the vibes! Freelancing has really opened up my schedule to allow for more travel, which is one of my favorite freelancer perks! Because I have just started my venture into running my own business, I started looking for ways I can make my trip an important move for my design business. Here’s what I found worked out for me:

1. Utilize local connections to find opportunities to network.

I have been working with Madison’s local Freelancers Union reps to coordinate and promote the Freelancers Union Spark events. It’s been really fun to get to know Madison’s local freelancer scene, and because Spark events happen all over the country, I was excited to attend the October event in Manhattan. In addition to learning some new things on contract writing, legal issues and non-payment resolution, I also got to connect with the NYC Freelancers Union coordinators. They offered up some tips on getting more people to attend Madison’s events, and they were generous enough to send me home with some Freelancers Union t-shirts for my fellow Madison reps!

2. Find and visit businesses like yours that you can learn from.

I made a point to visit the Cotton Candy Machine, a shop in Brooklyn that’s run by one of my favorite artists, Tara McPherson. This has been a goal of mine for several years, because the Cotton Candy Machine is exactly the kind of small business that I believe in supporting. They run art shows frequently, featuring artists of various fields and selling their work and merchandise. The creative community that has been cultivated in Brooklyn was super inspiring! I was sad to learn that they will be closing at the end of the year, but I was glad to see it in person while I still could.

3. Make time for fun things that will inspire your business.

Exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art was a great way to remind myself of my creative background and my love for the creative process. Walking through those halls observing the intricate scarab carvings of ancient Egypt, the ornamental sculptures of south Asian deities, and the incredibly detailed American mosaic fountains cued up feelings of nostalgia. Nostalgia for the many art history courses I had taken during my studies, which were such a source of inspiration. The chance to view artifacts of such historical significance and gain perspective on the role of creativity in various cultures encourages me to work even harder to benefit others through my own creativity.

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Of course, there are many ways to get yourself out there and build your business while traveling. It’s also important to take a break from your business goals and take advantage of some away time! I look forward to learning and writing more on this subject, as there are so many places I am eager to travel to. Making travel a bigger part of my business is a dream of mine, and I would love to have more opportunities to grow my network.