Announcing Going Solo [en]

[fr] J'ai annoncé il y a quelques semaines que j'avais des projets de création d'entreprise: c'est en route, et nous préparons pour début mai une conférence-événement (une journée de conférences) à l'attention des indépendants du web. En dehors de savoir faire des trucs cools, être indépendant (ou une TPE) pose un tas de problèmes "accessoires": comment fixer les tarifs? approcher les clients, ou mieux, les aider à nous trouver? s'en sortir avec l'administratif? trouver un équilibre de vie entre travail et loisirs, surtout si l'on a fait de sa passion son métier?

Après avoir pensé à Berlin, Paris, et Londres -- nous visons un public européen -- nous avons finalement opté pour Lausanne. A deux pas de l'aéroport de Genève, très joli cadre, et aussi, pratique pour les organisatrices principales, toutes lausannoises.

Je vous parlerai de tout ceci plus longuement dans les jours à venir!

So, here we go. As I mentioned in my last post, things are shaping up enough for me to start talking about them, even though a lot is still “floating”.

I’m taking the plunge into the event business. The first one I’m organising is Going Solo, a one-day conference in the beautiful and easily accessible city of Lausanne in Switzerland, which also happens to be my home town. It will take place early May.

Going Solo will fill a gap in the current conference offerings: it’s an event for freelancers of the web industry (soloists, hence the name) and very small businesses — from all over Europe.

Being a freelancer myself, I’ve come to realise quite a while ago that there is more to freelancing than “knowing cool stuff” and having people around willing to pay for it. How do you fix your prices? Close deals? Find clients, or better, help them find you? Collaborate with others, whether soloists themselves, or employees in a huge company? Deal with taxes, contracts, accounting, and all the rest of the boring administrative stuff? Achieve that delicate “work/life balance”, when you’re one of the lucky ones who turned a passion into a job?

Going Solo will address all these issues (and others), providing those attending with valuable insights and tools which will help them become better at what they are doing in the business world. (Sounds almost like a press release, doesn’t it? I’m practising for the sponsor offerings… shhh.)

In simple words: this is the kind of event I would have wanted to attend two years ago when I was struggling with the idea of becoming freelance. It’s the kind of event I would have liked to attend a year ago when things took off and I started realising how complicated all this “business” stuff was. And it’s also the kind of event I want to attend today, having faced the ups and downs of freelancing in the fast-moving world of new media, in the early stages of starting a company, and wondering what “holidays” means now that my everyday life is split between “hang out online”, “travel to foreign cities”, and “talk about exciting stuff with people”.


I’ll follow up later with a little insight into what’s going on. Be warned, though: you’re going to be following some thought processes here, and might be faced with decisions-in-the-making and not-sure-what-I’ll-do-yets. I welcome all feedback.

26 thoughts on “Announcing Going Solo [en]

  1. All the very best of luck!!
    I like the idea. It is also good for companies to meet freelancers that they might not normally come across.

  2. Wonderful! The conference and the initiative might even prompt me to use some free time I have right now. If I can do anything to help just let me know!

  3. Wow, thanks for the support, everybody! Once again, I’m overwhelmed by the positive feedback I’m getting on this project. I plan to write more about it tonight if I don’t drop right into bed before I manage to do so (another few blog posts in the pipeline).

    I’ll be offline tomorrow, so if it’s not tonight, it’ll be Sunday.

  4. Isn’t going solo hard enough? Can’t we skip the “following some thought processes” part? Then again, both decisions-in-the-making and not-sure-what-I’ll-do-yets sound delicious, fun and easy 😉

  5. Hey Chris — not exactly sure I’m understanding you right: are you saying you’re not interested in following my rambling thought processes? I’m upset…

  6. Very very interesting. Even if I’m not in the freelancing business at the moment, I’ve been there for quite some time, it would be nice to see how things evolved over the last few years and try to verify how “social” going solo can be 😉

  7. @Stephanie:
    lol, no! As long as you are the one doing the thinking when we follow processes, we’ll be save. When it comes to decisions-in-the-making and not-sure-what-I’ll-do-yets I’ll be happy to help do some active, creative thinking myself, is what I meant.

  8. Welcome to the Swiss conference scene. Happy to see more events develop 🙂 and a very interesting niche you have.

    I can’t remember of a similar conference around the world so it looks like a great idea. Will Martin Roell be your first keynote then 😉 ?

  9. Good niche, and timely. I would suggest that you take into account, in your thinking, the big (BIG) differences that exist in solo-ing in the US vs Europe. Wishing you sucess 🙂

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