Philly Creative Guide

Event Spotlight

Juanita Berge | Philly Creative Guide Event Reporter

Making Philly Work for You: Resources for Creative Professionals
by Juanita Berge, 1 Feb 2009

The Philadelphia Area New Media Association (PANMA) hosts networking and educational events, where they encourage connections among members, offer business opportunities and enjoy good times with friends.

Innovation Philadelphia is committed to supporting technology-driven economic growth in the Philadelphia region through growing the region's for-profit creative industries, attracting and retaining young professionals vital to economic growth, and fostering entrepreneurism and new ideas.

For more information about Innovation Philadelphia or PANMA, please visit www.innovationphiladelphia.com and www.panma.org.


The Philadelphia Area New Media Association (PANMA) hosts networking and educational events, where they encourage connections among members, offer business opportunities and enjoy good times with friends.

Innovation Philadelphia is committed to supporting technology-driven economic growth in the Philadelphia region through growing the region''s for-profit creative industries, attracting and retaining young professionals vital to economic growth, and fostering entrepreneurism and new ideas.

For more information about Innovation Philadelphia or PANMA, please visit www.innovationphiladelphia.com and www.panma.org.


With the economy being what it is today you may have puzzled over many things. ''How can I avoid being laid off?'', ''Is now the right time to go out on my own?'', ''How do I figure out how much to charge for my services?'', Where do you look for answers? A great place to start is the Resources for Creative Professionals program held jointly by PANMA (Philadelphia Area New Media Association) and Innovation Philadelphia.

Making Philly Work for You: Resources for Creative Professionals

On Thursday, January 29 the two organizations hosted a panel discussion and networking reception that answered these questions and many more. A three member panel was brought together to inform creatives of the variety of resources out there and how to access them. The panel consisted of Kimberly Blessing, a senior manager in web development at Comcast Interactive Media; Brian Crumley, senior interactive designer/development at Allied Pixel, a company that specializes in the convergence of HD video, web and interactive media; and Erin McGowan, an associate director at the Wharton Small Business Development Center. These three discussed job sources, freelance projects, networking opportunities, professional development organizations and funding sources that are essential in helping advance the careers of creative professionals in the Philadelphia Region.

Making Philly Work for You: Resources for Creative Professionals

Roz Duffy, a web developer, was the moderator for the program which began with her posing several questions to the panel at large. Ms. Duffy started off with a basic: where should creatives who are looking for jobs and freelance opportunities turn? Brian Crumley suggested that networking always offers the most tried and true opportunities. Aside from your work capabilities people are able to get a feel for your personality, and you are able to make a personal connection with people. Additionally, make yourself known on various social networking sites. Kimberly Blessing thinks that today''s economy is providing creatives a prime opportunity to get involved with higher education. There is a real lack of experienced professionals in that arena.

Ms. Duffy asked the panel if they had any advice on how creatives can lay-off proof themselves.

Kim Blessing, who herself was laid-off just last year answered first. "You have to help generate some of the revenue for your organization in order to demonstrate your worth to your employer. One of the best things you can do is attend networking events just like this one. Then talk about what you do and what services your company can provide. Check out places like the Philadelphia New Media Hub and Independents Hall."

Brian Crumley suggested checking out some of the many professional organizations that the city has to offer creatives. AIGA, ASMP, PANMA, Eastern Tech Council, Philly Creative Guide and the like.

Making Philly Work for You: Resources for Creative Professionals

Ms. Duffy continued with, "Is this a good time to go out on your own? Where do you turn when you do decide to go independent?"

Erin McGowan immediately suggested reaching out to your Small Business Development Center. Talk to them as well as with other people who have done it. After you''ve explored what they have to say, if there is a real need for your particular talents, then there is no reason not to try the independent route.

The Wharton Small Business Development Center is part of a network of 18 small business development centers across the state. There are several right here in the Philadelphia area. There is one at Temple and one at Widener.

Ms. Duffy''s next question was, "How do you find new business and clients?"

Making Philly Work for You: Resources for Creative Professionals

Brian Crumley''s networking suggestion was the tried and true answer once again, but networking with a twist. "Make an effort to network with people who are unlike yourself. By going to an event that''s for all web-designers for instance, everyone looking for the same thing I am. Mix it up a bit. You may meet, say, a photographer that''s looking for a web person to help him out with a problem with one of his jobs. These people don''t want to turn away work because they don''t offer services. If they know you can help them out with web services, they can keep the business they''ve gone after instead of having to turn them away over that.

Erin McGowen concurred. "Networking is key. You may have to network at events that are not directly related to the kind of work that you do, but networking is about relationship building. Make sure you try the Entrepreneurs Forum, the Sustainable Business Network and the Empowerment Group."

Making Philly Work for You: Resources for Creative Professionals

Ms. Duffy then opened the questions up to the audience, where for 45 minutes the panel fielded questions about client protocol, leads for students, funding, software and more.

The Resources for Creative Professionals program was a gold mine of pertinent information for creatives. They fielded a wide range of questions and had a varied mixture of information to impart. Scour the creative calendars (start with the PhillyCreativeGuide monthly) for more sessions of this ilk. Innovation Philadelphia regularly partners with other creative organizations to bring you this kind of high quality dialogue about creative capital available in this city. You can''t afford to miss it.

Print Article  Brought to you by: Juanita Berge | Philly Creative Guide Event Reporter

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