Why sponsoring an event for free and being there is a good thing
Back in 2013 when Stephen and I were talking about starting a business another friend Dan Spain was talking to me about starting a design talk event. If I remember correctly, we were slightly ahead of him in terms of business development and he was in the ideas stage. I remember we used to meet up and he’d ask how it’s going and what drove me to leave full time work and start something so unpredictable. I think at the time i was bored of working for someone else and wanted to try it on my own. This is something Dan and I connected on we had the same feelings around working and what we want to spend our time doing, building something for someone else or for ourselves? The latter was our preferred choice.
I remember when Dan asked us if we’d sponsor Design Stuff Cardiff, by filming the event every month. I remember how nervous he was, it made me laugh at the time because i thought “come on Dan you’re talking to me, of course we’ll film the event.” Initially we wanted to sponsor the event because Dan’s a mate and we wanted to help out, but as the events went on we soon realised that what Dan had created was an awesome community and we were looking forward to attending every month, even though we were “working” there.
So why do I think it’s a good thing to sponsor an event for free?
You never know who you'll meet or what you'll learn
I’m a believer in making time to socialise even when you’re running you’re own business. Meet new people, put yourself in a different environment that you’re not used to. We’ve been lucky that Dan know’s what he’s doing when it comes to Design Stuff Cardiff, he’s always got amazing and inspiring people talking every month. I’ve personally been influenced by a number of past speakers and have implemented there practices or views on work into Spin The Yarn.
You may get work from it
We never agreed to film Design Stuff Cardiff thinking we’d be inundated with work. Initially no one knew who would be attending and whether they’d be looking to give work to people. But there are occasions where you get work from the people you meet at events. Dan not only runs DSC he also freelances as a designer and he happened to do some work with Golley Slater in Cardiff. When he was working there one day, one of the Creative Directors asked if anyone knew anyone who did motion graphics, which is when Dan gave our name across. So that was that. We got a phone call from Golley Slater and got the job thanks to Dan! A lot of people i know who run their own businesses say, like us, that they get the majority of there work through word of mouth and this is a perfect example of how it has worked for us.
It's nice to help a friend and make new friends
Running a business can be pretty stressful. There’s the belief that you have to be working 24/7 when you’re in your first few years of building a business. This couldn’t be further from how we choose to run our business. We need time to play and enjoy ourselves, to not be controlled by the business, but to be controlling the business. This is another reason why we sponsor DSC, it allows us to have fun and meet new people and make new friends. We like to hangout with like minded people. We believe in what Dan is doing for the Cardiff design community and it’s great to help him and be a part of that. Making time for friends and helping them is important. Do good and good things happen to you.
Nothing bad has come from us sponsoring Design stuff Cardiff, yes we don’t get paid money for it and yes we end up spending a few days filming, editing and exporting the talks, but to be able to help not just a friend but a great and much needed event in Cardiff is worth it. Also we get some great promotion from the rest of the DSC team. I’d say choose the event you want to sponsor carefully and don’t just do it for the potential work you may or may not get out of it. Do it because you believe in it and would attend the event even if you’re not sponsoring it.
Check out Design Stuff Cardiff here, www.thisisdeisgnstuff.com/cardiff