For a long time I have wanted to do a post about local networking. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at local networking and haven’t had that much success in finding freelance work locally compared to the work I have found over the net. However the work that I HAVE found locally has proven to be more long term. I also did meet some very interesting people, even if they haven’t given me work.
So, where did I try the whole networking thing?
My local IGDA chapter, which at the time was Montreal. It can be hard to meet new people, so once you do, make sure they introduce you to the ones they know! I got a contract from there, which lasted around 6 months, not bad! However, depending on where your chapter is located, the attendees can be almost 100% game designers and programmers at big companies who are there for the beer. Some chapters have more indie attendence. If you have a membership to the IGDA, don’t be shy about volunteering, helping out at events can be instructive and I met neat people when I helped animate some round tables.
MIGS (Montreal international game summit) I was a volunteer there because being a part-time freelancer, I could not afford or justify paying to go to MIGS. Fortunately, I met MIGS’s organiser at the IGDA roundtable and he suggested I go as a volunteer. So I got to see the lecures I was most interested in and met a few people. But if you go there to network with the other volunteers, you will mostly meet students.
My local sketchgroup (Quebec city Drink & Draw) nice people there! I’m not looking for freelance work anymore and I don’t think I would find any if that’s what I was interested in. But I did meet great artists and people who are interested in all kinds of art projects. Fun stuff! I’m sure I would have met neat artists in other social sketchgroups I have been to if I had attended with any kind of regularity. Dr.Sketchy for exemple. My local life drawing sessions were not big on networking however, and mostly attended by retired hobbyists.
What experience have YOU had at local networking? How did it go?