Two core parts of PICA's mission are education and community. Our events are designed to help you run and grow your business, and to connect you to our thriving, professional community. For our calendar of events, click here.
We offer four types of events:
Virtual Roundtables – Learn something new and have your questions answered by an expert in one of our live Virtual Roundtable sessions.Sessions are limited to 20 people. After a short summary of the topic (like 5 to 10 minutes) it's all Q&A so come prepared to introduce yourself and ask your questions, either live via video-cam (preferred), or via the chat window if you're feeling a bit shy. To encourage open dialogue, these sessions are not recorded for playback.
Available to PICA members.
Virtual Roundtable topics include:
Branding Your Business – PICA's Chief Advocate, Liz Steblay, has advised hundreds of independent consultants. She'll help you brainstorm and refine your positioning live via web conference. Recommended prep: Know Your Niche, either the article or the webinar (see below).
Keeping It Legal – Ask PICA's General Counsel whatever's on your mind. Is there a contracting clause that's got you stumped? Have a question about vendor compliance? Get your questions answered live by a Harvard-trained lawyer!
Getting the Right Type and Level of Business Insurance – Business insurance needs change along with the type of work you do, and the type of clients who hire you. Get your questions answered in this live session hosted by PICA's insurance partner, CoverWallet.
In-Person Roundtables – Connect with like-minded independent consultants in a small setting. (We dislike mingling at large events with unfocused chit-chat.) These events include food and drink, and take place in major metro areas around the United States. The roundtables are PICA's most exclusive events, limited to just 15 participants to foster meaningful dialogue.
PICA members may attend any metro Roundtable; they're limited to the first 15 registrants, but we do keep a waitlist.
Ask the Advocate Office Hours – Remember in college when you could drop by the professor's office at certain times and ask a question? This is the same thing but virtual. A few times a month PICA's Chief Advocate, Liz Steblay, hangs out online in a virtual meeting room, waiting for PICA members to drop in and ask a quick question. These are intended to be 5-minute conversations; if a question can't be answered in 5 minutes she'll follow up with an email. Office hours vary but are generally on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings; hours and meeting links are emailed to members at the beginning of every month.
Available to PICA members.
Webinars – Up your game by participating in a topic-based webinar. Webinars are hosted live by an expert and have no participation limits. (Recordings are available but we all know how fun pre-recorded webinars can be. Ha! You're much better off signing up for a live webinar; that way you'll also get an email reminder and the follow-up materials.)
Available to PICA members at every level (live and recorded webinars).
Webinar topics include:
Know Your Niche: Although counter-intuitive, it's better to market yourself as a specialist than a generalist. This webinar is about figuring out your point of differentiation and building your confidence to market yourself as an expert. After this 30-minute course (plus 15 minutes for Q&A) you'll be able to create a plan to discover your strengths, pinpoint your sweet spot, write a stand-out professional summary, and position yourself to get more business!
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Independent Consulting: When you make a new business acquaintance or are referred to a potential client, 90% of the time they're going to look you up on LinkedIn. Think of your profile as your storefront window. It's critical that, at a glance, people perceive you as a seasoned consultant who solves business problems. Learn the tricks of the trade in this 30-minute course (plus 15 minutes for Q&A), and receive a detailed reference guide to help you put your best self forward. (This course builds on the Know Your Niche webinar.)
Navigating Vendor Compliance: If you've consulted as an independent professional for a large corporation, you've probably had to run the compliance gauntlet. What's your business structure? How much insurance do you have? How many employees do you have? What percentage of your income will come from this project or client? There's a right way to answer these compliance questions so that you can be paid on a business-to-business, 1099 tax basis. In this 60-minute course you'll understand what's behind these questions, how to interpret them, and how to respond to them. You'll also learn some strategies for what to do when the hurdles are too high.
Are you ready to work smarter, build your business, and get connected?