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Tools of the Trades Conference

Craft organization CraftNOW and makerspace NextFab have partnered again, welcoming new partner LaserPhilly, to present the second annual Tools of the Trades, a four-day hybrid conference focused on connecting artisans to business resources in Philadelphia and beyond. From March 22nd to 25th, tickets will unlock access to experts, resources, and peers working in the craft and business community. This conference is designed to deliver a variety of programming and materials – lectures, resource directories, and ample opportunities for audience participation – and strives to emphasize approachability, affordability, and a supportive environment where everyone can come together to share knowledge, resources, and tribulations.

This year’s theme is focusing on connection, collaboration, and commerce – delivering all the tools you need to add fuel to your creative passion and make educated business decisions. Unique to this conference, it focuses on a diverse range of topics and experiences, from members of regional craft communities and seasoned fabricators. Topics range from conversations such as “Daydream to Day Job” and “Collaboration as Commerce,” which allow our experts to share stories of successes and failures that helped shape them, to practical presentations on “Taxes for Creators: Self-Employment and the Schedule C,” and “Crowdfunding Strategy for Artisans,” which provide tangible solutions and templates for your business. Tools of the Trades is intended to provide a concentrated period for creative learning to help craft-focused businesses accelerate growth and find success however they choose to define it.

New this year, the conference will kick off with the Arts + Business Council hosting a networking and creative innovation discussion on March 21st. After three days of digital content, it will conclude this year, with a limited number of in-person workshop tickets available to turn learning into action at the NextFab makerspace on Saturday, March 25th. From 2:30 pm – 4 pm, guests are invited to bring in products and participate in one of four workshops, and starting at 4 pm, all participants are welcome to the in-person Happy Hour and CraftNOW Trunk Show to network, shop, and tour the NextFab makerspace.

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