Posted on 21 May 2022

Freelance Business Forum - Berlin 2022

In the first live event for more than two years, the Freelance Business Forum returned at the Berlin 2022 conference with a packed programme. 

EMWA Freelance Business Forum Berlin 2022   EMWA Freelance Business Forum Berlin 2022 Laura Kehoe

Chair of the Freelance Business Group (FBG), Laura Kehoe, opened the event with a great presentation highlighting what the FBF does for members, so here's a recap:

  • Running the Freelance Business Forum event at every EMWA congress
  • Sourcing new stories/information, organising and editing of the Out On Our Own (OOOO) section of the Medical Writing journal
  • Updating the Freelance Directory
  • Conducting the Freelance Business Survey

Laura also told the audience about new initiatives the FBG are involved with, including changes to membership profile updates where you can now select your work status, working with the new web team to update the freelance sections, and producing podcasts! The Freelance Resource Centre, Business Survey and EMWA group are also all being developed further in 2022.

Invited speaker Philip Burridge, Director of Morula Health in the UK, gave an excellent presentation to the audience of experienced and newbie freelancers on how to get the most from agency work, providing great advice on marketing yourself to agencies and clients. Philip works predominantly with freelancers on short- and long-term contracts in regulatory writing. He spoke about why there is an increased need for medical writers at the moment. He gave his advice on clearly stating the type of documents you've worked on your CV, explaining how being responsive and flexible will put you above the rest, and how to win the contract and keep a good relationship with the clients and agency. He went on to have a roundtable discussion to explain more.

There were, of course, the much-loved and appreciated table discussions, led by experts in different areas of freelance medical writing who gave amazing advice and career tips to all who attended. Several first-time EMWA conference attendees seemed to appreciate these valuable insights into the career transition they were considering.

Table leaders and topics on the night were as follows:

1. Sampoorna Rappaz & Laura Kehoe: How to deal with imposter syndrome - worries and concerns.

2. Beate Walter: Getting started in freelance regulatory writing.

3. Andrea Rossi: How to educate your clients on your value and explain how the rates you offer are fair.

4. Sara Rubio: Balancing demands - when too little turns into too much.

5. Satyen Shenoy: Hybrid positions - juggling employed work with freelancing.

6. Philip Burridge: Get your first agency job and keep up the relationship.

EMWA Freelance Business Forum Berlin 2022 - Andrea Rossi   EMWA Freelance Business Forum Berlin 2022 roundtable discussion

Rounding off the evening Laura reminded us why this event is so popular with her infectious enthusiasm for EMWA and the support the society provides for freelance medical communicators.

   EMWA Freelance Business Forum Berlin 2022 - Laura Kehoe   

New friendships were made and everyone is looking forward to the next time this group can be together. Save the date for Riga in November!