99designs meets up in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Jason Sew Hoy

Ever been to Bangladesh? I have and what I’ve witnessed is a nation on the move.

The inspiration for my visit was an invitation to speak at the 1-day Freelancer Conference in Dhaka organized by the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) and the Ministry of ICT as part of a “Digital World 2012” event.

With 800+ passionate freelancers taking part in the conference, as well as national TV coverage of key sessions, freelancers gathered to learn more about freelancing opportunities and also discussed key issues such as training programmes, better internet and improved payment facilities (PayPal is not available in Bangladesh).

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Industry leaders and government ministers all weighed in on the discussions, making the Freelancer Conference a huge success. It was great to see a willingness at all levels to overcome the challenges together, which bodes very well for the future of freelancing in Bangladesh.

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Meeting up with our designer community

While visiting Dhaka, we took the opportunity to reach out to our community and hold the first 99designs Meetup in Bangladesh.

What a response!

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90 designers attended and everyone had a fantastic time. Designers generously shared their individual experiences and tips, many connections were made and contacts exchanged. In addition, the DesignWarriors Facebook group was created for Bangladeshi designers to network and keep in touch.

A big thanks to A.N.M Saiful Islam and the fantastic team of volunteers who organized everything including registration, refreshments and prize drawings for 99designs T-shirts.

We’d also like to give a special shout-out to designers moinul and banglalook who drove 8 hours each way from Chittagong just to meet in person. You guys rock!

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And last, but certainly not least, thanks to BASIS (especially Fahim Mashroor) and the Ministry of ICT for inviting us to visit Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh are lucky to have such great leaders.

Want to hold a 99designs Meetup in your city? Check out 99designs Meetups.

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