Whats up with composing conferences during all this COVID-19 madness?
Participating in a new digital conference in the COVID-era may prove to be one of the best chances for you in years if youre a freelance author in 2020.
However how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers desire to attend an online event without the in-person benefits of traditional composing conferences?
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to be successful, organizers need to figure out brand-new ways to make it rewarding for everybody involved. And its happening.
Now what? Some composing conferences have simply disappeared, while others have accepted 2021, since its too unsafe to satisfy in person today.
Believing about attending an online writing conference? Heres 5 big factors theyre fresh and useful.
Theres another segment of conference organizers rushing to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel reservations and scrapped airline company flights online composing conferences are emerging.
Up until the pandemic hit, composing conferences acted as a smart location for writers to find out new skills and network with authors, representatives and publishers for nearly 100 years.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
When he is not writing, he delights in a good cold craft beer, baseball, a little travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and spending quality time with his spouse and kid.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise the author of The Strange Air. A book series of paranormal mysteries that mixes elements of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
Hes likewise part of the group hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Thinking about participating in an online writing conference? Heres his leading 5 reasons to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more cost effective
Theres capacity to get a lot more value.
In between lodging, admission and travel expenses, and all of those add-ons (Who does not purchase an arm load of books?), you could easily pay upwards of $1,000 to attend an in-person event.
Traditional writing conferences can get quite expensive.
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that utilized to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats good news for authors.
Typically, online composing conferences are going to be far less expensive for organizations to place on. Eliminate the location fees, catering and professors travel, the expenses of placing on the affair are halved.
Not any more though..
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a higher caliber.
Do we fly somebody out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and supervisor required substantial manpower and a deep financial expense.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how difficult it was for authors to schedule consultations with managers, publishers, and agents.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
The barriers are gone.
Managers, publishers and representatives can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Were speaking about a few of the busiest people in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a real difficulty.
The difficulty booking somebody for a single day is one of both money and logistics.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased number of agents, supervisors, publishers signing up to attend, which implies more gain access to and chances for authors.
3. Light conference presence improves the experience for authors.
If there is a representative or a publishing company that youre targeting, this is the year to go to the conference where theyre taking pitches.
OK, I get that. But think about the previous points:.
In spite of the lower costs and less barriers, conference participation will certainly be down in 2020. Some quotes say that numbers will be cut in half.
That is a difficult truth for a lot of companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of profits, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Youll get to see so much more because the lines are so much shorter.
On one hand, less authors realistically indicates less chances to network with fellow attendees.
More industry specialists.
Better market specialists.
A lower number of attendees will result in less competition for networking time with those demanded market specialists.
Ive been to a lots conferences and frequently pitches with the best agents are reserved out weeks ahead of time, leaving everybody else in the lurch.
Lower attendance is a boon to writers. Why?
4. Virtual writing conferences are more accessible.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and participated in for 12. Something struck me a long time ago. Year in and year out, I was seeing the same faces.
Individuals with developmental and physical specials needs.
Writers from lower-income households.
Individuals experiencing social anxiety.
Online writing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is reason to believe the writing world will open for these unique voices.
Conferences are pricey, as discussed above.
Theyre (for the many part) kept in larger cities and can be physically extensive. I know Im exhausted each time I complete the three-day grind.
And thats what readers are starving for– more unique voices.
There are a few apparent reasons for that:.
5. Online composing conferences streamline networking.
When you meet another guest in the virtual chat space, youre both on a computer. All of your e-mail and social media are right there to create a much deeper, longer-term connection with that intriguing discussion.
Welcome the change of online writing conferences to grow.
While all of us battle with how to bridge the gap between the world prior to and the one were all headed towards, we must remember to look at the changes prior to us as opportunities.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will disappear.
It is a Pollyanna concept to believe that a virtual authors conference can adequately replace the real thing. The option is not ideal by any stretch.
But we are not residing in perfect times. Vice versa, in fact.
The scene is a familiar one.
Service card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long three days, I get back with a stack of a hundred cards, and I perhaps navigate to calling or emailing a few of them.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them excited.
You sit down, exchange company cards and … its over.
2020 might simply be your huge one to go up and earn more as a freelance author.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long three days, I come house with a stack of a hundred cards, and I possibly get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and participated in for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
And thats excellent news for authors.
What do you think of online writing conferences? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..