Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 madness?
But how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers want to participate in an online event without the in-person benefits of conventional composing conferences?
However 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.
Believing about attending an online composing conference? Heres 5 big factors theyre fresh and helpful.
Now what? Some composing conferences have just disappeared, while others have postponed to 2021, because its too harmful to satisfy personally right now.
Till the pandemic hit, writing conferences served as a clever place for writers to find out new skills and network with authors, agents and publishers for practically 100 years.
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to prosper, organizers need to determine new methods to make it rewarding for everyone involved. And its occurring.
Going to a new digital conference in the COVID-era might show to be one of the best opportunities for you in years if youre a freelance writer in 2020.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Hes also part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise the author of The Strange Air. A book series of paranormal secrets that mixes elements of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not writing, he enjoys a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his board game group, and spending quality time with his partner and kid.
Thinking about going to an online composing conference? Heres his leading 5 factors to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more economical
Typically, online writing conferences are going to be far cheaper for organizations to put on. Remove the place fees, catering and professors travel, the expenses of putting on the affair are cut in half.
Theres potential to get a lot more bang for your buck.
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs good news for writers.
Not any more though..
Traditional writing conferences can get pretty pricey.
In between travel, lodging and admission costs, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt purchase an arm load of books?), you might easily pay upwards of $1,000 to go to an in-person event.
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a higher caliber.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, composing conferences are already seeing an increased number of representatives, managers, publishers signing up to participate in, and that means more gain access to and opportunities for writers.
Were speaking about some of the busiest people in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine obstacle.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how difficult it was for writers to set up appointments with publishers, supervisors, and agents.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, managers and agents can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and supervisor needed significant manpower and a deep financial expense.
The difficulty scheduling someone for a single day is one of both cash and logistics.
3. Light conference presence improves the experience for writers.
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.
Lower participation is an advantage to authors. Why?
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Youll get to see a lot more since the lines are a lot shorter.
More market professionals.
Much better industry specialists.
A lower number of attendees will lead to less competition for networking time with those demanded industry specialists.
This is the year to attend the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is a publishing or an agent business that youre targeting.
On one hand, fewer writers logically indicates fewer opportunities to network with fellow guests.
OK, I get that. Consider the previous points:.
That is a challenging reality for the majority of companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a considerable generator of revenue, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and frequently pitches with the very best representatives are booked out weeks ahead of time, leaving everybody else in the stumble.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more available.
Theyre (for the many part) held in bigger cities and can be physically rigorous. I understand Im exhausted each time I end up the three-day grind.
There are a few obvious factors for that:.
And thats what readers are starving for– more distinct voices.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is reason to think the writing world will open for these distinct voices.
Individuals with physical and developmental impairments.
Writers from lower-income families.
People experiencing social anxiety.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and went to for 12. Something struck me a long period of time ago. Year in and year out, I was seeing the exact same faces.
Conferences are expensive, as discussed above.
Online writing conferences open the experience up broader than ever before to:.
5. Online composing conferences simplify networking.
It is a Pollyanna idea to think that a virtual writers conference can effectively change the real thing. The option is not ideal by any stretch.
While we all struggle with how to bridge the gap in between the world before and the one were all headed towards, we must keep in mind to take a look at the changes prior to us as chances.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will disappear.
But we are not residing in perfect times. Vice versa, really.
The scene is a familiar one.
When you satisfy another guest in the virtual chatroom, youre both on a computer. All of your e-mail and social networks are right there to forge a deeper, longer-term connection with that interesting discussion.
Company card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long three days, I get home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I maybe navigate to calling or emailing a few of them.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a conversation with someone over the chafing dish. Theyre interesting. Something youre dealing with has them delighted.
You sit down, exchange business cards and … its over.
Embrace the change of online composing conferences to grow.
2020 might simply be your huge one to move up and earn more as a freelance writer.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise part of the team hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
What do you think of online composing conferences? Leave a remark and tell us about it.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and participated in for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long 3 days, I come house with a stack of a hundred cards, and I possibly get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
And thats excellent news for writers.