Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 insaneness?
Now what? Some writing conferences have actually merely vanished, while others have delayed to 2021, because its too harmful to meet face to face today.
However how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to attend an online occasion without the in-person advantages of traditional writing conferences?
Attending a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era might show to be one of the finest opportunities for you in years if youre a freelance writer in 2020.
Until the pandemic hit, composing conferences acted as a smart place for authors to learn new skills and network with authors, representatives and publishers for nearly 100 years.
Heres the thing … In order for online writing conferences to be successful, organizers need to figure out brand-new ways to make it worthwhile for everybody included. And its occurring.
Thinking about going to an online writing conference? Heres five big factors theyre fresh and beneficial.
Theres another sector of conference organizers rushing to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel reservations and ditched airline company flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also the author of The Strange Air. A book series of paranormal secrets that mixes elements of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
Hes likewise part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
When he is not composing, he enjoys a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a little bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his board video game group, and spending quality time with his spouse and child.
Considering participating in an online writing conference? Heres his top 5 reasons to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more inexpensive
Usually, online composing conferences are going to be far more affordable for organizations to place on. Eliminate the area charges, catering and faculty travel, the expenses of placing on the affair are cut in half.
Between admission, accommodations and travel costs, and all of those add-ons (Who does not buy an arm load of books?), you might easily pay upwards of $1,000 to go to an in-person event.
Theres capacity to get a lot more bang for your dollar.
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats excellent news for authors.
Standard composing conferences can get pretty expensive.
Not any more though..
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a higher caliber.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
The difficulty scheduling someone for a single day is one of both cash and logistics.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how hard it was for authors to set up appointments with representatives, publishers, and managers.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, representatives and supervisors can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
Were discussing a few of the busiest people in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine challenge.
Do we fly somebody out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and supervisor required significant workforce and a deep financial outlay.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, writing conferences are currently seeing an increased number of representatives, supervisors, publishers registering to go to, and that implies more access and chances for authors.
3. Light conference presence improves the experience for authors.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and typically pitches with the finest representatives are scheduled out weeks in advance, leaving everybody else in the lurch.
More industry specialists.
Much better market specialists.
A lower number of participants will result in less competition for networking time with those demanded market professionals.
In spite of the lower expenses and less barriers, conference presence will certainly be down in 2020. Some estimates say that numbers will be cut in half.
On one hand, less authors logically suggests less chances to network with fellow guests.
This is the year to attend the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is a publishing or an agent company that youre targeting.
OK, I get that. But consider the previous points:.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Because the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
Lower attendance is a benefit to authors though. Why?
That is a difficult reality for the majority of companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of profits, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more accessible.
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 earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the same faces.
Online composing conferences open the experience up wider than ever before to:.
Conferences are expensive, as gone over above.
There are a few apparent factors for that:.
Theyre (for the most part) kept in bigger cities and can be physically rigorous. I understand Im tired each time I finish the three-day grind.
People with physical and developmental disabilities.
Writers from lower-income households.
Individuals experiencing social stress and anxiety.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is factor to think the writing world will open for these special voices.
Whichs what readers are starving for– more distinct voices.
5. Online composing conferences simplify networking.
Youre both on a computer system when you fulfill another guest in the virtual chat room. All of your email and social media are right there to create a deeper, longer-term connection with that interesting discussion.
We are not living in perfect times. Vice versa, in fact.
Accept the change of online writing conferences to grow.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will go away.
The scene is a familiar one.
Business card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long three days, I come home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I possibly navigate to calling or emailing a few of them.
While we all battle with how to bridge the gap between the world before and the one were all headed towards, we should keep in mind to look at the modifications prior to us as opportunities.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a discussion with someone over the chafing meal. Theyre fascinating. Something youre dealing with has them delighted.
You sit down, exchange company cards and … its over.
It is a Pollyanna idea to think that a virtual authors conference can properly change the genuine thing. The service is not perfect by any stretch.
2020 may just be your big one to go up and make more as a freelance writer.
What do you think of online composing conferences? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
And thats great news for authors.
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 perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and attended for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..