Whats up with composing conferences during all this COVID-19 insaneness?
If youre a freelance author in 2020, participating in a new digital conference in the COVID-era might show to be among the very best chances for you in years.
Up until the pandemic hit, writing conferences acted as a wise place for writers to learn new skills and network with authors, agents and publishers for nearly 100 years.
Considering going to an online writing conference? Heres 5 huge factors theyre beneficial and fresh.
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to be successful, organizers need to determine new methods to make it worthwhile for everyone involved. And its taking place.
But how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers desire to participate in an online event without the in-person benefits of traditional composing conferences?
Now what? Some composing conferences have just vanished, while others have actually deferred to 2021, since its too unsafe to satisfy personally right now.
However theres another sector of conference organizers scrambling to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel reservations and scrapped airline company flights online composing conferences are emerging.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
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 aspects of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not composing, he delights in a great cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his board video game group, and investing quality time with his partner and boy.
Hes likewise part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Thinking about attending an online composing conference? Heres his leading 5 reasons to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more budget-friendly
Not any more though..
Theres capacity to get a lot more value.
Between admission, lodging and travel costs, and all of those add-ons (Who does not buy an arm load of books?), you might quickly pay upwards of $1,000 to participate in an in-person occasion.
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs excellent news for authors.
Usually, online writing conferences are going to be far less expensive for organizations to put on. Remove the location costs, catering and professors travel, the costs of placing on the affair are halved.
Conventional writing conferences can get quite costly.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater caliber.
Were talking about some of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a real challenge.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, composing conferences are currently seeing an increased variety of representatives, managers, publishers registering to participate in, which means more gain access to and chances for authors.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and manager required significant manpower and a deep financial investment.
The difficulty reserving someone for a single day is among both money and logistics.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
The barriers are gone.
Managers, publishers and agents can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Well, in 2020, that problem is no more.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how difficult it was for authors to schedule appointments with agents, managers, and publishers.
3. Light conference participation enhances the experience for writers.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and typically pitches with the finest agents are booked out weeks ahead of time, leaving everyone else in the lurch.
More market professionals.
Much better market professionals.
A lower variety of participants will result in less competition for networking time with those demanded industry professionals.
On one hand, fewer authors rationally indicates less opportunities to network with fellow attendees.
Lower attendance is a boon to writers. Why?
In spite of the lower expenses and less barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some quotes state that numbers will be cut in half.
OK, I get that. However think about the previous points:.
This is the year to attend the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is an agent or a publishing business that youre targeting.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Since the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
That is a challenging reality for the majority of organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of revenue, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more available.
Conferences are costly, as talked about above.
There are a couple of obvious reasons for that:.
Individuals with developmental and physical disabilities.
Writers from lower-income families.
People experiencing social stress and anxiety.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to think the writing world will open for these special voices.
Online writing conferences open the experience up broader than ever before to:.
Theyre (for the most part) held in bigger cities and can be physically strenuous. I understand Im tired whenever I complete the three-day grind.
Whichs what readers are hungry for– more unique voices.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and went to for 12. Something struck me a long time ago. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
5. Online composing conferences simplify networking.
Organisation 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 get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
Accept the modification of online composing conferences to grow.
While all of us battle with how to bridge the gap between the world before and the one were all headed toward, we must remember to look at the changes before us as chances.
However we are not living in ideal times. Vice versa, actually.
The scene is a familiar one.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a conversation with somebody over the chafing meal. Theyre intriguing. Something youre working on has them delighted.
Then you take a seat, exchange service cards and … its over.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will disappear.
It is a Pollyanna notion to believe that a virtual writers conference can effectively replace the genuine thing. The service is not ideal by any stretch.
When you meet another participant in the virtual chat space, youre both on a computer system. All of your email and social networks are right there to create a much deeper, longer-term connection with that intriguing discussion.
2020 might simply be your big one to go up and earn more as a freelance author.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
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.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and went to for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
And thats great news for authors.
What do you think of online composing conferences? Leave a remark and inform us about it.