Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 craziness?
But how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to attend an online occasion without the in-person benefits of standard composing conferences?
Till the pandemic hit, composing conferences served as a smart location for writers to find out new abilities and network with authors, representatives and publishers for almost 100 years.
Attending a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era may show to be one of the finest opportunities for you in years if youre a freelance writer in 2020.
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to be successful, organizers need to find out new ways to make it beneficial for everybody included. And its happening.
Theres another section of conference organizers scrambling to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and ditched airline flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Thinking of going to an online composing conference? Heres 5 huge reasons theyre fresh and helpful.
Now what? Some writing conferences have simply vanished, while others have actually deferred to 2021, because its too hazardous to meet personally right now.
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 blends elements of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not composing, he enjoys a great cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and investing quality time with his spouse and kid.
Hes likewise part of the group hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Thinking of going to an online writing conference? Heres his leading 5 factors to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more inexpensive
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that utilized to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs excellent news for authors.
Usually, online writing conferences are going to be far cheaper for organizations to put on. Eliminate the location fees, catering and faculty travel, the expenses of placing on the affair are halved.
Between admission, travel and accommodations expenses, and all of those add-ons (Who does not buy an arm load of books?), you could easily pay upwards of $1,000 to participate in an in-person event.
Not any more though..
Theres capacity to get a lot more value.
Traditional composing conferences can get quite pricey.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater caliber.
Well, in 2020, that issue is no more.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, agents and managers can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, composing conferences are already seeing an increased variety of representatives, supervisors, publishers registering to go to, and that implies more access and chances for writers.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and manager required substantial workforce and a deep financial investment.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how tough it was for writers to arrange appointments with representatives, publishers, and supervisors.
The difficulty booking somebody for a single day is among both cash and logistics.
Were discussing a few of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine difficulty.
3. Light conference presence enhances the experience for authors.
That is a tough truth for a lot of organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of revenue, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
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.
More industry experts.
Much better market experts.
A lower number of participants will cause less competitors for networking time with those looked for after industry professionals.
In spite of the lower costs and less barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some estimates say that numbers will be halved.
On one hand, less writers realistically indicates less opportunities to network with fellow guests.
OK, I get that. Think about the previous points:.
Ive been to a lots conferences and often pitches with the very best agents are scheduled out weeks beforehand, leaving everybody else in the stumble.
Lower participation is a boon to writers. Why?
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Since the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more available.
Online writing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
Conferences are pricey, as talked about above.
Whichs what readers are hungry for– more unique voices.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is reason to believe the composing world will open for these special voices.
People with physical and developmental disabilities.
Writers from lower-income homes.
People experiencing social anxiety.
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 back. Year in and year out, I was seeing the same faces.
Theyre (for the many part) kept in larger cities and can be physically strenuous. I understand Im exhausted every time I finish the three-day grind.
There are a couple of apparent factors for that:.
5. Online writing conferences simplify networking.
Embrace the modification of online composing conferences to grow.
Business 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 possibly get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a discussion with somebody over the chafing meal. Theyre fascinating. Something youre dealing with has them delighted.
You sit down, exchange organisation cards and … its over.
It is a Pollyanna idea to think that a virtual authors conference can adequately change the genuine thing. The solution is not perfect by any stretch.
The scene is a familiar one.
While we all battle with how to bridge the space in between the world prior to and the one were all headed toward, we should keep in mind to look at the modifications before us as opportunities.
However we are not living in perfect times. Vice versa, actually.
When you fulfill another guest in the virtual chat room, youre both on a computer. All of your email and social networks are right there to create a deeper, longer-term connection with that interesting conversation.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will go away.
2020 may simply be your big one to move up and earn more as a freelance writer.
And thats great news for authors.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 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..
What do you think of online writing conferences? Leave a comment and inform us about it.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long three days, I come home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I maybe get around to calling or emailing a few of them.