Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 craziness?
Heres the important things … In order for online writing conferences to succeed, organizers need to find out new methods to make it beneficial for everybody involved. And its occurring.
Believing about participating in an online composing conference? Heres 5 big reasons theyre fresh and useful.
Till the pandemic hit, composing conferences acted as a clever location for writers to find out new abilities and network with authors, representatives and publishers for practically 100 years.
If youre a freelance author in 2020, attending a new digital conference in the COVID-era may prove to be one of the best opportunities for you in years.
However theres another segment of conference organizers rushing to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and scrapped airline flights online composing conferences are emerging.
But how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers desire to attend an online occasion without the in-person advantages of conventional composing conferences?
Now what? Some writing conferences have actually merely vanished, while others have postponed to 2021, due to the fact that its too harmful to fulfill face to face right now.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Hes also part of the group 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 blends aspects of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not composing, he takes pleasure in a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a little travel, dungeon crawling with his board game group, and spending quality time with his partner and kid.
Considering attending an online composing conference? Heres his leading 5 reasons to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more affordable
Typically, online composing conferences are going to be far more affordable for companies to place on. Eliminate the location charges, catering and faculty travel, the costs of placing on the affair are cut in half.
Not any more though..
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that utilized to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs great news for authors.
Between lodging, admission and travel costs, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt purchase an arm load of books?), you could quickly pay upwards of $1,000 to attend an in-person occasion.
Traditional writing conferences can get quite costly.
Theres potential to get a lot more value.
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a greater caliber.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, writing conferences are currently seeing an increased variety of agents, managers, publishers registering to attend, and that means more gain access to and opportunities for authors.
Were talking about 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.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, supervisors and agents can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and manager needed considerable manpower and a deep financial investment.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
The trouble scheduling someone for a single day is one of both cash and logistics.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how tough it was for authors to set up appointments with representatives, publishers, and managers.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
3. Light conference participation improves the experience for writers.
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.
OK, I get that. But think about the previous points:.
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.
Lower presence is a benefit to authors. Why?
In spite of the lower expenses and less barriers, conference attendance will definitely be down in 2020. Some quotes state that numbers will be cut in half.
That is a hard truth for many companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of income, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
On one hand, fewer authors logically means less chances to network with fellow participants.
More industry experts.
Much better market specialists.
A lower variety of guests will result in less competition for networking time with those searched for industry experts.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Youll get to see a lot more since the lines are a lot shorter.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more accessible.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is factor to believe the writing world will open for these special voices.
And thats what readers are starving for– more special voices.
People with developmental and physical impairments.
Writers from lower-income homes.
People experiencing social stress and anxiety.
There are a couple of obvious reasons for that:.
Theyre (for the most part) held in larger cities and can be physically rigorous. I know Im exhausted whenever I finish the three-day grind.
Online writing conferences open the experience up wider than ever before to:.
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 period of time back. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
Conferences are expensive, as gone over above.
5. Online composing conferences simplify networking.
Company 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.
We are not living in perfect times. Far from it, in fact.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will go away.
It is a Pollyanna concept to think that a virtual writers conference can effectively replace the real thing. The option is not ideal by any stretch.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a conversation with somebody over the chafing dish. Theyre fascinating. Something youre dealing with has them excited.
You sit down, exchange business cards and … its over.
The scene is a familiar one.
When you meet another guest in the virtual chatroom, youre both on a computer system. All of your email and social media are right there to forge a much deeper, longer-term connection with that interesting discussion.
Embrace the change of online writing conferences to grow.
While all of us struggle with how to bridge the space between the world before and the one were all headed toward, we should keep in mind to take a look at the changes prior to us as opportunities.
2020 may just be your big one to go up and earn more as a freelance writer.
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 perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise part of the team hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
And thats excellent news for writers.
I have 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.
What do you think of online composing conferences? Leave a comment and tell us about it.