Whats up with composing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 madness?
If youre a freelance author in 2020, attending a new digital conference in the COVID-era might show to be among the finest chances for you in years.
However how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to attend an online event without the in-person benefits of standard writing conferences?
Heres the important things … In order for online composing conferences to succeed, organizers have to find out new ways to make it worthwhile for everybody involved. And its happening.
Now what? Some writing conferences have just disappeared, while others have postponed to 2021, because its too unsafe to fulfill personally today.
Believing about attending an online composing conference? Heres five huge factors theyre fresh and useful.
Until the pandemic hit, composing conferences functioned as a smart place for authors to learn brand-new skills and network with authors, representatives and publishers for nearly 100 years.
But theres another segment of conference organizers rushing to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel bookings and scrapped airline company flights online composing conferences are emerging.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Hes also part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
When he is not writing, he delights in a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a little travel, dungeon crawling with his board game group, and spending quality time with his wife and child.
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 aspects of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
Considering going to an online writing conference? Heres his top 5 reasons to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more inexpensive
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats excellent news for writers.
Between travel, admission and lodging costs, and all of those add-ons (Who does not purchase an arm load of books?), you could easily pay upwards of $1,000 to attend an in-person occasion.
Conventional writing conferences can get quite pricey.
Not any more though..
Theres capacity to get a lot more value.
Typically, online writing conferences are going to be far less expensive for organizations to place on. Eliminate the place costs, catering and faculty travel, the costs of placing on the affair are cut in half.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater quality.
Do we fly somebody out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and supervisor required substantial manpower and a deep financial expense.
The problem reserving someone for a single day is among both cash and logistics.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, agents and managers can take pitches from their home workplaces.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how challenging it was for writers to schedule appointments with representatives, supervisors, and publishers.
Were talking about a few of the busiest people in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine difficulty.
Well, in 2020, that issue is no more.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased number of agents, supervisors, publishers signing up to attend, and that means more access and opportunities for writers.
3. Light conference participation improves the experience for authors.
More market specialists.
Much better industry professionals.
A lower variety of attendees will lead to less competitors for networking time with those demanded industry specialists.
This is the year to go to the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is a publishing or an agent business that youre targeting.
In spite of the lower costs and less barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some estimates state that numbers will be halved.
OK, I get that. Think about the previous points:.
Lower presence is a boon to writers. Why?
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Because the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
On one hand, less writers rationally indicates fewer opportunities to network with fellow attendees.
That is a tough reality for the majority of companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of earnings, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and frequently pitches with the very best agents are booked out weeks in advance, leaving everybody else in the stumble.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more accessible.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is reason to think the writing world will open for these unique voices.
Online composing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
Conferences are expensive, as discussed above.
Theyre (for the many part) held in larger cities and can be physically extensive. I know Im exhausted each time I finish the three-day grind.
People with developmental and physical impairments.
Writers from lower-income homes.
People experiencing social anxiety.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and participated in for 12. Something struck me a very long time earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the exact same faces.
And thats what readers are starving for– more distinct voices.
There are a few obvious reasons for that:.
5. Online writing conferences simplify networking.
Accept the modification of online writing conferences to grow.
Business card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long 3 days, I get back with a stack of a hundred cards, and I possibly navigate to calling or emailing a few of them.
When you satisfy another attendee in the virtual chat room, 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 fascinating conversation.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them excited.
You sit down, exchange service cards and … its over.
While all of us battle with how to bridge the gap in between the world before and the one were all headed towards, we need to keep in mind to take a look at the modifications before us as chances.
It is a Pollyanna concept to believe that a virtual authors conference can adequately replace the genuine thing. The service is not perfect by any stretch.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will go away.
We are not living in perfect times. Vice versa, really.
The scene is a familiar one.
2020 may just be your big one to go up and earn more as a freelance writer.
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 same faces.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long 3 days, I come home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
And thats excellent news for authors.
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 consider online writing conferences? Leave a remark and tell us about it.