Whats up with writing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 insaneness?
Heres the important things … In order for online composing conferences to prosper, organizers need to determine brand-new methods to make it rewarding for everyone included. And its happening.
If youre a freelance author in 2020, attending a new digital conference in the COVID-era might show to be one of the very best chances for you in years.
Till the pandemic hit, writing conferences acted as a smart place for authors to learn brand-new skills and network with authors, agents and publishers for almost 100 years.
Now what? Some composing conferences have simply disappeared, while others have deferred to 2021, since its too hazardous to meet personally today.
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to attend an online event without the in-person benefits of conventional writing conferences?
Theres another sector of conference organizers scrambling to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and scrapped airline company flights online composing conferences are emerging.
Believing about going to an online composing conference? Heres five big reasons theyre useful and fresh.
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 mysteries that blends aspects of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not composing, he delights in a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a little travel, dungeon crawling with his board video game group, and spending quality time with his other half and boy.
Hes also part of the group hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Considering going to an online writing conference? Heres his leading 5 reasons to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more affordable
Theres capacity to get a lot more bang for your dollar.
Not any more though..
On average, online writing conferences are going to be far more affordable for organizations to put on. Eliminate the location charges, catering and professors travel, the costs of putting on the affair are halved.
Conventional writing conferences can get pretty pricey.
In between lodging, travel and admission costs, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt buy an arm load of books?), you could easily pay upwards of $1,000 to participate in an in-person event.
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs great news for authors.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater caliber.
The barriers are gone.
Managers, representatives and publishers 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 hard it was for authors to schedule visits with publishers, managers, and representatives.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
The trouble booking somebody for a single day is among both cash and logistics.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and manager needed substantial manpower and a deep monetary outlay.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Were talking about a few of the busiest individuals in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a real obstacle.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased variety of agents, managers, publishers registering to go to, which implies more access and chances for authors.
3. Light conference attendance enhances the experience for writers.
More market specialists.
Much better industry specialists.
A lower variety of attendees will cause less competition for networking time with those demanded market specialists.
OK, I get that. But consider the previous points:.
This is the year to go to the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is a representative or a publishing company that youre targeting.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Youll get to see a lot more because the lines are a lot shorter.
In spite of the lower expenses and fewer barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some estimates say that numbers will be cut in half.
Ive been to a lots conferences and typically pitches with the best agents are reserved out weeks in advance, leaving everybody else in the stumble.
That is a difficult reality for most organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a considerable generator of income, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
On one hand, fewer writers rationally indicates fewer chances to network with fellow participants.
Lower attendance is an advantage to authors though. Why?
4. Virtual composing conferences are more accessible.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is reason to believe the writing world will open for these unique voices.
Whichs what readers are hungry for– more special voices.
Conferences are expensive, as discussed above.
There are a few apparent factors for that:.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and attended for 12. Something struck me a long period of time earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the same faces.
People with physical and developmental specials needs.
Writers from lower-income households.
People experiencing social stress and anxiety.
Theyre (for the most part) held in bigger cities and can be physically rigorous. I understand Im exhausted each time I finish the three-day grind.
Online composing conferences open the experience up broader than ever before to:.
5. Online writing conferences simplify networking.
The scene is a familiar one.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will go away.
Embrace the change of online composing conferences to grow.
Organisation 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 perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
When you meet another guest in the virtual chat space, youre both on a computer. All of your email and social networks are right there to forge a much deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating conversation.
It is a Pollyanna idea to think that a virtual authors conference can effectively change the genuine thing. The option is not ideal by any stretch.
However we are not residing in perfect times. Far from it, in fact.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a discussion with someone over the chafing meal. Theyre fascinating. Something youre working on has them delighted.
You sit down, exchange company cards and … its over.
While we all battle with how to bridge the space in between the world prior to and the one were all headed towards, we need to keep in mind to take a look at the changes prior to us as chances.
2020 might simply be your big one to move up and earn more as a freelance author.
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.
And thats good news for writers.
What do you think of online composing conferences? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
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 group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..