Whats up with composing conferences during all this COVID-19 madness?
Now what? Some composing conferences have actually just disappeared, while others have actually postponed to 2021, because its too hazardous to meet personally right now.
If youre a freelance writer in 2020, participating in a new digital conference in the COVID-era may prove to be one of the finest opportunities for you in years.
However theres another sector of conference organizers rushing to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel reservations and ditched airline flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Heres the important things … In order for online writing conferences to be successful, organizers have to figure out brand-new methods to make it rewarding for everyone included. And its taking place.
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to attend an online event without the in-person benefits of traditional composing conferences?
Till the pandemic hit, writing conferences functioned as a clever location for authors to learn new skills and network with authors, agents and publishers for almost 100 years.
Considering attending an online writing conference? Heres five big factors theyre useful and fresh.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Hes also part of the team 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 writing, he delights in a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a little bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his board game group, and investing quality time with his partner and child.
Thinking about participating in an online composing conference? Heres his top 5 factors to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more economical
Theres potential to get a lot more value.
Usually, online composing conferences are going to be far more affordable for organizations to place on. Take away the place costs, catering and faculty travel, the expenses of placing on the affair are halved.
Not any more though..
In between admission, travel and lodging costs, and all of those add-ons (Who does not buy an arm load of books?), you could quickly pay upwards of $1,000 to go to an in-person event.
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats excellent news for writers.
Traditional composing conferences can get quite pricey.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater caliber.
Without travel and lodging barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased variety of agents, managers, publishers signing up to participate in, and that suggests more access and opportunities for writers.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how hard it was for writers to schedule consultations with managers, publishers, and agents.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and supervisor needed substantial manpower and a deep monetary outlay.
Well, in 2020, that issue is no more.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
The barriers are gone.
Managers, representatives and publishers can take pitches from their home workplaces.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
The problem booking someone for a single day is among both money and logistics.
Were talking about some of the busiest people in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine obstacle.
3. Light conference attendance enhances the experience for authors.
Ive been to a lots conferences and frequently pitches with the very best representatives are reserved out weeks in advance, leaving everyone else in the lurch.
In spite of the lower expenses and fewer barriers, conference presence will certainly be down in 2020. Some quotes state that numbers will be cut in half.
More market professionals.
Better industry professionals.
A lower variety of attendees will cause less competitors for networking time with those searched for industry specialists.
Lower attendance is a boon to authors though. Why?
On one hand, less writers logically implies less opportunities to network with fellow attendees.
That is a challenging reality for a lot of organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a considerable generator of earnings, most likely what keeps them running throughout the year.
OK, I get that. But think about the previous points:.
If there is a publishing or an agent company that youre targeting, this is the year to participate in the conference where theyre taking pitches.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Since the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more available.
Conferences are costly, as gone over above.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and participated in for 12. Something struck me a long time ago. Year in and year out, I was seeing the same faces.
Whichs what readers are starving for– more special voices.
Individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
Writers from lower-income households.
Individuals experiencing social anxiety.
There are a couple of apparent reasons for that:.
Theyre (for the many part) kept in bigger cities and can be physically extensive. I understand Im exhausted whenever I end up the three-day grind.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is reason to think the composing world will open for these unique voices.
Online writing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
5. Online writing conferences streamline networking.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will disappear.
While we all struggle with how to bridge the space in between the world before and the one were all headed toward, we must remember to look at the modifications prior to us as opportunities.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a discussion with someone over the chafing meal. Theyre intriguing. Something youre dealing with has them thrilled.
Then you take a seat, exchange organisation cards and … its over.
Service 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 fulfill another attendee in the virtual chatroom, youre both on a computer. All of your e-mail and social media are right there to forge a deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating conversation.
It is a Pollyanna idea to believe that a virtual writers conference can adequately replace the genuine thing. The option is not ideal by any stretch.
The scene is a familiar one.
We are not living in perfect times. Far from it, really.
Embrace the modification of online writing conferences to grow.
2020 might simply be your big one to go up and make more as a freelance writer.
And thats great news for authors.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and went to 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 likewise part of the team hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
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.
What do you consider online writing conferences? Leave a comment and tell us about it.