Whats up with writing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 craziness?
Now what? Some writing conferences have actually just disappeared, while others have actually deferred to 2021, since its too harmful to fulfill in individual today.
Theres another segment of conference organizers scrambling to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel reservations and ditched airline company flights online writing conferences are emerging.
However how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to go to an online occasion without the in-person advantages of conventional composing conferences?
If youre a freelance author in 2020, going to a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era might prove to be among the best opportunities for you in years.
Up until the pandemic hit, composing conferences acted as a smart location for writers to discover brand-new skills and network with authors, representatives and publishers for nearly 100 years.
Heres the important things … In order for online composing conferences to prosper, organizers have to find out brand-new ways to make it worthwhile for everybody included. And its occurring.
Thinking about going to an online composing conference? Heres five big reasons theyre beneficial and fresh.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
When he is not writing, he takes pleasure in a good cold craft beer, baseball, a little travel, dungeon crawling with his board video game group, and investing quality time with his other half and kid.
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.
Hes also part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Considering going to an online writing conference? Heres his top 5 reasons to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more inexpensive
Theres potential to get a lot more value.
In between admission, lodging and travel expenses, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt purchase an arm load of books?), you could easily pay upwards of $1,000 to attend an in-person event.
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs good news for authors.
Traditional writing conferences can get pretty costly.
Not any more though..
On average, online writing conferences are going to be far cheaper for companies to put on. Eliminate the place fees, catering and faculty travel, the costs of putting on the affair are cut in half.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a higher quality.
The problem reserving someone for a single day is one of both money and logistics.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, supervisors and representatives 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 supervisor required substantial manpower and a deep financial investment.
Were talking about some of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine difficulty.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Without travel and lodging barriers, writing conferences are currently seeing an increased variety of agents, supervisors, publishers registering to attend, and that means more access and opportunities for writers.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how hard it was for writers to arrange appointments with publishers, representatives, and managers.
3. Light conference attendance improves the experience for writers.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Due to the fact that the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
In spite of the lower costs and fewer barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some estimates say that numbers will be cut in half.
More market professionals.
Better market professionals.
A lower variety of guests will result in less competition for networking time with those demanded market professionals.
This is the year to participate in the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is an agent or a publishing business that youre targeting.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and frequently pitches with the very best agents are booked out weeks ahead of time, leaving everyone else in the lurch.
That is a difficult truth for most organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of income, most likely what keeps them running throughout the year.
OK, I get that. But think about the previous points:.
Lower presence is a benefit to writers though. Why?
On one hand, less authors realistically indicates less chances to network with fellow participants.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more available.
And thats what readers are starving for– more unique voices.
Conferences are expensive, as discussed above.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and attended for 12. Something struck me a long period of time earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
People with physical and developmental disabilities.
Writers from lower-income households.
People experiencing social stress and anxiety.
There are a couple of apparent factors for that:.
Theyre (for the most part) held in bigger cities and can be physically strenuous. I know Im tired each time I end up the three-day grind.
Online writing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to think the writing world will open for these distinct voices.
5. Online composing conferences streamline networking.
It is a Pollyanna idea to believe that a virtual authors conference can effectively replace the genuine thing. The option is not perfect by any stretch.
When you meet another participant in the virtual chatroom, 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.
However we are not living in perfect times. Vice versa, really.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them delighted.
You sit down, exchange business cards and … its over.
Business card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long 3 days, I get home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
While all of us struggle with how to bridge the gap between the world before and the one were all headed towards, we should keep in mind to take a look at the changes prior to us as chances.
The scene is a familiar one.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will go away.
Embrace the modification of online composing conferences to grow.
2020 may simply be your huge one to move up and make more as a freelance writer.
What do you believe about online composing conferences? Leave a remark and inform us about it.
And thats good news for authors.
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.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
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 exact same faces.