Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 insaneness?
If youre a freelance writer in 2020, attending a new digital conference in the COVID-era might show to be among the very best chances for you in years.
Up until the pandemic hit, writing conferences served as a clever place for authors to discover brand-new abilities and network with authors, agents and publishers for nearly 100 years.
But theres another sector of conference organizers rushing to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and ditched airline company flights online composing conferences are emerging.
Now what? Some writing conferences have simply vanished, while others have delayed to 2021, due to the fact that its too hazardous to fulfill personally today.
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers desire to go to an online occasion without the in-person advantages of conventional writing conferences?
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to succeed, organizers need to find out brand-new methods to make it rewarding for everybody included. And its happening.
Considering attending an online writing conference? Heres five huge 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 secrets that blends elements of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not composing, he delights in a good cold craft beer, baseball, a little travel, dungeon crawling with his board game group, and investing quality time with his spouse and child.
Hes also part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Thinking about attending an online writing conference? Heres his leading 5 reasons to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more economical
Theres capacity to get a lot more value.
Conventional composing conferences can get quite pricey.
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats good news for authors.
Not any more though..
Typically, online writing conferences are going to be far cheaper for companies to put on. Take away the location fees, catering and faculty travel, the expenses of placing on the affair are halved.
In between admission, travel and accommodations expenses, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt buy an arm load of books?), you could easily pay upwards of $1,000 to go to an in-person event.
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a higher quality.
The barriers are gone.
Managers, representatives and publishers can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Without travel and lodging barriers, composing conferences are already seeing an increased number of agents, supervisors, publishers registering to attend, and that means more gain access to and chances for writers.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how tough it was for authors to set up consultations with supervisors, publishers, and agents.
Do we fly somebody out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and supervisor required considerable manpower and a deep monetary investment.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
Were discussing some of the busiest individuals in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine challenge.
The difficulty scheduling someone for a single day is one of both cash and logistics.
3. Light conference presence improves the experience for authors.
In spite of the lower expenses and less barriers, conference participation will definitely be down in 2020. Some price quotes state that numbers will be halved.
OK, I get that. However think about the previous points:.
That is a difficult truth for a lot of companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of earnings, most likely what keeps them running throughout the year.
More market professionals.
Better industry specialists.
A lower number of attendees will lead to less competitors for networking time with those searched for industry specialists.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Since the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
Ive been to a lots conferences and frequently pitches with the finest agents are booked out weeks ahead of time, leaving everybody else in the lurch.
Lower attendance is a boon to authors though. Why?
On one hand, less writers rationally implies less chances to network with fellow participants.
This is the year to go to the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is a publishing or a representative company that youre targeting.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more available.
Online writing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
Individuals with physical and developmental impairments.
Writers from lower-income households.
Individuals experiencing social stress and anxiety.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is reason to believe the composing world will open for these unique voices.
There are a few apparent factors for that:.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and attended for 12. Something struck me a long time earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the exact same faces.
Whichs what readers are starving for– more special voices.
Conferences are costly, as talked about above.
Theyre (for the most part) held in bigger cities and can be physically rigorous. I know Im exhausted every time I complete the three-day grind.
5. Online writing conferences streamline networking.
Welcome the modification of online writing conferences to grow.
We are not living in perfect times. Far from it, in fact.
The scene is a familiar one.
Youre both on a computer when you fulfill another attendee in the virtual chat space. All of your e-mail and social networks are right there to create a deeper, longer-term connection with that intriguing discussion.
Service card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. 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.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will go away.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a discussion with somebody over the chafing dish. Theyre interesting. Something youre working on has them excited.
You sit down, exchange service cards and … its over.
It is a Pollyanna notion to believe that a virtual writers conference can effectively change the genuine thing. The solution is not ideal by any stretch.
While we all battle with how to bridge the gap between the world prior to and the one were all headed towards, we need to remember to look at the modifications prior to us as opportunities.
2020 may simply be your big one to go up and make more as a freelance writer.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
And thats great news for writers.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and participated in for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
What do you believe about online writing conferences? Leave a comment and inform us about it.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long three days, I come house with a stack of a hundred cards, and I possibly get around to calling or emailing a few of them.