Friday, September 21, 2012

Conferences - Yes Or No?

I love conferences! I really do! I like the travel involved, I like meeting new people, and I like learning new information. I have been reading recently about what effect the Internet might have on conferences. At first I was irritated at this thought, and didn’t see why one would not want to attend a conference, and meet people face to face that they have known on the Internet. Then I read more, and thought more.

The pro’s as I see it are:

• You get to meet people in person that you only know online. • You sometimes get the chance to pitch your work to an agent. • You get a more personal feel for the writing industry through conversations with other writers, editors, and publishers. • A short time away from the people and issues in my life.

The con’s as I see it are:

• The cost – of travel, lodging, food, and the conference itself. • Time away from family, and perhaps from a 9-5. • The pitch sessions to an agent can be an added fee.

Each writer as an individual has to determine for themselves whether a brick and mortar conference is for them. Some things to consider are:

• The cost – can you afford it. • What do you hope to gain from the conference? • Is the conference relevant to the work you are doing? • Is the agent pitch session worth it? • Is going to a conference in any way going to help you get published? • If you are going Indie (self-publishing your own work, or going with a small press), how relevant are conferences? • How do you learn best? Can you learn from a book, a video, or a webinar? What is the best use of your time and money?

Where do you find conferences? Through national writing organizations (usually by genre), through strategic locations in big cities, regional conferences, and specialty marketing conferences.

I plan to do a combination of the above – attend webinars, local conferences, as well as big city and national conferences – if they are relevant to the work that I am doing. I will plan where I want to go at the beginning of each year (actually, I will probably do t his the year before, as soon as the information about a conference is out to the public)., and make sure that it fits into my budget. I will have to prioritize the conferences, but that is what life is all about!

Continuing education … meet and greet … networking … however you look at it, while we write in solitude, we do need to get out there and mix to hone our craft!

© September 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

3 comments:

  1. My conferences are online... they have to be. Travel isn't possible for me right now. Meeting people out and about isn't either. So, I am happy to do Skype conferences where we can see and talk to each other, learn a lot, love a lot and just plain make it the easiest thing in the world for everyone. In our own spaces and our own skins, we can relax and enjoy the company and the conversation. Fabulous!!!

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  2. I adore conferences! Yes, they are expensive. However, when I factor all the pluses I've gained from attending conferences, they feel well worth it. A wonderful post I read recently by an author put forth the supposition that a good conferences offers a sort of sacred space outside the world for those of a tribe to convene. Within this space, magic can occur through the structure of ritual (such as the confines of a panel or workshop) and serendipity (the happenstance of meeting the right person at the right time). I can't imagine how much poorer my creative life would be without my conference experiences.

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  3. The UK Tarot Conference is my only 'holiday' this year... Been saving up since last year's conference - Can't wait! Will blog about it of course. Hope to get some good pics to go with the post :)

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