Writing conferences come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the area, venue, and people’s budgets (both attendees and sponsors), an event may have a few hundred or a few dozen people show up. The Essence of Motown Conference, which I attended for the first time this year, was another victim of the Michigan economy-less than fifty people came.
Though I wasn’t sure what would happen at the beginning, even with such a small group, I got quite a bit out of it including meeting some great people. Whether your next conference experience is big or small, here are a few ways to benefit and make it worth putting into your budget:
1. Learn by Example
Writing conferences often include time for those who are speaking to sell their books and products. Take a look at their displays. What do they do that would make your sales better? What do they offer that you don’t? Does it seem to be helping them and why?
2.Step Out of the Familiar
Most authors write most of their work in a genre’ or maybe two. While getting more education in those areas is a reason to attend a conference, why not take opportunity to check out something completely different.
For example, I don’t write fiction at all, but I sat in on a Christian Romance workshop. Why? I plan to help authors of all kinds, the more I know about various types of writing the better. In addition, several of the tips the speaker offered could easily apply to other kinds of fiction. The change of pace was refreshing in a way too.
3.Remember You’re Not Alone
If you’ve been writing for any amount of time, you may occasionally feel a little lonely. While some people revel in the solitude, others go a bit stir crazy. As long as there are at least a handful of others in attendance you can renew some social connectedness with live people who know what you do and why you do it. Not words in an email, a person with a warm hand to shake or hug to give; someone who understands. That alone may be worth the price of admission.
Cheryl Pickett has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade. Learn more at http://CherylPickett.com/.