Thursday, February 11, 2010

To conference or not to conference, that is the question

Every year there is a buzz about the RWA National Conference. It opens registration around the first of February and immediately on the Yahoo groups a debate about the pro's and con's of conference attending begins.

So here is my two, three or four cents...

If you can afford, go.

That's it.

Just kidding.

I live in Utah. So after the registration fee, hotel, and airfare I'm looking at $1500-$2000 for Nationals. A hefty fee. Is it worth it? Yes it is. The Networking, contacts, and workshops double the value. And I always buy the CD's because it's impossible to attend everything. I listen to a session once a week and the motivation I couldn't get any other way.

So yes if you can afford to go, Go!

And if you can't, find a small RWA chapter conference close to you to attend. Sometimes the contact with the visiting agent and editors are even better at those.

So what are your opinions on conferences?


SG Redling said...

Well, considering the fact that I met my (our!) agent at the WV Writers Conference, I'm all for 'em! Even though I don't write romance, I understand the RWA is the mac-daddy of conferences for any writer. I so wish I could go, but I have the chance to go to Istanbul, where I need to do a little research, so I just can't pass it up. So all you M&M bloggers, I expect pictures!!!

Anita Clenney said...

You know honestly I wasn't a big fan of conferences,not opposed to them, but didn't really see the benefit, then, like Sheila, I met my agent at one.

Now I've come to see the value. The networking, the encouragement, workshops. It never fails to amaze me how much I learn from any workshop I take. Even online classes for that matter. I always pick up something that makes me think...Whoa! It's usually something that I knew but it really hadn't clicked.

Liz Lipperman said...

I love conferences. I am a people person and I definitely get my fix. I have met so many really neat people at conferences just hanging out in the bar or at the many parties. I love asking - "what do you write?" and am always amazed by their answers. A timid librarian type might tell me she writes vampires while a grandmother might whisper she writes erotica. (Who said seniors don't have fun??)

Anyway, the networking is the biggest benfit to me. You get to rub noses with agents, editors and people who think like you.

Great topic, Mary.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I love love love conferences! Like Liz I am a people person and thrive off the energy and comraderie of the whole event. Plus a weekend away without hubby or kids, surrounded by people who "get" you is amazing. I would pay any price for that :-)