Writers’ conferences are a great way to meet people, make connections, and receive information to become more successful.
Conferences are growing in numbers and size. It’s hard to know what is worth the fee to attend.
I investigate the speakers – who is presenting and what are they presenting on?
Sadly, some conferences presenters are really there to sell their services. That alone does not make it bad, but if you’re hoping to learn something and instead receive a sale presentation, it’s disappointing.
Many conferences offer “pitch meetings” for an extra fee. I look these editors up as well. Which companies are they from and what are they looking for?
I intended to go to a local conference but found the pitch meetings were with editors who were selling editing services. I found that a little dishonest of the conference organizers.
I researched one specific conference I considered going to, but the session information was vague. When I emailed the organizer, his answers to the sessions didn’t help clarify, although he added they’d done this conference for years and many people found success after attending.
If they’ve done the conference for years, I would assume he’d be able to articulate the session information a little bit better.
All that being said – there are many really wonderful and helpful writer’s conferences in which the writer can learn any number of elements of writing, publishing, and editing. Lists are available online and in Poets and Writers.
Do the research on the presenters and read the session information carefully. Email the organizers for more information and look for reviews.
Decide if the conference will benefit you and clarify what you hope to gain from it. This will help you make the decision of which conference might suit you.