CONFERENCE TIME OF YEAR AGAIN
It’s coming fast upon April and almost time for the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference. I’ve already paid in full. I have absolutely no agenda except to help out and have a good time. To me, this is a reasonable expense to have a good time, the culmination of a year of lots of effort and writing.
As with every year, between conferences I’ve chatted with others who’ve attended other conferences throughout the country. Some were much bigger and others smaller, more expensive and cheaper. From the feedback I got, and of course, you can take this with your own grain of salt (and I don’t care if it’s a cliché), none of them were any better than ours is. Sure, each had their own unique aspects, some pros but many more cons.
THE BIG ONES
The big ones are where you get to rub elbows with the best of the best of the best (I mean top-shelf agents, publishers and famous authors). Only one caveat. First, you have to pay up the nose just to get in the door. However, oh there’s more! Once you get in the door, to actually meet any of these “best of the best of the best,” you have to pay extra for your one-on-one pitch sessions (if that’s what you’re there for). Cha-ching cha-ching cha-ching!
Don’t be surprised to walk into the big room and squeeze into one of as many as 500 people or more. Every one of them is after the same thing as you and you’ll have to fight for your place in line with everyone else for your 30 seconds to 3 minutes to impress an agent or publisher who is probably already burned out by the time they get to you in that sea of faces. “Punch the clicker, on to the next face.”
Autograph sessions are not much different.
The sessions are the best part and you might actually get to see some of the “best of the best of the best” up close if they actually teach any of them.
THE LITTLE ONES
The little ones tend to be more intimate and usually don’t attract the high-end celebrity authors, agents and publishers. They usually last one day or maybe two and tend to be cheaper. They can be from a single session in an auditorium to a series of sessions with no pitch sessions.
They may be worth it for the short term but may be kind of pricy if all you get is some sessions and a bunch of book selling booths. Then again, you can get what you want out of them.
Most of those small ones have been pretty “meh” from the feedback I’ve had from those that attended them. I don’t recall many rave reviews though there have been a few. They’re not all bad. I do recall a few that were really good, though when they’re small, they don’t go into too much depth. Once again, you get what you can out of them.
THE INTIMATE CONFERENCE
The Las Vegas Writer’s Conference is a three-day event that’s always limited to 150 attendees. By being limited, the atmosphere is relaxed and everyone can talk to everybody. There are no lines and no rush. You get the same exact type sessions you get at any other conference or a wide range of subjects. You also get a chance to meet, greet and talk with just about any of the agents, publishers, editors and whoever faculty shows up.
The advantage of our conference is that not only do we have the specific pitch sessions, if you are seeking an agent, but you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with them. Socially mix with them throughout the day, maybe attend a session they might teach, bump into them in the halls. You can get to know them a little bit, get a vibe as to whether they might be a fit for you. You can also talk shop with editors, publicists, marketers, or other authors… whoever is there.
By keeping it intimate, there’s no reason everyone can’t have the opportunity to see whoever they want. That’s the difference between our conference and the big ones. We’re also different from the little ones because we have three days to go into more depth.
Is this a sales pitch for the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference?
Call it what you like. They didn’t hire me. I’m writing this because I go every year and I believe it is something every writer should attend at least once to learn and hone their chops.
The link to the site is: http://www.lasvegaswritersconference.com