Six weeks ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, I was all set to sign a contract with a beautiful hotel here in Malmö, Sweden, and host the first WRITE NOW! Workshop Writers Conference. My, how things change.
While hosting live, in-person events has become questionable on many levels for the rest of this year, more and more people are getting used to meeting online simply because it’s the only way to connect right now. For that reason, I decided not to cancel my conference, but to simply recreate it as an amazing online experience.
But if it’s going to have to change anyway, what else could we do to make the conference even more amazing?! I thought I’d ask you, the writer who normally enjoys going to writers conferences – what would you love to see in an online conference?
There are a few ways we could go. One person suggested that since going to a conference all day for two or three days can be exhausting, maybe we should spread it out to several half-days over a month. Someone else suggested creating a writers summit instead of a conference – a free or low-cost event with lots of great content, but each speaker gets to pitch something that they sell at the end of each session (a course, a book).
I have to admit, for me the conference experience is the joy of seeing old friends and the fun of making new ones, and sharing all of the fun and learning together. If we recreate the conference experience online, we can create little experiences where we get to meet and talk to new people, hang out with old friends, and share our coffee or wine together.
We’ve come up with some super fun ideas to keep it interesting even as we’re apart. For instance, I could have a yoga instructor or physical trainer come on for a couple minutes every few hours to get us up and moving a little, get some more blood and oxygen into our brains.
We could still have a timed writing sprint room in the morning or at night where people could meet and write together. We could have a fireside chat one or two nights with a fun, famous author talking about their writing life and taking questions. We could even have pajama parties! We’d break it up according to genres or topics.
So what do you think? If you’re thinking you might not be flying to a writers conference this year, what’s the best way to recreate that awesome experience online? Share your thoughts and I’ll incorporate what I can into the first ever WRITE NOW! Workshop Writers Conference!
And save the date: October 9-11, 2020!
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