There was a time when workshops and seminars for writers were limited to what was discussed and reviewed in hotel conference rooms or classrooms. So if you weren’t an attendee, you’d have to wait weeks or even months to pick up the few crumbs of information available when summaries of the conferences finally showed up in newsletters. In these digital days, however, writing conferences are increasingly connected, both to the attendees and to writers in the outside world. At Web Design Relief, we know that information now flies faster than a caffeine-charged PowerPoint presentation!
Here Are 5 Ways You Can Digitize—And Maximize—Your Writing Conference Experience
Check Your Writing Conference Connection
Retrieving relevant information quickly is vital to getting the most out of a writing workshop. Whether you prefer a tablet, laptop, or a phone with Internet capabilities, always have some way to connect with the hotel Wi-Fi so you can get the information you need, when you need it. If you haven’t heard of the author the speaker is referencing, in addition to jotting down the name, do a quick Internet search!
Write Well But Download Better
Some writers prefer taking notes by hand, which is known to improve memory retention. But unless you’ve studied shorthand (does anyone use shorthand anymore?), you’ll never accurately record all the details about the presenter’s latest graph or catch those statistics on the fly.
Before the workshop, ask about digital downloads of slides or whether attendees will have access to an audio or video recording of the workshop after the fact. Knowing that you can easily retrieve any details you might miss will allow you to rest your cramped hand or, alternatively, to pay more attention during the seminar.
Pack Your E-reader
After three or more days at a writing conference, your mind is going to be on overload. You’ll likely forget to purchase at least one book by that author whose name you can’t remember now.
But if you have your e-reader with you at the conference, you can download that writer’s book instantly and start reading it on the plane ride home.
Network On The Spot
If you’re working the conference right, you’ll be meeting a lot of new writers and exchanging author business cards. Use your tablet, phone, or laptop to connect with them on social media before you lose their names amid the confusion of new acquaintances. You’ll increase your network, and they’ll be reminded to follow you back.
You may even want to bring bookmarks or postcards with QR codes featuring your writing, book blurbs, or great reviews that you can share with conference attendees or place on the S.W.A.G. tables.
Use The Conference Hashtag
Are there two simultaneous workshops you want to go to, but you left your Hogwarts Time-Turner at home? Consider following the sessions you’ll have to miss via the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You’ll get quick updates on concurrent workshops (or those you just can’t make). If you can’t attend the conference at all, following the hashtag will keep you somewhat informed of events in real time.
All this digital connecting can help authors get the most out of their conference experience, but the real work starts when you get home. Be sure to go through all your notes, follow up on action items, and start connecting with your new writer friends. Sleep will just have to wait!
Question: What was the best writing tip, marketing advice, or networking connection that you got out of your most recent writing conference?