RWA Conference from the Cheap Seats

Many people aren’t going to RWA Nationalsfor various reasons, but so far the biggest has been the cost.  At the rate RWA, RT, and other conferences are going, they should expect attendance to decline in the coming years.  You can’t raise prices while people are losing their homes, jobs, and having to downsize on their children’s education. 

However, I have a solution.  😀  It’s called Registration-less Conference. 

Most who go to conferences like RWA or RT go with a game plan.  They have an idea of what they want to accomplish and set out doing it.  My goals are pretty simple.  I want to meet up with my friends (a.k.a. networking).  Everyone knows that the bar is one of the best places for this.  Not only that, but I had contacted some of my wonderful friends ahead of time and scheduled things like dinner and lunch with them.  More important, I feel good about my writing right now and don’t want any outside influences.  😉

Now keep in mind, this isn’t for everyone.  In fact, it’s probably for less than 5% of the people I know.  Not only that, but it takes a certain state of mind to pull it off successfully.  If you want to meet agents and/or editors, then by all means pay $475.  The same goes for if you’re interested in craft lessons, promo, marketing, attending a panel your favorite authors are on, or getting publishing house insider information.   But don’t forget, some of this information you can also get via the CDs and by ordering the workshop booklet for much less than $475. 

One thing is certain.  I’m not paying full price if I can only be there for the last third of the conference (Fri-Sun).  That makes no economic sense whatsoever.  So the only thing I’m really paying for with regards to RWA is the price for an awards ceremony ticket ($50).  That’s about the same price I’d normally pay for a conference/convention registration, so it doesn’t bother me to pay that much to cheer on three of my HCRW buddies for the Golden Heart awards.  So far, my conference total is $330, which is less than cost of registration alone.  I’m sure it’ll go up depending upon my food, gas, parking, and fun expenses.  Nonetheless, that’s a great deal, if you ask me.  😉

Anyway, that’s my big conference saving tip.  What about you?  Do you have any you’d like to share?


8 thoughts on “RWA Conference from the Cheap Seats

    • You know what, Edie? I’ve been thinking about this a lot since Dallas. I ran into most of my friends, including the fan-tabulous MM crew, around the lobby and the bar. In fact, I had more fun hanging out with them there than anywhere else during the conference. For me, it made sense doing it this way.

      So when it comes time for Nationals next year, unless they lower the price, I’ll be going registration-less again to hook up with LaDonna and whoever else is going. 😉

  1. Not a bad idea, especially if your near/close to the city. I’ll have to think of this next year. I couldn’t justify over $1500 (airfare, registration, hotel) just for a ten minute pitch and networking – especially where many agents/editors/published authors are off socializing off-site.

    • Oh my god. Sylvie, you put actual numbers to it that I had forgotten to include in my post. But that number sounds exactly right for what I paid when Nationals was in Dallas. Even worse, that $1500 versus free (email queries) to a few dollars (snail mail). Ask anybody what they’d prefer to pay and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the $1500.

      There are advantages to meeting someone face to face. Not doubts about that. However, when it comes to a fantastic book, it won’t matter to the agent or editor if they met you by email, post mail, or in person.

  2. WOW! I just finished reading your post and the comments to it and I can’t believe it. Well, I guess I can. Everything is so expensive these days. Your idea sounds fabulous. I didn’t know you were such a finance genius 😉

    • Me, a finance genius. Girlfriend, you flatter me. 😆 I blame it on Baby Girl. She’s been making me watch my fnances a lot lately. While I love hanging out with other writers, I’m not about to put myself in debt to do it. Just not gonna happen.

  3. Ya know, Marica, that’s what I’m doing next year. I’m going with my daughter, and basically like you said; hook up with friends and enjoy! Come to think of it, I paid for the whole enchillada in Dallas and was in the bar and doing other stuff most of the time. It was freeing, since I had a publisher at the time and not prepping for any editor/agent appts.

    • Then you can count on me, Mom, and Baby Girl meeting you guys there. I did the same as you in Dallas and ended up having more fun at the bar. Prepping for editors and agent or not, a good book is going to win them over regardless of how it comes to them. So, why pay out hundreds of dollars that you might need elsewhere? This weekend, I am SO going for the “freeing” feeling that you experienced.

      Now if only we can talk Edie, Nancy and Kathy into joining us in 2010. 😀

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