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?