I’ve now finished all of my 360|Conferences events for the year, and have participated/watched two writer events.
This past weekend I attended my second MileHiCon, overall it was better than my first.
MileHiCon 52 was this past weekend, and October 2-3 was… I’m honestly blanking and all I have are Zoom links in my calendar, shrug.
Anyhow, many events just threw in the towel (Starfest, Rocky mtn Con, 20booksto50k, etc) so it’s nice that a few gave it their best shot to provide the community something to do. Here are some takeaways I gleaned.
Don’t bother with author alley/vendor areas. Thankfully MileHiCon wasn’t overly expensive, but it was all a waste. Zero sales that I can link to the event. No “came to my table” that I know of.
I saw this with 360|Conferences events as well. Our sponsors (gods bless ’em) didn’t get much traffic. It just doesn’t work the same as in-person.
Assuming 2021 is likely to still be virtual, I won’t be offering booths at 360 Events. I’ll find someting else to offer sponsors that gets them engagement.
There are a lot of things to not like about online events. Being able to do the laundry, mow the lawn, etc. WHILE watching (or at least listening to) a session is not one of them IMO. I love the freedom that comes with virtual events.
It’s great to not be stuck in a ballroom, etc while still enjoying the amazing content.
As a panelist, it’s certainly nice to be in the comfort of my home office. To have notes, etc available if needed. MileHiCon specifically, it was nice to have a moderator, LOL. I need to work on my getting on panels game as there were several i felt I could have contributed to.
As an organizer, while I missed going out for drinks with folks, etc. I didn’t miss having to get up early and be at the venue from 7a to 8p. I was able to still work out, do stuff around the house, actually eat lunch, etc.
Also, from an organizer standpoint, the overhead is next to zero. No overpriced internet, food, etc. No swag. That was nice from a budget perspective.
As an attendee those are all negatives to a degree. While I haven’t made a ton of inroads in the writing community yet, being in the room is a must so from the networking perspective, MileHiCon and the other (Still can’t remember the name!) were for not.
So, you know one more feather in 2020’s fuck you cap for sure are events. There are plusses and minuses of on-line vs. in-person, to be sure but in any model things were just… ‘off’
I’m not overly hopeful that 2021 will see many in-person events, but here’s hopin’.