Friday, April 17, 2009

The Conference Dilemma

So, I'm trying to decide whether to go to RWA National Conference this year or not...I think I've decided NOT to go, then something happens that makes me waver.

Here's the deal, I really do not enjoy the RWA National Conference. It makes me break out in hives quite honestly. I'm going to sound old and cynical, but there are just too many pent up hopes and dreams in one space for me. I get itchy.

I was born a cynic--and now that I'm older....well, it hasn't lessened any.

And I hate the big giant book signing, as a participant anyway. If I do go, I think I will skip that this year. I feel trapped behind that table...TRAPPED. I would rather roam and annoy others. I'm good at roaming and annoying.

But my friends go and my agent and possibly my editor. And other authors I'd really like to chat with in person. Sigh...then again there is the cost. The cost is a big negative for me. The fee is $425 and quite honestly, the last time I went I attended very few actual sessions. I do like listening to them on my MP3 player later, but I can do that without attending (and it cost extra either way). And the Ritas...also not really my bag, but I do have a friend who finaled. Of course, I doubt my lack of attendence will affect her too negatively. ;-)

And there's the money. Did I mention the money?

So, to go or not to go. I can not decide. How many of you go to conferences? And why? What do you hope to get out of it? What makes you leave feeling like your fees were well spent?


Susan Blexrud said...

I know exactly what you mean. I'm here in Orlando, getting ready for my FIRST Romantic Times Convention. I didn't spring for the big bucks ($495), which would wipe out my royalties for the foreseable future, but since I'm in O-Town anyway for a visit, I thought I'd hang out a bit at RT and meet some people. I'm way too antsy to sit (like you), so we'll see. Frankly, I learn much more about my craft from my awesome critique group and the authors I meet who travel through Asheville. There's a value to conferences, I'm sure, but you have to enjoy being sedentary to really get your money's worth.

azteclady said...

I want to go--even though I'm not an RWA member--simply so I can spend the week roaming and annoying... erm, meeting all the wonderful people I've 'met' already through the blogosphere.

Lori Devoti said...

Susan, I did one RT. It really wasn't my thing. That said I might consider it again if it was within driving distance too. But, yeah, hanging out in the bar and meeting people is 90% of the fun and the benefit! I envy you that. :)
Azteclady, I really need to figure out a way to make a career out of the roaming and annoying because I am SO good at it!

Susan Blexrud said...

I'll let you know how it goes at RT. I can only hang out at the bar for so long (two mojitos is my limit), but I understand from gals who have attended in the past that the bar is where the action is. Wait, I don't mean action, I mean INFORMATION.

Pissenlit said...

I can count the number of times I've been to conventions on one hand...and the number of different conventions on two fingers. Sure, it was fun but I totally hear you about the cost. Most of the times I went(way back in high school), I volunteered(runner/gofer), thereby getting in for free. Nowadays, I'm still reluctant to fork over the admission(tight finances). Did I mention I was never really a huge fan of crowds to begin with? I'm not saying I'm never going to go to one again...just...not often...and not any time soon.