I am truly bummed that I was unable to make the last RT Conference. It was held in New Orleans for God’s sake. A city that I love to visit. There’s really nothing like New Orleans. The rich history, the atmosphere, and of course the food. This is a foodies’ paradise.
I was hoping that my hip would be healed enough for me to make this conference, but no such luck. I mean, what’s the sense of going to The Big Easy when you can barely walk … or at least unable to travel long distances. Sure, I could have gotten a scooter, but then, between the eating and the copious amounts of alcohol sure to be consumed by yours truly, I would be sure to lose control of the scooter and take out a gaggle of tourists. 😯 Also, with the numerous cobblestone streets and sidewalks, no doubt I’d rattle a few teeth loose.
I was planning on making the RWA National Conference which is being held in San Antonio this year, but since its only weeks away, I’m not holding my breath. This will be the second year that I’ll be missing the major cons and I really do miss them. I really hope to make the big cons next year … we’ll see where the health takes me. Fingers crossed.
I’m sure I’ve said this once or twice in the past … in fact I’m sure I have said it … but there are times when the smaller conferences are more beneficial. I had attended the WisRWA conference here in Wisconsin last weekend. It was held in Brookfield, which is something like a thirty minute drive for me. (You’d think I would have headed home on Friday and Saturday evening … but not a chance. Conferences are my “me” time to get away 😉 And believe me, I take full advantage of it).
The hotel was very nice and all of the rooms set aside for workshops and such was within easy walking (or hobbling) distance. Sure there were times when I got winded and had to take mid-journey breaks. Plus, by the time I finally headed home on Sunday, I was one sore puppy.
Smaller conferences are also a terrific place to catch up with people you only see a few times a year. The larger conferences such as the RT Conference and RWA’s National Conference can be overwhelming … particularly if this is your first major con. Yet, they also give you an opportunity to meet some of your favorite authors who would have been unable to attend your local conference. There are a good number of authors that I only see at the major cons, but whom I consider a friend. Okay … a writer friend, which is totally different from your “lives right around the corner” friend. But still, I take every advantage to catch up with these writer friends and pick their brains which I have the opportunity. Then there are my on-line crit partners. Karin Tabke lives in California, Jan Kenney is in Kansas and Maya Banks lives in Texas. This is the only chance I get to hang with these wonderful and talented writers … whom I do consider them “friends” as opposed to “writer friends”. Always a big difference.
So … what is your take on smaller conferences as opposed to the larger cons? Both have advantages and disadvantages. Tell me … as both a writer and a reader … what you get out of them. Enquiring minds want to know.