Monday, October 17, 2011

Inside a Writer's Conference

The day after this post is published, I'll appear on live TV.  Not something I had planned on when I volunteered to be on the conference committee.  Sure, we planned promotion, but the 8 West appearance took on a life of its own.  Before I could say, "hey, wait a minute", I'd been volunteered as one of the spokespersons for the conference.  I'm not stressed about it (yet) because I've had training in Toastmasters.  And also because I have had no time to obsess with it.  But y'all owe me (and Mary) a drink because the show won't be taped, as it was first presented, but LIVE. 
The conference committee has been busy behind the scenes, but I have every confidence we'll pull off a successful conference, and you'll be so jealous of not being part of the cool committee that you'll volunteer next year.  (hint, hint)
Here are some of the things we've tackled in the last few weeks that you otherwise might not know about because of our awesomeness:
* the possible loss of a major speaker due to a family situation.  How would we fill the empty spot on the schedule?  Plan B is in place if the speaker can't make it, but we're good as of this moment.
* an unexpected expense
* whether to lease the audio/visual equipment for all three rooms (we're only using it for one room and have shuffled our schedule to accommodate the speakers who requested it and the needs of the conference)
* questions regarding the meal and where it will be eaten
* arranging a room for the agent to use for pitches (why didn't we think of this earlier?)
* coordinating who's doing what when and with whom
I'm sure there are other things we've all been doing that haven't been communicated.  None of these are earth-shattering, just last-minute-itis.  On top of our individual writing schedules and getting promo material together, we're handling it rather well.  The panic level is low (speaking for myself).
All in all, I think putting on a writer's conference is a lot like writing a book.  There's an idea of what you want, and end in sight, some false starts and detours.  Characters are willful, someone in the background says, "I have a better idea" and it never quite turns out the way you thought it would.  But like writing, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
(well, maybe a second free drink)(hint, hint)


Jennifer Armintrout said...

I'm glad your panic level is low. Mine is through the ROOOOOOOOF.

Patricia Kiyono said...

You're doing a great job! This is going to be a wonderful conference.