Saturday, March 8, 2008

Behind the Scenes at a Writers Conference

It is just 27 days away from the Northern Colorado Writers Conference. For fun, I thought I would give you a little behind the scenes glimpse of what it actually takes to organize and host a conference. As a primarily one-woman-show, I do most of the planning and organizing myself.

It takes about a full year to put all the pieces together. But, if I can pull off a conference that encourages, inspires and motivates writers to continue to strive for success, all the hard work and occasional headaches are all definitely worth it.

Here is a list of all the different "hats" I wear throughout the process:

Meeting planner
  • Location (this year it is the Hilton again)
    • Coordinate everything with the Hilton
    • Take a good guess as to the number of people who are going to attend
    • sign contract stating the number of people I guarantee will be there (this is the scariest part)
  • Organize event
  • Food
  • Rooms
  • Schedule and set up workshops
Publicist
  • Press releases
  • Get the word out through newspapers, online calendars, flyers...
  • Create a mailing list
  • Promote and network
  • Find sponsors
Talent scout
  • Find speakers, presenters, editors & agents
    • sort through outlines
    • talk to people
    • get references and recommendations
  • Coordinate their needs
  • Book hotel & airfare
Volunteer Coordinator ( I appreciate so much every single volunteer!)
  • Coordinate their tasks
  • Keep then updated on what is going on
Customer relations
  • Answer questions
  • Address problems and concerns
  • Get feed back
Web Master
  • Update content on website
  • Design website
Graphic designer
  • Create ads for the newspapers
  • Design promotional materials
  • Create program
  • Create flyer
  • Create signage for event
Accountant & Book keeper
  • This is the one area I hire out. (Hey, I just can't do it all.)

I hope to see you all at the event on April 4-5th at the Fort Collins Hilton. It will be a great time and a wonderful way to not only learn more about writing and the writing biz, but to visit with other writers and be in a place filled with creative energy.

Happy Writing!
~Kerrie

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