Sunday, April 17, 2022

Why Live Events Are Valuable

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

After a two-year delay because of the pandemic, last week the Evangelical Press Association meetings took place in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While I'm a former board member of the EPA and have worked planning a number of their conventions, I had not been to one of their meetings in 20 years—because I'm mostly in the book world with some continuing magazine work. It was a great experience to return to a live event. In this article, I want to give you some of the distinctions and value of these opportunities.
The Give and Take Conversations
Whether you are standing around drinking coffee at a break or meeting people around you during a workshop, there is a give and take in the conversation that does not happen on the phone or virtually but does happen at live events. I saw a number of old friends and had the opportunity to get an update, hear about their work, tell them about some of my work and exchange business cards (because this information often changes over the years). A number of these people I had not encountered face to face in years and the exchanges were priceless in my view. As I've often said in this publishing  business, who you know is almost as important as what you know. These types of exchanges happen over and over during these types of events.
Meeting and Making New Friends
Whether I was sitting at a meal at the event or any other place, these events give the opportunity to get acquainted and learn about each other and exchange business cards. In a publishing world that is often saying “no” or sending a silent rejection (no response), I was one of the few (if not the only book acquisitions editor) at this event. I made a point to often say and show that I am actively looking for new authors and new books. Who knows what will come from it but I was certainly trying in my conversations and actions to open the doors of opportunity.
The Opportunity to Teach
At the EPA meetings, I taught two workshops—one on social media and a second on book proposals. The first one on social media was a part of the overall conference with a much larger attendance. The second one about book proposals was added to the schedule when the overall event was delayed two years with the pandemic. For each of my handouts and presentations, I appreciated the opportunity to give back to others and provide value from my resources and experience. I also appreciated the opportunity to hear other speakers and workshop leaders. I found great value in attending different workshops during the event.
Open to the Unexpected
I made a point to introduce myself to several of the main speakers at this event. To my surprise, one of them followed my work on social media and was appreciative of what I do in this area. Until I had this exchange face to face, I had no idea that he was aware of me and my work. I suspect there will be opportunity to work together in the days ahead—particularly if I follow-up (which I will). From attending live events for years, I know the follow-up emails and other connections are some of the most important actions for anyone attending these events.
In the next few weeks, I will be attending other events. Follow this link to my schedule and I hope to see you at one of these events and talk face to face.
There were many more things which come from these live events but these are a few of the distinctions from these opportunities. What am I missing? Let me know in the comments below.

Live events have returned. This prolific editor and author explores why live events are valuable. Get the details here. (ClickToTweet)

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