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Sibermom65

Hosting A Conference

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I'm looking at the possibility of our church hosting a "mini-conference" this fall. Funds will be limited and the participants few. My first problem is that I've never attended a conference myself, so I don't have much of a background. I think I would like to have a guest speaker in the morning and workshop time in the afternoon. Does that sound viable? How do I go about finding a speaker? The theme will be based around evangelization. I believe it can successfully be done ecumenically, but again, I have no experience. Ideas anyone?

 

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Do you have a writer's group in your area? Maybe someone in the group knows of someone who would come? Do you have a writer that might be somewhat known? Where do you live?

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13 hours ago, lynnmosher said:

Do you have a writer's group in your area? Maybe someone in the group knows of someone who would come? Do you have a writer that might be somewhat known? Where do you live?

 

Hey, Lynn, would Project Connections be a better place to help Sibermom with this?

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I live in a very small community in upstate New York. Our local writing group consists of only a handful of people. Part of the attraction of this location is the quiet and the remoteness. I know there are writers nearby, but I don't have names nor know how to connect with them. That's some of what I have to figure out. Right now it seems like there is an awful lot of "must do A before B but must do B before A." There is a university about 20 minutes away that I might be able to draw from but I'm afraid students are more likely to be attendees that speakers.

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3 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

 

Hey, Lynn, would Project Connections be a better place to help Sibermom with this?

 

That's a good question. I'm not sure. Gotta ponder this. Thanks, SW. :D

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9 minutes ago, Sibermom65 said:

 There is a university about 20 minutes away that I might be able to draw from but I'm afraid students are more likely to be attendees that speakers.

 

 

Now that's an interesting thought. You could contact the head of the English (or whatever they're calling it) department and see if there's a professor that would qualify or maybe someone he/she would recommend.

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Guest

ahhh I lived in the Finger Lakes Region for almost 20 years.

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Does your state/region have a writers group that hosts a state/regional conference? Someone there might be able to help, at least give you some pointers.

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This might become the next 'must attend' conference in the Christian writing world!  I am excited for you, Sibermom!  

Here are the thoughts that popped into my head:

Authors of every ilk and market share size are looking for speaking engagements.  At the same time, don't expect charity.  Spend as much of your budget as possible on getting a high class speaker.  Especially in the first years.  The speaker makes the conference. God likely has one lined up for you, so pray for the connection. 

Look up When Words Collide.  It is run on a shoe string with mostly volunteer speakers.  

I have helped run WordShops for Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship.  We each brought a crockpot of soup.  Church basements are used to handling groups like this!  

Have a book market table.  Have social ice breaker activities, public readings, meals together, lots of free time.

Employ a great band for rowdy worship in the evenings.  

Plan trips to explore the local area.  Ask local businesses to sponsor tours/tastings/hayrides, whatever your area is most famous for. 

Encourage artistic, though not necessarily writing, outbursts.  Painting, crafting, dancing, music making, costume making/wearing etc. Talk about how this stimulates writing.  

I wish I lived near you! My airfare would be more than your whole budget, though I'm sure I could invent something to say, hahaha.  Please keep us informed! 

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You say your theme is evangelization. Is this a conference that is based on how to evangelize, or is is a writers' conference? I am a member and chair of our writers group here in our city. Let me know more about your theme and I will see if I can help you with some ideas and in the planing area. 

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The key to my plan is being able to secure a grant to pay for the speaker. I have no clue on how much a suitable speaker would cost. Since the grant money comes from an evangelization fund, that dictates the theme. I'm thinking probably something along the line of "Writing to Share the Good News" but a lot would depend on the potential guest presenter. Like I say, I'm feeling my way through this somewhat blind. Next month
I have to attend a meeting with the folks offering grants - I need to have some basic stuff figured out to even find out if they will consider such a proposal.

Nicola, you have some great ideas - but I imagine most of it will be something to "grow into". For now, we need to just plan on starting very small and seeing where the interest takes us.

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