San Francisco Writers Conference Ideas for 2015

11:30 AM

After an incredible long weekend in SF, I'm exhausted and exhilarated. SFWC was amazing. My recap including everything I loved about the conference is here. On the last day, we filled out a conference evaluation form that inspired me to wonder what could make this even better?

Keynote on Future of Traditional Publishing

I loved Barry Eisler's talk on publishing, but I would love to see the counterpoint. We hear all the time about the legacy publishing industry dying, becoming irrelevant, etc. I'd love to hear a talk about the amazing new ways traditional is changing in this high tech environment. When I first ran across out of context quotes from Hugh Howey's post on being the hypothetical CEO of New HarperCollins, I was psyched. They're really embracing change! Until I realized it was a hypothetical post. Tell me what they are really doing. What amazing new ways are they embracing the new world of publishing?

Pre-Conference Webinars

Paying out $XXX for my first time at the conference was a huge hit on my finances. I doubted my decision over and over. Maybe everything I'd learn there I could learn online. Is it worth it? Give us a free webinar or three from past speakers at the conference. Give me a taste of what is to come. If someone is on the fence about attending, this could seal the deal. This would also drive more sharing of SFWC on social media.

Writers with Drinks

Organized bar / lounge outings for attendees who want to network into the night but are not interested in the no-host dinners.

Fueling Station

Nob Hill is a bit of a hike which means that most of us are limited to the provided luncheons, hotel restaurants, and room minibars. We are willing to pay for caffeine! Just maybe not $7 for a tiny bottle. The 'cafe' set up in the same room as the temporary bookstore could sell Diet Coke, quality coffee, and snacks. The place would also get a lot more traffic too.

Meeting of the Minds

Some forum or the like to facilitate conversations and friendships between attendees before and after the conference. Pre-conference I reached out to friends and strangers via Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit to find others that might be attending. Only tweeting #sfwc2014 elicited a few positive responses. I met a few of those kickass woman at the conference but only by accident. Now that the conference is over, several of us are using a Facebook group to keep in touch. This works, but I wish it had been easier to find and chat with attendees before we arrived.


Every event is better with a photobooth. Bring it to the Gala Party!

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