Roving Report: Getting the Most from a Live Event

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You all know Heather Robson, Wealthy Web Writer’s managing editor. Let me also introduce Michele Peterson and Kimberly (Kim) Weitkamp. They joined Heather to discuss how a little planning and preparation can help you get the most out of attending a live event, whether that event is in person or virtual.

Michele has been a freelance copywriter for 11 years. In addition to writing for Wealthy Web Writer, she has a number of small companies as clients. She writes emails, landing pages, funnels, and other types of copy. She enjoys helping her clients get their messages out and make some money.

Kim has been a full-time copywriter for about six years. She writes for Wealthy Web Writer and AWAI, and her other clients are all entrepreneurs. She writes landing pages, funnel copy, emails, and launch copy.

Like Michele, she loves talking with business owners and making sure their messaging matches what it’s like to work with them. She enjoys helping them stand out online.

Heather told us she met both Michele and Kim at live events. That’s one reason she loves live events — the connections she makes. But they also give her a chance to hone her existing skills, market herself, and learn new skills.

Without in-person events during the past 18 months, and the pivot to virtual events, it’s important to get the same advantage from a virtual event as you would in person.

Michele and Kim each have some favorite things about live events, whether in person or virtual.

Kim likes the opportunity to meet a lot of people. “That’s my purpose for going,” she explained. “It’s a great way to get information, but also to meet other people who could become clients, colleagues, or referral sources.”

Michele’s favorite moments from in-person events almost always revolve around connecting with other people. “You get the learning,” she elaborated, “but my favorite moments at live events are having coffee or lunch with others. Those really stand out.”

Heather pointed out that, as writers working from home, we risk feeling isolated. She loves the learning, but “it really is the chance to make connections. It’s wonderful to hear other writers’ stories and their successes.”

Through live events, Heather has made connections that have led to friendships, as well as “excellent colleagues and collaborators.”

Michele agreed, reminding Heather of a time at Bootcamp when she had a chance to hang out with Heather and Brian Clark. “I had a little bit of a fangirl moment with Brian,” she added. “He was so great.”

Kim told us about a group she connected with even before attending her first Bootcamp.

She was looking for a roommate, and a forum had been created for that purpose. Kim met her roommates virtually before the Bootcamp, and from that came a group of people who are still meeting together every week.

Her favorite memory was “sitting down to coffee with these people I had connected with online and getting to meet them in person and really make that connection.”

Heather noted that sometimes something will happen at an event that will “trigger a whole domino effect.”

She told us how she watched an epic, two-day tennis match at Wimbledon in 2010, and read the accompanying live blog. As the match went on and on and on, “the blogger got punchier and punchier,” Heather recounted.

“Then I had this moment,” she said. “I thought, I should do a live blog of Web Intensive.” Heather pitched the idea of bringing real time updates of the live event to the Wealthy Web Writer audience. Rebecca Matter (AWAI’s president) thought it was a great idea.

While live blogging at the Web Intensive, Heather met Mark Everett Johnson, copy chief at Rodale. “He had a control for Prevention magazine that ran for a very long time — it might still be running,” she told us.

Heather had a casual conversation with him before she knew who he was. “He was just a person in my vicinity,” she told us. “We really hit it off, and I ended up working with him for six years.”

You never know where the conversations you have during an event will lead.

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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