Having just come back from #CopyCon18, Australia’s only conference for copywriters, two days later and I’m still floating on a cloud of warm and fuzziness.
Although the conference was held in Sydney, attendees came from all over Australia.
Many are part of The Clever Copywriting School Community, an online community founded by Kate Toon, but the majority were ring-in’s who work as copywriters, editors, social media specialists and marketing strategists as freelancers or employees.
This is the second CopyCon that I’ve been to, and both have had a similar effect on me so I have to believe that it’s not just a one-off.
This conference was essentially aimed at introverts which would be true of events for many other industries – IT, engineering, the list goes on and on. The organisers acknowledged this, and went to great lengths to put things in place, that would help the introverts to feel at ease.
The conference started with a closed Facebook group that gave attendees an opportunity to get a feel for the vibe, meet the organiser and her team, find out a bit about others who were going and generally warm up.
A casual dinner get-together was scheduled for the night before at a local pub, where attendees could get to know one or two copy beasts a bit better, making the day of the conference seem less daunting.
At the start of the conference, a Cheese Buddy ice-breaker exercise required attendees to find a partner that they had been matched up with in the Facebook group. This gave everyone a legitimate reason to go wondering around introducing themselves.
All through the day there were table challenges including an Ellen selfie competition, spot prizes for social media activity and other opportunities for people to feel part of the proceedings without putting themselves in an uncomfy situation.
The message that I’ve taken away from this is that it’s absolutely possible for introverts to enjoy a conference where they have to mingle with dozens of people they don’t know, but it’s a hell of a lot more likely if the organiser puts some thought into making that happen.
Happy attendees will become raving fans, and before you know it, your conference will be on the map.
If you’re an event organiser who’s a flamboyant extrovert, find the shyest person you know and ask them what things about attending an event would make them want to weep in the toilets during tea breaks. Put strategies in place to deal with all those things and hay presto, you will have an event that’s as fabulous as #CopyCon18!