Why I Gave Up “A Day’s Wages” To Attend PCN2014September 29, 2014
The annual PCN conference is the only national meeting for copywriters in the UK.
That alone should make it a must-attend event for anyone serious about their craft. Or who just fancies a chinwag IRL with fellow writers.
Last year I remember an amusing tweet from one non-attender with the deathless line, “Why should I give up a day’s wages to listen to people telling me what I already know?”
Leaving aside the curious use of the word “wages” to describe the professional fees the gentleman earns, why would anyone do such a commercially silly thing as losing money to attend a conference?
I suppose it all depends on what you expect to get out of it. And for me, I see all conferences as investments not as costs. Therefore, the calculation I make is return on investment not “lost wages”.
So, (gain from investment – cost of investment)/cost of investment = ROI.
I went for a number of reasons.
First, I had been invited by Tom Albrighton and Ben Locker to run a breakout session, so it would have been churlish to stay away. (Though I would happily pay to attend even without the obligation to perform).
Second, I like to meet my fellow copywriters face-to-face. It’s great to tweet away merrily, but nothing beats standing around chatting, making eye contact and not being limited to 140 bleeding characters.
Third, I always learn something I didn’t know, so it’s a great place to pick up new ideas and inspiring concepts.
Fourth, I met Eric Moeller, head honcho at CopyDojo and agreed to write a guest post for him.
I also met the marketing director of one of my clients and agreed to run some workshops for him next year.
Without giving too much away, my ROI was healthy.
Will I be there next year? Wild horses…
Will I be happy to pay for a ticket? In cash and in advance if they ask me. (In return for a suitable discount, of course.)
As a trade we are ill served by the mainstream conference outfits. But thanks to PCN we have an annual get-together that more than delivers against any brief I can think of.
Lost wages? I reckon I gained much, much more than I lost.