Thursday, May 19, 2016

Get ready for the 2017 DESERT DREAMS CONFERENCE in Phoenix

We are very excited to announce that the next DESERT DREAMS CONFERENCE will take place in 2017, not in 2018.

We have secured a fantastic hotel at an incredible rate for next year's attendees:
4415 E Paradise Village Pkwy S 
Phoenix, AZ 85032  (844-276-106)

We have negotiated room rates of $104 per 2-room suite per night plus the lower Phoenix taxes (as opposed to Scottsdale taxes) and no resort fees. There is still an open bar from 5:30pm-7:30pm every day, and a cooked-to-order breakfast in their restaurant (not a tent) overlooking their golf course. Parking at the hotel is free, and the hotel runs a free shuttle within a 3-mile radius (Paradise Valley Mall area).
Nearby Paradise Valley Mall

The Embassy Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale is a smaller property than Chaparral Suites.
A smaller conference will feel bigger in a more intimate venue. The guest rooms open to inside hallways – not to the outdoors – so they are quieter and cooler. The walk from one end of the hotel to the other is much, much shorter. That said, this property has all the event space that we need.

Access to Phoenix Sky Harbor is easier.
This hotel is just one mile east of the 51 off Cactus. No “city” driving is required when picking up our sponsored guests.

WHAT'S IN THE WORKS FOR THIS NEW AND IMPROVED CONFERENCE AND VENUE: (not everything is definite, yet, but we are working on it):

Every attendee will get 2 editor/agent appointments with registration. (The Editor/Agent Panel will be on Thursday. Appointments will be on Friday and Saturday.) Additional appointments can be made at no charge if space/time is available. This year’s group was so accessible that people were pitching informally all weekend. To charge some attendees for additional sessions while others pitched at dinner for free doesn’t feel fair. So the fee is going away.

We will seek to expand our Vendors to focus on Author Services.
All conference vendors will be required to offer a service to be raffled off on Friday or Saturday night. We are also looking at creating an “Author Resource Directory” with vetted service providers (cover design, editing, stock photos, web design, etc.) which will be given to all attendees.

Hotel Foyer

On Saturday we are adding a "Reader" component.
At every Desert Dreams Conference we have a Book signing which is open to the public, but the public doesn’t generally come. At the 2017 Desert Dreams Conference, we will offer Readers a chance to hear from published authors about their books. We will follow the successful Arizona Dreamin’ model for this:

  • We’ll begin that morning with an Author Speed-Meet for all readers and the participating authors. 
  • There will be 35 “Book Clubs” – 30-minute presentations to readers and conference attendees who chose to hear more about an author’s books. These are very fun sessions and always the #1 component with surveyed AD attendees.
  • All registered Desert Dreams authors are invited to participate on a first-come basis. Up to 17 attending published authors will be allowed to present at least twice, based on demand. There will be no additional charge for a registered author’s participation in the Book Clubs.
  • Both “Realizing the Dream” and “Golden Quill” contest finalists will be given special name tags at the start of the conference so when they meet readers they are designated as such.
  • The Book Clubs will lead directly into the all-author Book signing.
  • Either Reader participation will be free, or Reader tickets will be $10 – and in their goody bags will be a $10 coupon toward any purchase at the conference Book signing. (One coupon redemption per person.)
  • With the $10 ticket option, Readers would receive a cold lunch with their registration, served in one of our conference rooms on the hotel’s 2nd floor.
  • Our goal is to pull in 50 readers.
On Saturday we will also offer a Mini Writing Retreat.
For those authors who don’t want to wait to begin tweaking their manuscripts, start new ones, or polish their requested submissions, we will have designated space and time to do exactly that. Attendees will be able to come and go, and spend as much or as little time as they want in this area of the conference. Sprinting will occur...

At Saturday night’s dinner we will hold a “Red Carpet” Awards Ceremony… for both the “Realizing Your Dream” contest for unpublished works, and for the “Golden Quill” for published works. (We will contact the GQ finalists in time for them to decide if they want to attend.) Basically, we want to make a big commotion over these winners, because they deserve it.

On Sunday morning we will hold optional goal-setting and conference feedback sessions (for decisions moving forward).

NOTE: We will only serve dinner on Friday and Saturday in an effort to keep the early registration fee low ($299 regular price). On Thursday night, Embassy Suites has agreed to offer a flat fee dinner option in the restaurant for our attendees – sort of like the spontaneous Saturday lunch we arranged at this year’s Desert Dreams. Otherwise, there are 60 restaurants within the 3-mile shuttle radius, and fast-food delivery to the hotel.

This promises to be a very exciting conference. Keynote speakers, workshops, agents and publishers will be announced soon.

Hope to see many of you there next year!


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