Add to Your Income by Covering Conferences and Trade Shows By John K. Borchardt

Many professional groups and industry trade associations hold conventions and trade shows. These can be huge events, such as the annual International Home Builders Show with an attendance of 92,000, or much smaller groups numbering in the dozens. While big conferences are held by necessity in major cities, smaller groups often meet in cities of less than 100,000 in population. So, whether you live in a large or small city, you can add to your writing income by covering conventions and trade shows for newspapers, magazines or websites.

Doing so is a ten-step process:


  • First determine the conferences being held in your area. Contacting your local Chamber of Commerce or searching on the Internet can provide this information.

  • Obtain detailed information on the conference by searching the Internet or contacting the sponsoring organization.

  • Contact the sponsoring organization at least two months prior to the conference and learn if you can obtain a press badge to cover the meeting.

  • Then query appropriate local, regional and national publications and websites proposing articles based on several aspects of the meeting. I have sold as many as nine articles per conference by doing this.

  • When you obtain assignments, contact the conference sponsoring organization. You may need to provide assignment letters before they issue you a press badge.

  • Determine the services offered by the conference pressroom. Large conferences often provide press releases, hold press conferences, assist in arranging interviews and maintain pressrooms in which to work.

  • If there are specific presentations you want to cover, contact the speakers before the meeting to arrange face-to-face interviews during the conference. The sponsoring organization