Client Connections

Client Connections

You could find your next best client.
And a client seeking their next best writer could find you.

Client Connections 2023 — A Virtual Event was a resounding success! 

Join us next year for Client Connections 2024 (CC24) in New York — details still to come.

Client Connections offers one-on-one meetings with top magazines, newspapers and book agents and marketing agencies; the connections made can lead to long-term successful business relationships.

Clients who participated in CC23 included National GeographicSmithsonian, PBS NextAvenue, Modern Farmer, Discover and CQ Researcher. We also hosted dozens of literary agents and editors from content marketing agencies.

Only professional members can register for Client Connections (CC). ASJA’s signature event, CC includes a series of nine-minute meetings with editors and agents. Participants pitch story ideas to editors, book proposals with agents and discuss their areas of expertise with content managers. After following up, members often find themselves with new client contacts and new assignments.

Client Connections takes place virtually in odd years and in-person in even years. So, get ready for CC24 2024 in New York next year!

In-Person Client Connections

ASJA’s signature event is offered during in-person spring conferences (held on even years) and regional conferences (held on odd years). Meetings take place during day one or day two of the conference and may coincide with panels and speaker presentations.

Details

A list of participating industry representatives is published well in advance of each Client Connections event. Through a lottery system, registered professional members are given the opportunity to select the clients with whom they’d like to meet. Members are not guaranteed appointments. The number of meetings offered to each member is based on the number of participants, the number of clients, and the number of selections made by other members. Associate, student, and retired members are not eligible to participate in Client Connections events.

FAQ

General Questions

Who can participate in Client Connections?

Only ASJA professional members who are currently in good standing can register for Client Connections events. If you are joining ASJA to participate in an upcoming Client Connections event, you must apply for professional membership at least six to eight weeks before the event. Only new members who have been accepted and paid in full three weeks before the event are eligible to participate. 

Who are the clients that participate in Client Connections?

Client Connections attracts editors from the some of the most well known clients, publications and marketing agencies as well as top literary agents in book publishing. These individuals are looking for journalists, content marketing writers, and authors who write on a variety of subjects, everything from science to travel. Approximately two months before Client Connections, a list of participating clients will be posted on the ASJA website, on this page.

How will I meet with clients?

To give the greatest opportunity to our clients and members, Client Connections is held alternatively as a virtual event and as an in-person event. Even years will be face-to-face meetings; odd years will be virtual. For in-person Client Connections, meetings take place in an assigned room at the Annual Conference venue. Detailed instructions will be sent before the conference begins. Client Connections 2024 will be an in-person event. Details still to come.

Registration and Signup

How do I register for Client Connections?

Registration for Client Connections will be announced a month before meeting assignments are made. Registration and payment for the conference is required in order to register for Client Connections. 

Once you register and the signup period opens, you can peruse the list of clients available during Client Connections.

Can I contact clients before Client Connections?

Absolutely not. Our clients are guaranteed that they will not receive emails or phone calls from our members before the Client Connections event. If this happens, clients may pull out of the event altogether. Members who violate this rule may be prevented from participating in future Client Networking events or may have their ASJA membership revoked.

Can you explain how the sign up period works?

Once the signup period opens, you will have a week to make your client selections. At the end of the signup period, the lottery assigns meetings. You can sign up or make changes to your selections at any time during that window. 

What’s the best way to narrow down the clients with whom I’d like to meet?

If you are seeking editorial or content writing assignments, make sure you are qualified to write for a particular publication or marketing agency. Editors will only continue to participate in Client Connections if the writers they meet are a good fit for their needs. Please do not request meetings with clients if you are unfamiliar with their market or do not have the qualifications they are seeking. Before making your selections, research each client and their outlet.

Each year, the event co-chairs will decide how many clients each member can select to meet with during the sign-up period. This number will vary each year based on the number of clients who sign up. We recommend that members sign up for as many clients as possible, as long as they are qualified. The more selections you make, the greater the chance ofreceiving appointments in the lottery. Also remember, if you only choose clients from well-known publications or agencies, you will be competing against a larger pool of members. Members who select both well-known and more specialized clients (perhaps from smaller publications or agencies) are more likely to get appointments.

Why are there some low-paying publications invited to this event?

What’s low-paying for one writer is adequate for another. Established writers may decide to pursue lower-paying gigs if they are in their wheelhouse and have a low “PITA” factor, making their hourly rates worthwhile. Some established writers will accept lower rates if an assignment allows them to branch out into a new specialty or an interesting topic.

What if I miss the signup period?

Registration will be open for a full week, and will be promoted many months in advance. We strongly encourage you to make note of the dates, because we cannot honor sign-ups after that window closes. Registration fees cannot be refunded to members who miss the signup period.

How do I find my list of appointments?

You will receive a list of your meetings and times via email.

Am I guaranteed to get the appointments I want?

No. Client Connections is a lottery program. Clients are available for a limited time during the event, and certain clients are in high demand. The lottery is conducted via computer so that it is as fair and as impartial as can be. 

Am I guaranteed to get some appointments?

There is no guarantee that your picks will result in an appointment, though members typically receive at least one appointment. Members who choose the maximum number of clients are more likely to receive at least one appointment.

What happens if I select just one or two clients in the lottery?

If you make just two choices, then you get two chances in a random drawing for the people you picked. We would advise you to choose the maximum number allowed to increase your chances of receiving appointments. 

How are appointments assigned?

Appointments are assigned through a software program used for Client Connections. The software provides everyone an equal chance of getting their selection.

If I see an outlet is sending more than one editor, can I register for each editor to increase my chances?

No. There are some outlets sending multiple editors, but you cannot meet with more than one editor from the same outlet. Please only pick one editor. If we see that you have chosen more than one, we will remove the second choice and ask you to choose someone else from a different publication. This is a request we have received from participating editors and media outlets. 

What if I change my mind after I receive my list of appointments?

We strongly encourage members to make sure they really want to meet with the clients they choose. If you decide to drop any of your appointments, let us know so we can assign it to another member. We cannot exchange appointments after they are assigned. Registration fees cannot be refunded if appointments are dropped.

 Are my editors/agents guaranteed to be available for my meeting(s)?

We do our best to confirm all participating clients several times. Unfortunately, clients may have medical, family, or work emergencies that force them to arrive late or even cancel at the last minute. We will make our best effort to reschedule meetings either later that day, or at a later date via phone. 

Before and During Client Connections

What happens during a meeting?

Often during the meetings, clients simply want to learn a little bit about you and your writing background as well as your expertise. However some clients, specifically editors for digital and print outlets, may be looking for pitches. And, literary agents will likely want to hear a specific book idea. Please take the time to read the information provided by participating clients to determine ahead of time what they’re seeking. 

In addition, make sure to get contact information from the client before you end the meeting. With hundreds of meetings scheduled, CC volunteers are unable to provide email addresses for each client to each member.

How long are the meetings?

Meetings are only nine minutes long, and time limits are strictly enforced to ensure that the client can meet with their next appointments. You must conclude your meeting at the end of the allocated time. Please be kind and considerate of the editors and agents and your fellow members by honoring the time limit. 

How should I prepare?

If you are meeting with an editor, research their publication to get a grasp for what they cover. When we hear complaints from editors after an event, it’s often about writers who arrived unprepared. Read editors’ descriptions carefully before you register and before you prepare your pitches. 

For Client Connections (CC) — A Virtual Event, held during odd years, the client will be calling you on the phone. When you register, make sure to provide your phone number: Make sure it’s the number you plan to use for the event and please make sure you have typed it out correctly. If you do not provide a phone number, the number we will use is the number you provided when you became a members of ASJA. If this is not the number you want to use for CC, please update the number. If you are using a mobile phone,  please make sure the phone has service, is charged and the ringer is on. Please make sure your conversation takes place in a quiet location without a lot of background noise and/or distractions such as barking dogs, children and significant others.

If you are pitching, practice your pitch to make sure it can be delivered quickly but thoroughly so you will have enough time to for a conversation about the pitch. Don’t forget to calculate time for introductions and follow-up questions from the editor. Do not forget to ask the editor/client for their email address. Unlike the much smaller VPS (Virtual Pitch Slam) and VCC (Virtual Client Connections) our volunteers will not be providing client/editor emails

What happens if a client is unexpectedly unavailable at the appointed time?

From time to time, clients are late for appointments. In that event, we ask for your patience grace, and courtesy. Clients may be stuck in traffic or in a meeting that ran long. If this happens, we will let you know. We encourage you to use this time to breathe deeply and prepare for your meeting. If clients have to miss a meeting with you, we will do our very best to arrange an alternative time for you to connect.

What do I do if I cannot make my scheduled appointment?

We know that emergencies can come up. If that happens, you must let Client Connections co-chairs know as soon as possible, so that your meeting can be assigned to another member. If you cancel an appointment, you cannot reschedule, and we will not replace your appointment with another or refund any part of your registration.

Why did the writer’s fee change between the editor’s written description and our meeting?

Editors fill out the descriptions about their publications and their pay rates themselves; we do not interview or fact-check them. Sometimes a publication changes its pay rates or editors mistype their information. Mistakes happen, and situations change. Both are out of our control.

Is there a code of conduct governing the event?

Yes. By participating in Client Connections, you agree to act in a courteous and professional manner. This is a fast-paced event that must run smoothly to allow for successful meetings. Deviating even slightly from the rules (trying to remain at your meeting longer than the allotted time, for example) is very disruptive and unkind to both your editor and your fellow members. Anyone who violates the rules outlined here will not be allowed to participate and may even be prohibited from participating in future events.

How can I help make Client Connections — both the in-person and virtual events — even better?

We are always looking for clients to invite to both the in-person and virtual events. If you work with a client with whom you have a good relationship, please consider sharing them with fellow members by inviting them to take part. If you want to meet someone from a particular dream publication, we warmly welcome your help in inviting them to participate! We are always looking for volunteers to reach out to editors, agents and content marketing managers in advance of our signature events. Contact the co-chairs with your suggestions or if you’d like to join our team of volunteers. 

Virtual Client Connections

Client Connections’ little sister, Virtual Client Connections offers even more opportunities to land new clients.

Learn more

Virtual Pitch Slams

Pitch Slams are exciting opportunities to share your ideas with editors or agents—and learn effective pitching techniques.

Learn more