Monday, April 3, 2017

Preparing for a Writers' Conference

Last week, Alycia shared some great tips on why you shouldattend a writers' conference. This week, let’s talk about how you can be prepared for the conference.


By Andrea Merrell

You’re getting ready to attend a writer’s conference. Maybe it’s your first one, and you’re not quite sure what to do. Here are a few tips to help you be prepared.

Clothing
Always check the weather (extended forecast) and pack accordingly. Even if you think you won’t need it, take a jacket or sweater. Layering is always a good idea. Most conferences are business casual, and comfortable shoes are a must if you will be doing a lot of walking. If there is to be a banquet or awards night, you might want to take something dressy.

Food
Some conference centers have restaurants, snack bars, and vending machines, but it’s always a good idea to take your favorite snacks for those in-between or late-night moments when food is not available. You can also pack a few bottles of water or your favorite soda. 

Be sure to keep mints with you at all times. 😊

Materials for the Conference
  • Business Card: Your first investment should be a business card with your name and pertinent information. Be sure to include a photo. You might think you will remember all the people you meet, but when you get home and go through all the cards you collected, you will be wracking your brain to remember people. Make it a point to exchange business cards throughout the conference. This is how you network.
  • One-Sheet: This is a single sheet of paper that contains the title of your project, genre, word count, your photo and bio, and a short synopsis of your story (think back cover blurb).
  • Bookmarks, postcards, or other materials that you use to promote your book or services. Most conferences have tables where they offer freebies.
  • Notebook, extra pens, conference schedule, and driving directions.
Other Important Items
Don’t forget your vitamins, prescription medications, and toiletry items (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, razor, etc.). Many conferences are now fragrance free.

Most places will offer hairdryers and coffee pots in the room.

Be sure to bring your chargers for phones, tablets, and laptops, along with extra batteries. I always carry my earbuds and an extension cord just in case.

Last, but not least ... bring some cash. Besides snacks and vending machines, there are always books available to purchase.

Bottom Line
The most important thing to remember is to relax and make the most of your experience. It’s especially hard when you are a newbie, but we were all newbies at one time. Pray. Ask the Lord to show you which classes will be most beneficial and the right people to meet with. Believe for divine appointments, divine connections, and divine favor.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek help when you need it. Christian conferences are a special community of like-minded individuals who are more than ready to help each other.

What has your experience been in preparing for a conference? Are there other items you would add to the list?

(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles/jannoon028)


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