Most of us write in our office or on a laptop in a nearby coffee shop. But our overall career as a writer expands when we connect with other writers. At a conference we’ll be surrounded by creative energy from those who share our passion for writing. Here are six ideas to help make the most of this time.
1. Some writers you only see at conferences—but the friendship just picks up where you left off. Meet new people by being approachable—make eye contact, smile—strike-up conversations—this is easy because writing is the main topic.
2. Hand out and collect business cards—helps you remember those you meet and gives them a way to remember you. You may later forget “who said what.” I write keywords on the cards I receive so I’ll have a point of reference after the conference. Or you may have promised to send them a book, upcoming conference information, or meet for coffee later in the day—whatever was said of significance is saved.
3. If you are printing a new card for the conference, use both the front and back. I include my picture (recent and in color), name of my publishing company, types of books that I write, latest book cover, workshop topics that I offer, website, and keywords about my world as a writer.
4. I love traveling with writers I know. However, one person suggested that we each sit with a different group at meals, workshops, or other events. Widen your circle of contacts. Don’t limit your down-time to only those you know. No cost, just good marketing.
5. Learn about the speakers/agents/publishers in advance. Your questions to them will reflect your research—very appreciated. Often you can sign up to take a speaker to lunch. Other writers may join you—but you’ll have your question thought out in advance. However, don’t dominate the conversation—let others have a chance. This applies throughout the conference.
6. Volunteers are always needed and welcome. Ask conference managers (in advance of the event) if you can help (during your available times). Larger conferences often have “Shepherd Volunteers” to meet presenters, escort them to their workshop room, and introduce them to the group. This is a great way to meet other writers.
Click a title for more tips on Making the Most of Writers' Conferences:
Part 1: Select the Conference Best Suited to You
Part 2: Spend Less Money at Conferences – and Still Have Fun!
Part 3: Maximize Face-Time with other writers/agents/publishers
Part 4: Create a Winning “Elevator Pitch” to Agents/Publishers
Part 5: Sell Yourself—Sell Your Book
Marilyn H. Collins—author, workshop leader, publisher, writing coach, editorial services www.marilynhcollins.com. Contact/Comments: www.marilynhcollins.com/contact
Copyright © CHS Publishing, Marilyn H. Collins, 2017.