Summertime usually means vacations and drinks by the pool. But for a writer, summertime can also mean packing business casual clothes, prepping an elevator pitch, and getting ready to make an impression at one of the world’s many writing conferences.
Attending a writing conference can be stressful! So we recently asked you, our dearest readers and Facebook friends, to give us your best tips for making the most of a writing conference. The response was great, and the hints and advice we received—even better! Here are the top twelve tips for successfully navigating a writing conference. Enjoy (and pass along)!
The Best Tips For Attending Writing Conferences
Many conferences today have Twitter hashtags. I find following the conference hashtag to be a great way to find friends, discover events I might have missed in the program, and just keep a pulse on the conference. —Sharlyn Lauby
Bring business cards with your picture on them. Trust me, it will be difficult to remember everyone you met at the conference. Cards with pictures are gold. —Kimba
No matter how simplistic or elementary a workshop assignment is, just do it. You never know enough to stop learning. —Steven G. Mann
Try to choose a new person or persons to eat with at each meal. You then have at least 30 minutes to get to know them and exchange business cards. —Ruth McHaney Danner
Be a good listener as well as a good talker. Oh, and hide nothing—you are who you are, share it all, fearlessly. —Dr. George R. Marshall
Use Twitter (or Facebook) to find out if anyone in your vicinity is going. —Ellen Best
No matter how much fun you’re having, have that third drink back in your room, so that all your remarks are smart, not smart-ass. —Tom Bentley
Let yourself REST. —Lau Lozano
DON’T EAT GARLIC! You’ll be talking to lots of people… — Ezral M. Khalid
Listen to everyone, even though it seems like eavesdropping. You can learn a lot, and then if something sparks your interest, start asking questions. You are there to learn. —Aderpride
A lot of the best networking that I end up doing (and the most fun networking) happens at the hotel bar after all the workshops and formal mixers are over. So don’t be a wallflower! Even if you don’t know anyone, everyone is there to meet other writers (like you!). —Lisa Van Allen
If you keep an open mind, you might end up meeting people who can become lifelong writing partners, mentors, and friends. You just can’t put a price on that—not even for the conference fee. —Kriste
For more information about attending a writing conference, read these articles: