Last week, I blogged about some of the reasons writers should attend writing conferences…and then I headed out to my own conference experience with the Pikes Peak Writers, in Colorado Springs Colorado. It was fantastic! Fantastic for all the reasons I mentioned in my earlier post, and for half a dozen others as well.
The Conference Experience
It got me thinking about the conference experience, and how it’s changed for me over the years. I get a lot more out of writing conferences now than I did eight or five or even three years ago. Why is that? In part, it’s because I know more people. It’s a lot easier—and more fun—to go to a conference filled with familiar faces than it is to go to one where I don’t know anyone. It’s also because I am more confident in myself as a writer and person than I was even a few years ago, much less when I was taking my first tentative steps into the writing life.
Those things come with time, but they aren’t the only reasons I get more out of conferences today than I did at my first few conferences. I also benefit more because I know how to glean more benefit from those crowded, crazy, and often-stressful days. I’ve discovered some great conference “keys.”
Are you going to a conference this year? With a little preparation, you can make this your best conference experience ever!
Know your purpose.
Even before you decide which conference to attend, take a look at your current needs as a writer. What is the most important thing you need to get from a conference? Is this conference the best place to meet that need, or should you look at others? Is there a particular editor or agent you’d like to meet? Are you searching for a writing buddy? Maybe you need a healthy dose of inspiration or encouragement. By identifying your primary goal in attending a conference, you can prioritize your time, session choices, and social activities.