Conference Tip #4: Enjoy! And What to Bring

Hi conference goers!

I'm excited because I'm attending the SCBWI FL Mid-Year Workshop tomorrow. I'm excited because I can't wait to rub shoulders and talk shop with other writers. I'm interviewing Donna Gephart tomorrow for my second iPhone video, and Christina Farley is interviewing me. I'm critiquing manuscripts, and later I'm going out for dinner.

If you're going to a conference, anywhere, anytime, you've got to be prepared, no matter what stage of your career you're at. I say, stick to the basics. This is what you should have in your laptop bag (in addition to your laptop), because you won't always have time to run back up to your hotel room:

  • breath mints!
  • any medications you have to take during the day
  • bottled water
  • energy drink (if you need caffeine)
  • small snacks to eat during breaks (I'm talking protein bars or peanut butter crackers.)
  • chocolate never hurts
  • phone and phone charger
  • books you want other other authors to sign
  • bookmarks or business card
  • hair brush
  • basic makeup
  • cash and debit/credit card
  • pens/pencil/tablet
  • copies of your first ten pages, your first page, your query
Clean out your purse and/or bag before going to the conference; you don't want to be flustered during the workshop, trying to find a pen.

Dress business casual. You want to be comfortable, but you should also look professional--you'll be in the same room with people who make this whole industry happen.

You are a brave person! You're taking an excellent step toward furthering your career as a writer! I hope whatever conference you're going to gives you what you need. Make sure you eat! Don't get low on blood sugar! Take care of yourself and have fun, and remember, no matter how nervous you might feel, you're crossing a threshold!

Good luck, conference goers! See you on the other side.