My First Conference

So in less than a month (25 days to be precise) I am attending my first writer’s conference, the DFW Writer’s Conference.  I’m very excited for SO MANY REASONS.

  1. HELLO!  I get to spend 2 whole days TALKING SHOP with people I heretofore only have known on Twitter.
  2. I get to meet my agent, the Magnificent Laurie McLean, in the flesh.
  3. I also finally get to meet Kristen Lamb in person.  Between the three of us, I’m not sure Dallas will ever be the same.

Kristen, Laurie, and I are leading a panel at 3:10 on Saturday, talking about the Anatomy of a Book Launch.  I am also on a second panel at 10:40 on Sunday discussing Declaring Independence: The Decision to Self-Publish.

I’ve just printed out my nice color coded schedule from the DFW website and now get to go through and figure out what panels and talks I want to attend.

So I’m looking for suggestions and FYIs from those of you who’ve done the whole conference thing before.  Obviously I’m skipping the whole pitch to an agent thing, so I don’t have to worry about learning all the How To Stalk An Agent  How To Talk To Agents Etiquette.  But I don’t know anything!  I mean, Golden Rule and be polite and interested and remember everything my mama taught me on how to behave in public, obviously, but what else do I need to know?  What is the attire for these things? Do I need business cards?

And most importantly, who among YOU will be there?

13 thoughts on “My First Conference

  1. I’ll be there! I look forward to stalking, er, meeting ya’ll at the panel on Saturday (and Sunday). I haven’t looked at everything else yet. And I do have to pitch, so I’ll be stressing over that I’m sure. I’ve been to the DFWCon every year for awhile now and I always learn something new. My biggest advice is don’t be a wallflower. I tend to be one at conferences, but it’s a lot more fun if you go talk to people. The dress is however you feel like dressing, but most are in nice casual. (I’d call it business casual, but you’ll see plenty of nice jeans as well). There’s usually a mixer/cocktail party where people dress a tad nicer but not formal. And yes, take business cards. People will want to exchange email addy’s with you and it’s a lot easier if you have a card you can hand them. Speaking of which…*scurries off to finish my own business card*

  2. I’m going to be there!!! It will be fun to meet in person. And I plan on taking your Anatomy of a Book Launch. I’ll be releasing another book this fall and want to actually do a “real” book launch as opposed to the fly by the seat of my pants ones that I’ve been doing!! That’s the class I’m most excited about!! It’s also my first ever conference, so I have no idea what to expect.

  3. Oh, I wanted to go to this conference so badly! But there were things going on before and after the date, and I can only do so much. Plus, the expense of travel and accommodations was pretty high. But some day I WILL be at one of these!

    My advice is to just be yourself. You can’t go wrong with that because you have a great personality and appearance. 🙂

  4. *waves* I’ll be there, too! 🙂 I’m doing two workshops–one on writing love scenes and the other on Erotic Romance 101. Your panels sound great. It’s an awesome con and was the first one I ever went to as well (3 years ago). I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time!

  5. I love conferences!!! Be yourself, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to strangers. REmember, you are all there for the same reason. Most people I have met at conferences have been so very nice and friendly, helpful. It’s so great to get to socialize after so many hours of doing a solitary thing like writing!

  6. I won’t be at this conference, but I’ve been several conferences. I get the most out of a conference when I go with a specific objective – network, learn craft, sell articles, etc. If I’m teaching then it’s a bit of a different dynamic, but I try to identify goals. Otherwise I find myself running in too many directions to get much benefit from the experience. FWIW

  7. I’m not going to make DFW this year because I have client meetings in LA that weekend, but I’ll be thinking of all of you having fun!!

    Definitely get business cards. The exchange of business cards is a not-to-be-missed writer ritual! Plus, if your memory is anything like mine, the ones you receive will help you keep people straight months down the line. Every time I return to my room at a conference, I take notes on the new business cards I received -a word or two, a book title, anything that helps me remember the person attached to that particular information.

  8. I won’t make this conference but I’ve been to many. I say savor every moment of the creative energy. There will be a lot of it! Oh, and the best things happen in the bar. Enjoy!!

  9. I’ll be at DFW Con also. I’m thrilled to turn my many cyber writer friends into In Real Life writer friends! I attended last year, but, like the good introvert I am, only chatted with a few people.

    Wear whatever you want; I saw it all. I plan to be in comfy business casual, paying attention to layers because classrooms can be hot or cold — you never know ’til you get there. I will have business cards and followed some suggestions from Lauren Ruth, an agent who will be there ( I doubt you need cards, but I’m not agented or published yet, so…

    I have printed my color-coded schedule too and marked it up with several classes I’m interested in, including your panel and Roni’s love scenes course. I can’t make ’em all, so we’ll see where I end up.

    And I noticed that Jenny left out the karaoke and conga line activities. 😉

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