Jenn McLeod took up my invitation to guest blog as she lost her conference virginity last weekend:
I, unlike a good heroine, have been a round a bit! (I mean online of course.) Having been involved with the Claytons Conference previously, this year was my first ever RWA face-to-face conference and here are a few things I learned.
#1. Not all writers are introverts – just give them a feather boa, some pyjamas, a steamy topic and a microphone!
#2. A hug is the new handshake: hello, goodbye, congratulations, nice to meet you, OMG is that you! Yes, it was hugs, hugs and more hugs.
#3. Everybody really is as friendly, warm and generous as I was told they’d be.
#4. Making a list of people you want to meet is good advice. I had 36 ‘must meets’ on my list and I met them all – almost – plus many, many more. A list gives you a reason to wander the floor and stare at people’s navels (ahhh, name tags!)
#5. If someone enters an elevator but your name tag is un-readable, they may grab it, squeal your name, then hurl themselves at you and hug hello (Hello Helene — my very first conference hello hug!!! LOL)
#6. It helps to have been around a bit (in a good way!). So I can’t stress enough how effective volunteering can be. Now is the time to get involved in this great organisation. Members can email email@example.com. You don’t have to volunteer for anything in particular, just put up your hand. Other ways to get your name out there is to post on RWA loops, comment on blogs, join the forum or win a contest (or two, or three).
So time to set yourself a goal and start saving your pennies if you want to get to the 2012 RWA Conference on the Gold Coast.
Oh that reminds me.
What I learned #7 is – this conference thing is addictive, so see you next year.
Jenn J McLeod
Come home to the country…
…small towns with big hearts