Three Things I Know About Attending Conferences
I’ve been to, participated in, or presented at about a half dozen author* conferences now (different conferences, not the number of times I went to the same conference). Which I’m pretty happy with since my aim was 1-2 conferences per year.
Some have been focused on business, others on craft, others on networking, and others on the readers. And some are a mix of those.
If I had to rank them in order of how much I loved them, it would actually be rather amusing. Because SuperStars Writing Seminars would rank multiple times in the top five.
So, as I’ve been booking hotel and plane reservations for SSWS for 2022 this week, I thought I’d tell you all about three things that I have learned about attending conferences.
- It’s highly important to have a photo of your face, easily recognizable as your profile picture on social media.** Then, when you get to a conference, many more people than you would suspect can recognize you. And if you’ve been taking the time to touch base if the attending on social media before the conference, then you’ll never have to eat a meal alone because you’ve already made friends/contacts. And, yes, and introvert can do this as well. Form and strengthen the relationships online before the conference, when there’s less pressure, then just reinforce the relationship already there when you see each other in person.
- Recharge time is 100% necessary. Even for extroverts. Know what it is that recharges you, and make time for it (at least for a little bit) every day during the conference or plan on taking a couple days/weeks to recover afterwards. I personally am an extrovert that’s 100% “on” from just after breakfast until bedtime each night. Then I go back to a room that I have all to myself, call my husband or read for a bit, and crash. In the mornings, I take my time. I eat breakfast in my room while showering, getting ready for the day. And just that amount of time in a room alone is all I need to be able to hit the ground running in time for first session. I have shared rooms before, and I will be again this year at SSWS. But I’ve found I’m always better at daily recovery when I have a room alone. I know other authors that intentionally pick a 1-3 hour window every day (usually when sessions they’re not as interested in are happening) where they return to their room to write or read or nap or workout or call their kids. Figure out what recharges YOU and do it.
- What you get out of a conference depends on what you’re willing to put into it. When you go in with the expectation that you’re going to make contacts, that you’re going to learn something new, that you’re going to have fun, then you take that attitude with you. And having that attitude makes a huge difference. If you’ve got that attitude, it’s a bit easier to swallow the fear of rejection and approach someone. If you’ve got that attitude, then you’ve got your ears open during the sessions and your notebook ready to go. If you’ve got that attitude, then you’re looking for opportunities to have a little fun with the other attendees. But if you go in with a mindset of “I hate social events. I don’t really like people. I feel like an imposter. The speakers aren’t that awesome anyway.” then you’ll FIND all of those things are true. Deciding beforehand that you’re there to make friends and learn and have fun makes it more likely that you’ll actually accomplish those goals.
If you’d like to attend SuperStars Writing Seminars in 2022, then I’d love for you to join me! Check out SSWS to see where to register, and even how to get $100 off your registration fee!
*I have also attended several dozen conferences for other things.
**I will have to say, that there are times when you want a pen name to be 100% private and separate from your “real life,” which can make this slightly more difficult. In those cases, I recommend you attend conferences as your “real life” self, and have that profile picture be easily identifiable. You can choose while at the conference who you actually want to share your pen name with.
Owner, Adriel Wiggins Author Services and Consulting
Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.
Strategize for Success. Streamline your Business. Succeed with your Goals.