Getting Started at a Conference

Okay, I have to admit it. I didn’t follow my own advice. Last week I posted about getting ready for a conference, packing in advance and taking time to rest before the conference.

I didn’t get Monday’s blog done because I was frantically trying to get last minute things done including washing clothes and preparing to facilitate a workshop on Tuesday. And I got to add in helping my husband change a tire in the snow and spending time at the Discount Tire while they fixed it.

Most of the day Tuesday was spent at the workshop and related activities. The rest of the day was spent packing and making sure I hadn’t forgotten anything.

So today I am at the conference. For me, at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, it is a time to see friends I only see once or twice a year and catching up. But I also watch for first time attendees at the conference. They are easy to spot. They look totally lost and seem hesitant to interrupt all the hugs and laughter of old friends.

So, my advice if you are attending a conference for the first time. It is okay to look lost. It is okay to politely interrupt to ask directions. All of the old timers have been where you are right now. Introduce yourself. Ask questions. Be able to laugh at yourself when you’re told “it is right there beside you.” There will always be exceptions, but most authors are willing to help you find your way and get acquainted. My advice to those who have been to the conference and know their way around. Look for those who are lost. Reach out and help them find their way. Ask about their writing and listen to their enthusiasm. Greet your old friends, but be one the lookout for making new ones.

Oh, and I’ve been at the conference more than 10 hours and haven’t remembered anything I forgot to bring – yet. I think that’s a personal record.

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