There are so many writing conferences, yet so little time. How can you ensure your experience at each conference is a success? Don’t worry. Here are four tips on how to get the most out of attending these kinds of events.
1.) Set goals. Before deciding which events to attend, you need to create a list of goals you have for a writing conference. This can be as simple as listing out items like “have fun” and “learn more about mystery writing.” With so many activities going on at conferences, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and forget your purpose. A list of your goals will help you stay on track.
2.) Make connections before the event. Use social networks to connect with other conference-goers ahead of the event. Ask questions like “what are you bringing to the conference” or “are you scheduling any appointments?” This could lead to a quick face-to-face meeting for a cup of coffee at the event, which is an excellent way to exchange ideas with a fellow writer and build your network.
3.) Bring items to pass out for free. You’re missing out on potential readers if you don’t bring something for attendees to take home with them. And, yes, it should be free. Print out bookmarks, business cards, fliers or some nifty BookStubs. Just please don’t crowd around booths or try and take over another author’s book signing.
4.) Attend book signings. People love to talk about themselves. Make sure to attend as many book signings as you can. Ask the author what kind of book marketing worked for them, what didn’t work. But, don’t pitch your book to the author; it’s not professional nor is it the right place or time. This is an opportunity to learn from the success and failures of other authors.
Share your own tips in the comments below on how to maximize your time at writing conferences.