Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Fun - Preparing for a Conference

So I'm going to a conference in October. It's only about four hours from me, so it's not something I have to make major travel plans for. I do, however, like to over analyze and be sure that I will have absolutely everything I could possibly need during the conference.

Hotel -- check! I would always recommend staying in the hotel where the conference is being held. I made my reservation months ago to be sure I'd have a spot.

Transportation -- check! Has car, will drive! The benefit of going to a conference rather close to home.

I also ordered a new tote bag for my netbook and conference materials. The last tote I bought for a conference has been used so much day-by-day that I'm holding my breath for the strap to snap in half. I ordered a Nine West Hobo that is big enough for all my stuff...I can't wait to get it!


The biggest and scariest thing I have to plan for is my pitch session. Yes, I'm taking the plunge and meeting with an agent to pitch her my book. AAAAAAAAA!!!! (That was from excitement and nerves. Sorry. lol)

It took all of that for me to say this...over the next few weeks I'm going to be doing posts about pitching to an agent. Everything that I learn, I'm going to pass on to all of you. So if anyone out there has a pitch session coming up soon, well, you'll have lots of resources right here!

Now I want to know -- What kind of things do you do to prepare for a conference?

I make lists. Packing lists, to-do lists, shopping lists, lists of lists. And I make them over and over to settle my nerves.

9 comments:

Erinn said...

I too made lists.
Then since I was staying at the hotel of the con, I sat in my room reading Pitch advice and working on my pitch.

Staying in the hotel is awesome because if you need a break for a few minutes between session or you just want to pee, your room becomes a nice haven.

Erinn said...

I too made lists.
Then since I was staying at the hotel of the con, I sat in my room reading Pitch advice and working on my pitch.

Staying in the hotel is awesome because if you need a break for a few minutes between session or you just want to pee, your room becomes a nice haven.

Alicia Gregoire said...

I've stayed at a hotel and commuted for conferences and depending on location, etc, I think it's a toss up. The one I went to with Erinn was far away - I needed to stay in a hotel - and Erinn is totally right about needing to escape, the room is right there.

The flip is if the conference is 20 minutes away from you by bus. I go to a 2 day conference every year in Boston and have never stayed overnight. It forces me up earlier than I'd normally get up and be sorted by the time I get to the conference.

*shameless Grub Street plug* If you like Boston and like writer's conferences, you should consider coming up in May for Muse and the Marketplace. It has yet to disappoint.

And good luck on your conference!

Holly Dodson said...

Alicia- We have an annual writers conference here in the town I live in, so I always commute to that one. But with this conference being 4 hours away in an unfamiliar city...yeah, I'm not venturing out of the hotel. lol

Erinn- that's exactly what I'll be doing! Emailing Susan frantic messages, and last-minute heart-stabilizing research.

KO said...

I have never been to a writing conference... but for other conferences, I like to practice my presentations out loud.
A lot.

I think doing the same for your pitch is a great idea. Not to memorize it, or to treat it like a 'presentation' but I believe it helps to hear things out loud, and helps you clarify what you're trying to say.

I also think practicing helps give you confidence when the real event happens.

Can't wait to hear all about this!

Sarah Enni said...

Now that is a cute tote!! Hope it holds up to all the paper/laptops/books/etc you need!

Just remember to pack a sweater. those conference centers are air conditioned like WOAH.

Susan said...

Go Holly! Kick some pitch-butt!

I'm certain you will, and I'm so jealous you get to go. One day, when my feet hit American soil once more, I too shall dive into the world of writing conferences.

Pam Harris said...

Hey, I'm going to three writing conferences between now and October--and I'll be pitching at one of them, too. :) Wouldn't it be cool if we were pitching at the same conference? It's a little far-fetched, but still cool to think about.

Holly Dodson said...

Pam! What conference are you going to in October? You can email me if you don't want to post it publicly. holly@hddodson.com