When I was a new author in the literary industry, I would attend conferences and literary events as a featured author or panelist. After my session I would race back to my hotel room and write, write, write. I felt that I had to be writing every single minute of the day or I wasn’t a real writer. That was the biggest mistake I ever could have made. That leads me to tip number 1.
I should have been taking advantage of the conference by meeting, socializing, getting to know readers and allowing them to get to know me. I should have been attending other authors’ sessions and learning from them. I had it all wrong, but hopefully you can get it right. No matter what profession you are in, make the most out of the conferences!
Tip number two is to be wise in choosing your sessions at conferences. There is nothing worse than spending 45 minutes to an hour with a negative presenter; that presenter who tells you all that’s bad and everybody who is bad. There is a way to share information using positive means. Avoid that presenter who puts other people and their skills/talents down in order to lift themselves up.
“Negative people are not good at putting up a front or even attempting to. Their negativity and pessimistic natures will quickly bubble up to the surface. Every second you spend with someone who is negative is a second wasted. To spot negative people, pay attention to their mannerisms. Pay attention to any sarcasm. Negativity is a business killer as well as a spirit killer.”- Cathy Stucker
A negative presenter can have you feeling discouraged or operating in fear. Neither is good.
My third and final tip regarding conferences is if you attend the conference with a friend or friends, make sure you all don’t end up in the same session. Split up and take notes, then get together and share. Make copies of each other’s notes or take pictures with your cell phone cameras. That’s an opportunity to get more nuggets, jewels, and information.
At the next conference you attend, get the most out of your money, as well as your time.