When you arrive at your conference, be quick about working the crowds. Look at name tags and find people from other states. Ask them to tell you about their regional publications, about the freelance policies of the large newspapers in their states, and about any writing workshops or conferences coming up in their areas.
If the lobby of the conference or dorm where you’re staying has a bulletin board, and if you’re looking for a co-author for a book or article, place a note on the board right away. Explain your project and list your home and temporary conference addresses, your email address, and your phone number.
Attending a conference is fun, but it calls for strategy and planning if you expect to take advantage of all that is available to you. If you go to a conference with the goal of gaining enough information to keep you busy for several months, you will come away with more than your money’s worth in ideas, contacts, and experiences.
Adapted from Writing for Profit by Dennis E. Hensley (Thomas Nelson, 1985; revised 2003). At Taylor University in Upland, IN, Dr. Hensley teaches students in the Professional Writing Major how to get the most out of writers’ conferences. © 2011 by Dennis E. Hensley. All rights reserved.