It’s that time of year again, time to think about whether or not to go to which conferences for what reason. Sometimes the decision is easy, sometimes not.
I’ve been to LoTs of conferences. Maybe more than I want to admit. But over the years I’ve learned a few things.
Know what to expect. Some excitement, some disappointment. No big deal. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Ditto a writing career.
Know what not to expect. See above.
Know what you’ll remember. Having an awesome time catching up with friends, meeting new people all over the place, and generally having a fast-forward good time.
Know what you won’t. When someone gives you a business card, write something on the back to remind yourself who/what/when/why. You think you’ll remember what you were talking about with Ms. Lunch Companion, but...
Know something about the place before you arrive. That way you’ ll be able to do at least one non-writing related thing, something you wouldn’t be able to do at home. Go to a museum, walk through a historic neighborhood, visit a park. You get the idea.
Last thing. Let other people know you’re going-so you can get cell numbers ahead of time. Once you get there, finding people can be insane, especially if its a big conference.
I know that doesn’t help much with the ultimate decision – to go or not to go – but it does give you something to think about once you get there. If you go, that is.