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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Conference Connections the Bob Mayer Way

Prior to attending the Desert Dreams Conference, I read Bob Mayer's work on how to get the most out of attending a conference. I highly recommend it prior to going to a conference because it is packed with great ideas on how to use your conference time to enhance your writing, your contacts, and your brand.

What I practiced is 1) staying out of my room; 2) having my business card with me; 3) engaging in conversations and exchanging cards with the people around me.

Here are some of the writers I met at the meals!

Nikki Kimbel, writes now but is also The Original Mudpie Queen

Margaret Boone Rappaport, is on FB, and writes science fiction for women.

Janice Brooks, writes contemporary women's fiction and has published two books.

Elizabeth Blake, editor/author of "How I Met My Spouse" a compilation of true short stories from 42 couples.

Because I was out of my room and chatting with people, I also met

Bernadette La Mazza, playwrite and author

Prior to the conference I met two women. One on the conference Yahoo loop and one through an earlier post on this blog.

Patricia L. Brooks, president/founder, of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers, I met on the loop. We met in person at the conference. Hopefully our schedules will allow us to connect again when she visits Oregon.

Amy Jarecki, author of 'Adventure Kissed by Romance' I met on this loop. She has an interesting blog. I really liked her series on Donald Maass' Breakout Novel Workshop.

As you can see, I collected the business cards of seven women while at Desert Dreams. I actually talked to many more and passed my card out.

In 2010 I met Christie Walker Bos and Courtney Lewis who have joined me on Romancing The Genres. You just never know when a chance conversation and the exchange of contact information can lead to a longer relationship.

Bob Mayer is right. Have a plan when you attend a conference or in keeping with the focus of this blog - know your Intention when you attend a conference and look for those Synchronicities. I'm very glad I did!

© 2012 Judith Ashley


Tam Linsey said...

What a nice list. I love the way you connected us to them through links. I'll have to keep your points in mind at Nationals this year. I wish you could be there.

Sarah Raplee said...

I agree 100% - have a plan when you go to a conference. Why bother if all you're gonna do is take classes and party? You can do that at home.

In my opinion, the main purpose of attending a conference is networking and/or pitching your work.

Great post, Judith!

Paty Jager said...

What a great way to make the most of a conference! I'm starting to do better at conferences.

Judith Ashley said...

I wish I was at Nationals also, Tam - meeting you in person after a couple of years being cyber-friends would be fantastic. I'm sure our time will come!

Bob's list in pretty inclusive including what to pack, etc. What struck me the most were his points about having your conference experience support your writing and publishing goals which does translate into being out of your room, meeting people, having a plan to talk to people who are where you want to be, etc.

Judith Ashley said...

When I think of my 2010 Desert Dreams experience and meeting Christie and Courtney, I know the connections I make are as important if not more important than the workshops I take.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Paty. It's a learning curve for sure - when I think of my first writer's conference (Emerald City in 2006)I know there were so many lost opportunities to connect with other attendees. I did meet Helen Little (we roomed together by chance) and have remained writing buddies, supporting each other on the road to being published.