Conferences are much more than social events. While it is good to remain open to the flow once you get there, it doesn't hurt to ask yourself the following questions prior to actually deciding to go:
* Where does the subject matter of this conference fit into my life? How important is it to me?
* What do I bring to the conference as an individual?
* What do I expect from the conference?
* Is the conference important enough that I need to push finances to attend?
* Is it possible to share accommodations with someone else who is attending?
* What is the conference agenda? What seminars do I want to attend?
* As a writer, is there going to be an opportunity to do a meet and greet with editors? Would I be able to do a short presentation to an editor?
* If I have work out there (or about to be out there) is there a place to leave flyers, brochures or bookmarks?
Add to the list as you see fit. Each individual will have their own list of things that are important to them.
Have fun while you are networking. Networking? That is a huge part of conferences! Carry your business cards in your purse or pocket, so they are easily accessible. Then remember to hand them out! You will make friends, possible writing partners, and great contacts in the writing world!
The more conferences you attend, you will be able to note the ones that you want to attend from year to year, and the ones that you might want to pass on. This is a part of our writing life, and one that truly can be enjoyable!
(c) April 2011 Bonnie Cehovet