14 Responses to “The 3 most important things to know about #rwa12 (or any conference)”

  1. Darcy Flynn July 19, 2012 at 10:43 AM #

    Great advice, Angela! This is my first RWA conference, so I’m pretty excited. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. JanetLeeNye July 19, 2012 at 10:58 AM #

    Great advice! I’ll tell a story about being nice. I’m a nurse. One night a patient requested that the nurse assigned to her be switched for another nurse. The reason? The patient worked in a restaurant and had seen the nurse on several occasions be rude to the wait staff.

    It doesn’t cost anything extra to just be polite and nice.

  3. Midnyte Reader July 19, 2012 at 12:06 PM #

    Very good advice for *any* conference!

  4. Tonya Burrows July 19, 2012 at 12:45 PM #

    Thanks for the tips! This is my first time going to Nationals (or, well, ANY conference) so I’d a tad nervous. :-/

  5. Mallory Braus July 19, 2012 at 2:29 PM #

    Awesome advice, Angela!!

    This is my first RWA–but I’d love to chime in on #2 and #3 (can’t say much on #1 since I don’t really drink.) I’m a natural introvert! I hate walking up to people I don’t know–and I’ve noticed, as an editor, that people will hesitate to talk to me. But I want to talk to people and meet authors. I want to know what you’re working on and just get to know you in general!

    Randomly, I’ve met so many authors at the hotel bathroom’s sink while washing my hands. A great way to start a conversation? Just compliment the person next to you. At RT, someone complimented my fascinator and it turned out to be Sabrina Jeffries! Amazing!

  6. Caroline Godin July 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM #

    Most importantly, just be yourself and RELAX. You are a likable person just as you are and people respond best to sincerity and genuine interest. Don’t try too hard. And buy the person behind you in line at Starbucks a coffee! Random acts of kindness are the best when you are travelling.

  7. Christine Ashworth July 19, 2012 at 5:52 PM #

    Carry business cards. Give them all out. Take in as many as you can, and write on the back something about the person so you’ll remember who they are. When you get home in the next week, contact those people. Email them. Follow them on twitter, or on facebook. This is networking, folks – and if you don’t follow up, you’re missing the boat. I know – I went for YEARS without following up! (Bad me.)

    My goal is to give out 250 business cards at Nationals this year (with close to 2000 people attending, I think I’ll manage it!). And if you don’t have any business cards yet, no worries – Staples can help you, and they can do it in one day.

    And have a great time! I still remember my first conference in Denver, 2002; what a wonderful jolt to the system!

    Come up and talk to me if you need a friend – I’ve got really short, electric-red hair right now (my hairdresser got way excited, lol) so I’ll be hard to miss!

  8. Christine Ashworth July 19, 2012 at 5:57 PM #

    My tip is to take business cards, and hand them out. My goal is to talk to enough different people to give away 250 business cards this year – that’s to almost 10% of the conference population. If you don’t have business cards, Staples can do them in a day.

    Also ask for business cards, and when you get one, write down a little about the person you’re talking to so you’ll remember them. When you get home, follow up – either via email, or on twitter and facebook. Network. Don’t let those amazing connections languish in your suitcase, unpacked.

    And if you need a friendly face, look for me – I’ve got really short, electric red hair (my hairdresser went a little crazy) and I’ll have a stack of business cards in my hand. (No, I won’t…probably, lol!)

    Have fun!

  9. Christine Ashworth July 19, 2012 at 5:58 PM #

    Sorry for the double post – it died on me, I swear! *headdesk* Angela – please rescue me and delete one of those, lol! Sigh…

  10. Lea Taddonio July 19, 2012 at 6:16 PM #

    Thanks for sharing. I started to get some mild anxiety about all the primp and pamper buzz going in Twittersphere. I’ll be the one w/out the pedicure and highlights if anyone wants to say hi 🙂 At least I can promise not to yell embarrassing things, or throw up on an agent while stalking them to the bathroom!

  11. Barbie July 19, 2012 at 8:13 PM #

    I’m not going to RWA this year — because I’m not emotionally mature enough to work up a big crowd, I’m too shy, too too anxious, I’d get eaten up, or, worse, I’d babble, and make a fool out of myself — but I’m bookmarking for next year. Hopefully, I’ll make it to Atlanta and this will be sooo useful :))))

    • Caroline Godin July 19, 2012 at 9:55 PM #

      Barbie, why don’t you start with a smaller writers’ conference if you are nervous? A lot of local chapters have them and they have 100 or 200 people, much more manageable. Just a thought so you can ease yourself into it with less stress 🙂

      • Christine Ashworth July 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM #

        Barbie, I second Caroline’s comment. Plus room with a friend. It’s a really nice way get familiar with the conference world, and you have someone to buddy up with, too.

  12. Ella Quinn July 22, 2012 at 6:04 PM #

    Great advice. I’ll be there with business cards, and I’m excited to meet people I know from my writing forums, twitter or facebook.

About Me

Angela James

There is nothing worse than writing a bio. And writing one for your blog sidebar? Blech. Maybe you landed here via Google, followed me from Twitter (does that make you a stalker?) or maybe we met at a conference or you clicked a link from a comment I made at a blog you visited. Hopefully whatever I said didn't make you so mad you came looking for a picture to throw darts at (yep, that's me up above, in my favorite cowboy hat) but instead drove you to find out more about the amazingly witty and intelligent person behind the amazingly witty and intelligent comment.

However you found me, who you found is Angela James, executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin's new digital-first press. I'm passionate about digital publishing, my mission is to drag people to the digital dark side, one reader (and author) at a time. I'm also Brianna's mommy. At my blog you'll get an odd mix of personal and professional posts about parenting, publishing, books, cooking, sewing and life in general. Come back often, comment frequently and go green—buy ebooks!

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Recent Comments

  • Blythe Gifford:
    "Let me reiterate the point about knowing where the exits/fire stairs are. If there is smoke in the..."
  • Ella Quinn:
    "Great advice. I’ll be there with business cards, and I’m excited to meet people I know from..."
  • Maria Powers:
    "Stay aware of who is around you especially in the evenings. Carry a smaller purse that you can wear..."
  • Yasmine Galenorn:
    "Hell yes. Very good post and also, keep an eye on who might be following you as you head back to..."
  • Jeffe Kennedy:
    "Good advice, Angela! As a woman who travels a lot by herself for work, too, I totally agree. I also..."