I thought I’d share a few things I learned at the conference 🙂 Here they are in no particular order:
– Take and wear sunscreen if you are going sightseeing!
I didn’t think I’d need any and so I didn’t wear any during my 5-hour tour of the city and came back with a lovely *cough* tomato-red sunburn. The sunburn didn’t hurt, but it sure did get people to stare and ask “Are you okay?” and “What happened to you?” Um…not the best first impression, but it was a conversation starter. I was not alone though in my burnedness (I made up a word) and saw several others with sunburns.
– People actually know or remember me from online or booksignings.
I was amazed by how many people had heard of or recognized my blog once I introduced myself. Many actually just recognized me by name (Jennifer Y.). Of course, they could have just been being nice…
-If people are staring at your chest, they are not being rude…they are probably just trying to read your name badge…you hope.
When you register everyone gets a name badge that they must wear to get into various events. The badge is about chest-level so there were a lot of glances at chests and then the faces around the conference. The badges do make it easier to spot your favorite authors though since many don’t have pictures in books or online (or don’t look like their pictures). My name badge actually got me a few waves and a couple of “Are you Jennifer Y.?”
-The “First Timer” Ribbon = “How are you enjoying the conference?” or “Are you having fun?”
When it is your first time at the conference you can get a “First Timer” ribbon that lets everyone know that it is your first time there…well, that was obvious…but the ribbon actually has its benefits as it starts conversations and attracts positive attention. People tend to be very nice to those with the ribbons and offer advice, kindness, and smiles. They helped make me feel at ease and less nervous.
– Authors get excited when you recognize them or tell them you have read their books and enjoyed them.
I seemed to have made many authors smile that week as I told them I was a big fan of their books and loved reading them. A couple I even recognized before the name badges were distributed and they couldn’t believe I knew who they were.
– Comfortable shoes are a must!
You do a lot of walking at these conferences so it is important your shoes be comfortable. My feet were so tired and sore that by the last night I was actually wearing heeled black flip-flops with my RITA dress. LOL The dressy shoes stayed in the suitcase. I saw many stylish and gorgeous shoes, but by the end of that night I noticed that many were in hands rather than on feet. So if you are going to wear stylish rather than comfortable shoes, keep in mind that people will see your feet so they better look okay.
– Budget for postage!
As I have mentioned, you get a lot of stuff at these conferences…books, goodies, etc. So if you fly, it might not be possible to fit it all in your suitcase (especially with the weight and carry-on limits they have now) so you’ll probably have to mail some things home. I made sure to set aside some money for this purpose, but even I was shocked by how much I was mailing home (and if I had gone to all the signings, it would have been a lot more I am sure). So if you plan on getting anything at these conferences and you can’t travel with it, make sure you are prepared to pay to send it home.
Okay, that is enough for today…check back tomorrow for more things I learned.