Monday, September 19, 2011

Last Minute Conference Tips

So, I just finished getting my one sheets, sample chapters, proposal, agenda, and business cards all organized... Three more days (less for some of you)! I am so excited. As I get ready for the big conference, I have come across some great tips from fellow ACFW members and would like to share them with any of you conference-goers:

 SCENT-FREE Conference: 

Naomi Rawlings is on the newcomers loop and has some great insight into an unusual but important subject. ACFW is "scent-free", and Naomi clears up what this means:

Some attendees, including myself, are very sensitive to certain scents. So what does “scent free” mean? Do you need to wash the clothes you plan to wear in scent-free laundry detergent? Buy scent-free shampoo, make-up, and deodorant?

No. Nothing that extreme. Just avoid scented lotions, body sprays, and perfumes. Please don’t use hand sanitizers, as the scent-free versions of those smells strong. If you’re a man, make sure your aftershave is scent free or very mild. Meanwhile, those of us sensitive to scents will be armed with inhalers for our asthma or pain killers for our headaches, in case we run into an offending smell.

Also individuals allergic to feathers should call the hotel at (314) 655-1234 and request feather bedding be removed from your room.


My fabulous crit partner, Ashley Clark, gives us advice from what she learned when she attended her first ACFW conference:

From personal experience, let me just say I suspect there may be something Godly about skipping sessions to take a nap. In all seriousness, last conference I stretched myself too thin. I tried to go to too many sessions, meet too many people. That worked well for a couple days, but then I reached a breaking point. I vividly remember going back to my room and finally breaking down, asking God to lead me to whoever I needed to speak with because I just couldn’t keep up anymore. And a funny thing happened. I got a full manuscript request the next day.


Cindy Wilson, one of our Alley Cats, brought up a good point...bring some extra cash to tip taxi drivers, bell boys, valets. In the day of credit cards, sometimes having cash is not the norm. Don't forget!
Also, she brought up a MUST! Leave room in your suitcase for any new books you pick up at the conference bookstore...they will have a BUNCH to choose from! (And that being said, don't forget to bring the books you want signed by the author.)


Alley Cat, Pepper Basham has been a busy lady gathering tips from wonderful authors on her personal blog at . Check it out before you head to the conference. She provides wonderful advice for conquering those last minute jitters, fighting the fear of the unknown, and just equipping yourself for a great time!

And my last minute tip...take a bunch of deep breaths and remember, you've got Jesus on your side! He "did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound mind." He will give you all you need to proceed forward with this writing dream!


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

These are all great tips--ones that you don't normally think about. I would have definitely forgotten to bring extra cash!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Great tips, Angela! I'm not going this year, but I'm going to tuck these away to remember for next year. :) Love how you talked with people you know and had them share their tips.

Beth K. Vogt said...

Good tips, all--now to call the hotel and ask for feather-free pillows!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Love these tips.

I learned to wear comfy shoes in case you have to make a run for it in the airport.

~ Wendy

Sarah Forgrave said...

Great last-minute tips, ladies! I'm not allergic to feather pillows, but I usually prefer a non-feather pillow to sleep on. Sometimes I check in the room closet and find some up on the shelf. :)

And I love Ashley's advice about taking a break to rest. That was my savior last year, and I plan to do the same this year if I hit that breaking point again. :)

Keli Gwyn said...

Great tips.

Here's one I learned the hard way: If you run cold like I do, plan to dress in layers or carry a sweater. It can get mighty chilly when the AC is set too low.

Angie Dicken said...

Sherrinda- I am with you, I never would have thought of tips!
Jeanne- Hope to meet you next year!
Beth- Can't wait to meet you!
Wendy- Great tip! I thought about wearing my conference shoes around the house to break them in...since I don't wear them all the time.
Sarah- I am not one to like sleep, but I am going to force myself to rest if I need it. :)
Keli- YES! That is so true, dress in layers!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Now I wonder if the sweater I planned to bring will be warm enough...I'm always cold.
Great tip on the tips. I just put a little cash in my wallet..but I need to break it into small tipable bills.
Wowswers--next week we'll all be sooooooooo smart!

Anonymous said...

Great tips, Ang.
(waving to Ashley)

I agree with not taking the schedule 'too' seriously adn making time for those 'spontaneous' meetings. I didn't need to crash (because I'm really energized by meeting people), but I did find that the BEST meetings - were those God planned unexpectedly in my day.

Julia M. Reffner said...

I really enjoyed reading these tips and Pepper's series, too. Hopefully it will come in handy someday :)

(Can't get user verification to work today for some odd reason...gotta love blogger)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Great tips - and such a great point about wearing yourself too thin. It's not worth it and the conferences aren't solely for filling every spare moment of your time with classes, meetings, etc. Pray about what's important and don't feel bad if what you're lead to do is take a break. (Trust me, I did it last year! :D)

Naomi Rawlings said...

Hey Angie, thanks for all the great tips!

Olene Quinn said...

These are great tips. Women worry so much, especially at the last minute. I'd have never thought to skip perfume, but I will now.