Thursday, November 17, 2011

Conference Advice, Part 2

So it's lunchtime at the writing conference. My friend and I had been at separate sessions just prior so I'm looking everywhere for her in the dining area. When I'm certain she's not there, I find a mostly empty table and ask the women sitting there if they don't mind if I and a friend join them. Of course they graciously let me sit.

I found my friend, sat down and after catching up, turned to our neighbors. It was a woman and her 13-year-old daughter. Very nice. Her name was Bonnie. So here's a bit of the conversation that ensued:

BONNIE: Have you attended many conferences?

ME: [shrug] I've been to a few. How about you? Have you been to many?

BONNIE: [shrug] Yeah, I've presented at quite a few conferences.

ME: [choke on my salad] Oh. Yeah, I guess there's that.

SENIOR EDITOR BONNIE: [graciously ignoring my red cheeks] So what do you write?

Okay, so the point of this little story? STUDY THE LIST OF PRESENTERS BEFORE YOU GO. Cyber stalk them. Find their picture and know who they are. In fact, the conferences usually post these on the website. Then maybe, just maybe, you can avoid embarrassing yourself like I so thoroughly did.

14 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

LOL! Whoops ...

Joanne said...

Oy, SENIOR Editor, no less :/

But maybe a connection came from the conversation that you can use at a later date?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janet .. gosh - yes: do our homework! Must be fairly easy to do now-a-days with all the web access etc and FB et al ..

I'm sure you'll benefit from this little chit-chat?! Sounds like a good start to a story .. per the previous post ..

Cheers Hilary

Old Kitty said...

Well recovered!

Take care
x

Slamdunk said...

Excellent advice. Glad you were willing to share your discomfort to benefit the greater good.

Eve.E said...

hello there,
I am just catching up with blogs on Alex's blog hop list. Nice to "meet" you. Sorry it's taken me so long, there are so many Phew!!!

Kenda Turner said...

Oh, too funny...or not!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Yes - study the list of presenters :) and also that's why people always say you should be prepared with your pitch at any time! But I'm sure you did awesomely and it all worked out fine :)

R. Garrett Wilson said...

Well, you want to make an impression, and I'm sure you did that. :)

CherylK said...

A lesson learned...and good advice! But I think we've all had similar experiences which is sort of comforting!

Victoria Dixon said...

If it's any consolation, Janet, I was almost two hours late on the first day of the Crested Butte conference last year. I HATE being late and was very flustered by it (in my own defense) and raced in, huffing. And there was no one there. ONE woman sat in a chair. There wasn't even anyone at the registration table, so I said something despairing, desperate and more than a little stupid to the woman in the chair who looked up and - it was Ginger Clark. The agent I would totally flunk out with in two days. She looked harried and tired already (turns out, she was sick), but I've decided this was not a good way to get to a conference. Next time, I'll arrive the night before no matter the costs. And yes, study the list of presenters. *__*

LTM said...

aww! Well, I bet she understood. And you know, you were more authentic that way. You didn't know who she was, so she knew you sat with her because you wanted to. :o) <3

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

I embarrassed myself so much more than that, Janet! I tried talking to one of the presenters at a conference and as I was getting close to her, she started walking away. So, I followed her, and right when I got close to catching up to her I forgot her name, so I didn't even act NORMAL or POLITE, I just touched her on the shoulder and totally scared the crap out of her and then was like, "Uh, I really, um, like, I, uh, loved your talk...."
BLAAAAGHHH! I still feel sick thinking about it! She probably thought I was INSANE!!
All that to say, you're in good company. :)

Vicki Rocho said...

Eh, that could happen to anyone. But a little investigation ahead of time does go a long way!