Yep, my life has been taken over by preparations for RWA. I'm so not ready. But I thought I'd take a few minutes to pass along some of the tips and tricks that I've gleaned from several years of conference trips.
Comfy Shoes - Yes, I realize this probably seems counter intuitive - especially if you glance at the shoes that will adorn my feet at conference. I don't necessarily advocate comfy shoes all the time, but you definitely need to take a pair with you just in case. PC learned this lesson the hard way when she injured her knee one year and hadn't thought to bring anything flat. I have several pair of five inch heels in my bag, but I also have some flip flops and flat dress shoes in case there's a day where my vanity just can't trump the pain.
First Aide, Band-Aide Stick and Gel Shoe Pads - You can never have too many band-aides or blister pads. I also highly recommend investing in this little stick that Band-Aide makes that you rub on your heels so your shoes don't give you blisters. I've found it also works wonders at preventing chaffing on your thighs if you happen to have a pair of short shorts and are heading out into a steamy New York day. Ditto for those gel pads that go in the ball of your shoe. They can make the difference between sheer torture and looking effortlessly fabulous.
Nap - No, I'm not kidding. I realize that we're not in kindergarten, but conference tends to involve late nights followed by early mornings. If you run non-stop you will hit a wall the last day. Your brain will stop absorbing information and you will become useless. A bad situation if you have a pitch or workshop presentation ahead of you.
Don't Forget the Bar - Even if you're not a drinker, the bar has many functions. Not only is a great (usually centrally located) meeting place, but inevitably you will run into someone you've always wanted to meet. Networking is one of the most important functions you'll do at conference and the bar is a great place to get pulled into a conversation only to discover that your dream editor is sitting across the table from you sipping a drink and sharing stories about her dog.
Those are my top conference tips. Anyone else have others they'd like to share?
And I'd like to take this time to shamelessly plug my workshop with Smarty Pants, Rhonda Nelson and Vicki Lewis Thompson scheduled for 4:30 on Thursday. If you come well give you the secret handshake...and if SP's efforts at organizing us have worked we might also talk about Voice.
P.S. robertsonreads is the winner from yesterday's blog. Please email your name and address to Playground Monitor to claim your prize.