- Network, Network, Network-A big part of any business, including writing, is forming relationships. This gives us a way to connect to each other. It puts a face to the name on the email, book proposal or query and that is very important. So at the conference you should be introducing yourself to other writers, the agents and the editors. Make connections. There is even a workshop on Friday night all about networking and then you can to put into practice what you learn.
- Be Professional-Everyone should have business cards on hand. You even print your own on "Clean Edge" business card paper you can find at any office supply store. Also, be respectful of other people. Don't monopolize an editor's/agent's time-allow them time to talk with other people-they are there to network too.
- Get Your Money's Worth-I can speak from experience when I say that a lot of time and effort is put into all aspects of the conference. No matter how exhausted you may be or even overwhelmed, you should participate in as much of the conference as you can. Stay for the whole thing. (And for the NCWC, you don't want to miss Ava Diamond's closing keynote: "Is Your But Too Big.")
- Take notes or buy cd's-Write down as much as you can so you can have your notes as a resource later or you can share what you learned with a critique group or other writers. If cd's are available to purchase, consider buying some because this is a great way to revisit the workshops and refresh your memory throughout the year.
- Follow Up-Send handwritten thank you notes to agents/editors thanking them for their time--especially if you had a pitch session with them. Follow up with other writers you met with a quick email or even phone call. Once again, this business is about relationships and you want to make sure you cultivate and maintain those contacts you made during the conference.