In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

ACFW Tips: Conference Dos

Having fun at the MBT Pizza Party at the 2010 ACFW conference
I'm making my list, checking it twice.
No, I'm not talking about my Christmas wish list.
I'm prepping for ACFW, which is the talk of the CBA writing world right now.
I'm no conference newbie, not with more than a decade of conference attendance behind me (and a drawer full of name tags to prove it. Not really. I tossed 'em in an organizing frenzy a couple of years ago.)
Over at the MBT Ponderers blog, I posted about what I'm packing for the conference. Hint: I'm not limiting myself to a carry on bag.
There's a lot of chatter on the Internet--Twitter and various writers' blogs--about how to enjoy the conference. How to succeed, whether you're an introvert or an extrovert or somewhere in between. Me? I'm an introvert who doesn't mind taking center stage, so long as I'm promised downtime afterward. Realizing you're likely dashing from blog to blog and taking frantic notes, I'm going to give you my ACFW To Do list:

  1. Be yourself. You're the only you attending the conference. I'd like to meet you when we say hi--not you-pretending-to-be-someone-else. 
  2. Ask questions. Here's a good question to ask when you meet someone new: What do you write? Then sit back and listen to their answer. Don't worry about preparing your answer just in case they ask you about your writing--and they probably will. You've been me-focused for so many weeks pre-conference. Isn't it nice to think about someone else?
  3. Reach out. Odds are there's someone at the conference who's even more overwhelmed than you are. Maybe they are a first-timer. Or maybe they're pitching their novel for the first time. Encourage someone else. Let them practice their pitch with you and then pray with them before they head off for that nerve-wracking 15 minute appointment. 
  4. Have fun. There's fun to be had at the conference. Enjoy the workshops. Enjoy the keynote speakers. Pitch your book.(Yes, this can be fun! Get excited about sharing your idea!) But take time to meet with friends for coffee. Browse the bookstore together or go work out at the exercise room. It's okay to go off-schedule and focus on relationships. 
  5. Slow down. Before you know it, you'll be packing your suitcase for the trip home.Wait! Didn't you just get here? Start each day by asking yourself: What do I want to accomplish today? And then leave room for God to change your plans. End each day by looking back and savoring the unexpected blessings He revealed.

What about you? What's on your conference To Do list? On Thursday I'll share my ACFW conference "To Don't" list.

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At 7:35 AM, Blogger Heather Sunseri said...

Crazy how quickly this conference is coming up! Can't wait to see you, Beth.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Edie Melson said...

Great List! I'm still debating about carry-on versus checked baggage. Not from fear my luggage won't arrive (always a possibility) but to save the extra money checking a bag costs. I'm looking forward to actually getting there, taking a deep breath, and enjoying the conversations, relationships and lessons God already has planned.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Katie Ganshert said...

Can't wait to meet you Beth!!

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

Hugs. Lots & lots of hugs. And rooting for RG when her name gets called.
~ Wendy

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

A huge To Do: Hug a lot of people I've been waiting to meet face to face! One of the highlights of ACFW!!

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

You can go off-schedule? :) Love how you build in flexibility to your time there, Beth. :) Hope you all have a fabulous time!

At 9:15 AM, Blogger dtopliff said...

Great list & I love that pic. Funny, when Cec Murphy was here doing a seminar for our state writers' guild & had dinner w/ our officers, he said he couldn't tell if I was an introvert or an extrovert. I answered, "I'm an introvert that can make myself be an extrovert." Can't wait to see everyone.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Stacy S. Jensen said...

I loved the packing post. Laughed about the shoes. I wish you and everyone else much success (and fun) at the conference.

At 10:37 AM, Blogger Keli Gwyn said...

I'm so looking forward to meeting you in person, Beth, and have a hug with your name on it.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Stacy, we can meet post conference if you want!
Keli and all the others--see you soon!

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Lyndsay Howe said...

Fun photo! Great list! Good times coming up!

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Stacy S. Jensen said...

Very kind offer Beth. We'll do that one day when we can both say "Yes."

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Sarah Forgrave said...

Great tips, Beth!

How did I miss meeting you at last year's conference?! I guess it was those other 600 people that got in our way, LOL. Can't wait to meet you in person this year!


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