As many of you know, we attend a number of conferences and speak to a number of writer’s groups each year. So if we were to plan the conference, what would our dream conference be like?
1. A huge goody bag upon arrival that includes snacks (good chocolate, water, wine, and fruit), a few books from some of the published authors in the group, neat local gift items, pen, paper, and some surprises.
2. No more than one hour of appointments with only the most talented unpublished (or published looking for a new agent) authors whose work is so inspiring I can’t help but request a full manuscript.
3. An amazing hotel with a big fluffy bed and pillows and a great health club/fitness center.
4. Meals with no speakers or awards, just the time to get to know the other attendees at the table, chat about publishing, the area, and life in general.
5. Really good food at those meals.
6. Free time. Not necessarily a ton, but enough to explore the area, go to my room to relax, or take a dip in the hotel pool.
7. Location, location, location. An amazing area I’ve never visited before or a place where I have friends and family to visit while I’m there. I love the opportunity to turn a conference into a vacation. Europe would be fabulous.
8. A host. Someone assigned to me who makes sure I have my goody bag, the schedule for my weekend, a ride to and from the airport, and a cocktail or cup of coffee when I need it.
9. Water. It’s amazing how thirsty you get during appointments or a panel. A fresh bottle or glass of water is constantly needed.
10. Optional excursions. I love it when conference organizers take the time to plan and organize a free trip to a local tourist site. It’s always fun to see something new and different.
11. Wine served at panelist table while we’re speaking.
12. Direct flights to and from the conference.
13. Laid-back, comfortable attendees who aren’t too intimidated to just chat with us and hang out at the bar. Trust me—we’re not an intimidating lot.
Ah, it’s always fun to dream. What would your dream conference be like?