Conference: fears, doubts and prospects

I have been absent for a noble reason: to write.

I can hear my inner Kristen Lamb preaching inside my head, telling me that I have time to do everything. Oh well… you’re right Kristen, I’m lame. Anyway, today’s post is not about my dialogues with imaginary real people. It is about conferences. I have read many posts about this, mainly because I’m going to my first conference: The Writers’ League of Texas Agents Conference.

And here are my prospects, opinions and doubts about the so feared conference:

  •  I’m looking forward to meet people

Don’t put a blindfold on yourself. Yes, you can search for your one true love *clears throat* agent, but relax, and talk to the people around you. The ones around you, do not tweet! Have some fun. 😉

The majority of posts I read emphasize this point. The authors rave about the wonderful people they meet as the highlight of the conference. So shake your shyness off, and made the most of it.

  • I’m looking forward for the feedback

I’m nervous about my agent interview, and I hope to cause a good impression; maybe an agent will fall in love with me and we will live happily ever after in a white castle. And that would be great, although I prefer my castles gold.

But what I’m really anxious about is to hear the feedback. All of it: the good, the bad and the ugly. I don’t just accept constructive criticism, I crave for it. Above all I want to improve.

  • I’m looking forward to LEARN

Workshops, panelists, speakers, exhibitions! It sounds like going to Disney on spring.

  • I still don’t know what to put on my business card

My name, email, twitter, and blog. Am I missing something? Should I put my cellphone?

  • I still don’t know what to wear on the cocktail party

I heard that to dress for cocktail parties require more thought. But be specific: how fancy is fancy?

In a scale of one to ten, with one being jeans and a minnie t-shirt, five being a short dress plus makeup, and ten being Angelina Jolie in the night of the Oscar; how would the cocktail party be classified?

What to wear??

What to wear??

  • Some of the posts I read
If you are worried about how to behave in a conference, I recommend this post by Cynthea Liu, and this post by my all time favorite Anne R. Allen.
Are you an introvert person? Don’t worry, we all are. Check this post by K.B. Owen.
If you want a feedback by someone who recently attended a conference check this post, also by K.B. Owen.

And you, have you been to a conference before? Share your wisdom, and please help me with the questions above! If you are a conference virgin like me, do you agree with what I said?

Looking forward to hear from you guys 😉 *hugs*


10 Responses to “Conference: fears, doubts and prospects”

  1. K.B. Owen Says:

    Hi, Natalie! Thanks so much for the shout-out. Hope my experience is of help!


  2. Valerie Says:

    Okay, this post cracked me up instantly. It was the what to wear photos! I’ll say, last year I dressed up like I was going to brunch with girlfriends – in girl-speak, I’d say it’s cute, but not like “date cute” or “clubbing cute”. Maybe like the white dress in the middle, but with a jacket or a sweater over it and flats instead of sexy shoes. Hmmm… did that make any sense at all? Who knows. I’d say wear what makes you feel comfortable – like yourself – but put your best foot forward.

    Enough of fashion though… I’d say expect to feel a little awkward at the conference unless you are a social butterfly. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a flashback to the cafeteria in school. Either you sit at table by yourself waiting for someone to say hi, or you’re the person who says hi to them. So my best advice is to just always say hi first and introduce yourself to the people around you. Act like you are their welcoming committee and they are the awkward shy ones who need you to make them comfortable! 😉

    And practice saying what you write, what your book is about, etc until you’re blue in the face, because you’ll get asked that question about 50 times.

    Hope to meet you there!

    • Natalie Fay Books Says:

      Thank you som much for the tips!

      I’m afraid I’ll over dress; I always do that… terrible thing. I loved the cafeteria analogy, now I can imagine it perfectly. 😉 My mother is a social butterfly, not me, damn.

  3. The Agents Conference Blog Contest – Roundup and a Winner! « Scribe Says:

    […] Natalie Fay blogs about being a first-time conference attendee–the fears, the excitement, the possibility for a fashion faux pas! (Don’t worry, Natalie, the cocktail party is only minorly dressy.) […]

  4. sharonmorse Says:

    Here’s my philosophy. Writer’s are a sloppy bunch. Chances are, someone will actually show up in a Minnie t-shirt (and I will mercilessly mock them behind their back–it’s just how I roll). I say, if you brushed your hair and actually looked in the mirror before leaving the house, you’re already ahead of the game.

  5. tuesjolie Says:

    Okay, so for the cocktail party, would a maxi dress and sandals be too casual?

    • Natalie Fay Books Says:

      I love fashion, but I’m no expert. In my opinion, sandals with no heels would be too informal, and I would prefer a short dress instead of a maxi dress.

      You have to present yourself in a professional way. If you don’t want to wear heels, a nice flat is perfect. And you don’t necessarily have to wear a dress; you can go with a business suit.

      Whatever you pick, make sure it is something you would wear; otherwise you will fell uncomfortable and that will show.

      I hope I helped. 😉

  6. Michael Sirois Says:

    Hi, Natalie–

    Guys are worried about how to dress too. I attended the 2011 conference too, and definitely overdressed: suit, dress shoes, shirt — a tie to garrote myself with. (8^)

    It’s difficult to walk the line of wanting to look professional, but not wanting to look like you’re trying too hard or are desperate.

    Looking at some of the pictures online (and accessing my feeble memory) it seems like about half of the men wore jeans and polo shirts. I think I’ll just go for slacks and long-sleeved shirts this year (maybe dressier slacks and shirt for the cocktail party), but no tie or suit.


    • Natalie Fay Books Says:

      Menswear is not my strong suit, but I think a short-sleeved shirt, dark jeans, and some nice shoes will do. And it’s worth to emphasize: DARK jeans. I’ll see you there. 😉

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