Thursday, September 6, 2012

Conference Packing List

Okay, I admit it. Similar to obsessing over what to wear to prom, I’m debating between outfits and picking out accessories to wear to the ACFW Awards Banquet at the upcoming conference. Plus, I’m scanning my array of business casual,  wondering what would make me look most like “an independent professional woman”, as Lady Sybil says in Downton Abbey.

But what if I forget something? What if I don’t pack enough one sheets or forget my proposal altogether? Thankfully, I’m making this list. Hopefully it will help you as much as it does me while you wonder how you’re going to fit it all into that one little  suitcase.
1 – Business Cards – BRING A LOT! I handed out at least 30 business cards last year, most to new friends I wanted to keep in touch with after the conference. These little cards are not just for agents and editors, so stock up. The little pocket inside your name badge is a great place to store these so you’ll always know where they are.

2 – One Sheet and Proposal – I’m bringing 10 copies of my one sheet, plus a copy of my proposal.
3 – First three chapters – 2 copies. Last year, I actually gave a copy to a friend of mine who read it on the plane ride home. So although an agent or editor might not want these, they’re great when hooking up with potential crit partners.

4 – Pitch – Hopefully I can recite this in my sleep by then, but I’ll write it on an index card just in case.

5- My camera – I forgot this last year and was sooo sad when I couldn’t take any pics to share on my blog.

6 – Clothes and shoes - Find out what the weather will be before you pack so you can bring clothes appropriate to the climate. Also keep in mind that this is a business event, so jeans and T-shirts aren’t recommended. I consider how I’d want to look at a job interview for my dream job and pack accordingly. Still, don’t go overboard. High heels aren’t for everyone and you don’t want to fall at the feet of your dream editor. J  Be comfortable, yet neat and professional.

7 – Gala Dress – The gala on the last night of ACFW is always a much anticipated event. Not only do we get to hear who won the Genesis and Carol awards, we get to dress up, something most writers don’t do very often while chained to their laptops. Sunday best, to formal, is what it says on the ACFW website and it is always a very elegant evening. Some authors even go in period costume, and this year I’m trying my best to create an Edwardian/Downton Abbey style outfit, with minimal success.

8 – Laptop – I usually bring this so I can check my email and read blogs in the evenings, or in the morning before breakfast. Plus, if you have family traveling along, they can use it to watch the live video blog of the gala on Saturday night. Don’t forget your charge cord!

9 – Thumb drive – If you have to make extra copies of something, this is definitely something to pack.
10 – Cell phone – This is a must if you want to find your friends or meet up with someone. The Hyatt is huge!! Again don’t forget your charge cord!

12 – An empty duffle bag – For books that you buy or for all those workshop handouts and goodies. They do give you a nice tote bag, but you might want to have a larger one on hand just in case.
11 – Books to read - I’ll usually bring a few books to read in the car or plane or a hard copy of the manuscript I’m currently editing. But don’t take too many. A Kindle or e-reader would be great to use!

12 – Pocket Bible – It takes up less space than a larger Bible, plus you can keep it in your briefcase. A Bible on Kindle or Nook would work too.

13 – Misc items such as the following:

Cash for buying books, tipping, eating out, etc.
Hair stuff, such as curling iron, etc.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Tylenol or Ibuprofen
Safety Pins
Sewing Kit
A movie or two, but usually I’m too tired to watch them.


Whew! What a list! But I feel more organized already after making it. Did I miss anything?
See you there,


Roseanna White said...

I'm going to the gala in my Edwardian dress and hat. =) I made sure to warn my editor of this when she invited me to dine at her table for the banquet, LOL. Not quite the hoop dress another friend of mine is going in, but that hat is tres magnifique! =)

Amanda said...

Tres magnifique indeed! From the pics I saw, the hat is lovely! Can't wait to see it in person!!

Ten more days to go!!!