Thursday, July 24, 2008

Conference Survival Tips

Here are a list of Shrinking Violet conference survival tips. Please feel free to add your own tips in the comments. Us introverts can never have too many tricks up our sleeves where crowds are concerned!

  1. Give yourself time to get oriented in the hotel and understand where your room is, the meeting rooms, the elevators, and the bar dining room are. There’s nothing worse than wandering lost among throngs of people talking very loudly.

  2. Plan some down time into your conference schedule. Yes, you’ll be tempted to squeeze everything in, but then you run the risk of short-circuiting. Pick a couple of workshops or luncheons and plan on spending that time alone in your room doing some recharging; yoga, a nap, deep breathing. It’s astonishing how much even an hours break can refresh you so you’re ready for the rest of the day. Yes, you will miss something, but your focus will be much sharper for the events you do attend.

  3. Consider going offsite for lunch one day, again, just to step away from the crowd.

  4. Stay hydrated. The fuzzy-headed disoriented feeling from being dehydrated is not something you need to deal with on top of the crowds. Hotel air can be really drying.

  5. Stay fueled up. Pack protein bars or nuts or some kind of snack that will help keep your blood sugar on an even keel.

  6. Try to get your normal number of hours sleep. You’re drawing on enormous energy reserves, just being in a crowd like this. Honor the toll that takes on your body.

  7. Pick an aisle seat if at all possible. That way you only have people on one side of you.

  8. Consider treating the entire experience as a conference AND retreat. Pick mornings or afternoons to attend workshops, then give yourself permission to use the other time to retire to your room and apply what you’ve learned immediately, while it’s still fresh in your mind.

Originally posted June 2007


Mary Hershey said...

Glad to be running this one-- it's a fave of mine. Robin and I have learned so much about how important these kind of strategies are. Even being in a large crowd of like-minded spirits, other writers, can drain you as much as being in a mosh pit for an evening. But you don't expect it too, and you wonder why you feel derailed.

It's just a few more days until SCBWI Nationals. For all of you going, have a marvelous time! Soak up the magic! Just don't forget to take very good care of yourself.

Mary Hershey

Shari Green said...

Thanks for the tips, Robin! Very helpful -- I'm going to the Surrey conference in October, and definitely want to make the most of the experience. ;)

Stephanie J. Blake said...

I have two.

1. Use the restroom in your hotel room instead of waiting in line.

2. Socks.

Thank you for the tips. See you soon.