Large conventions can be overwhelming to those who crave solitude or prefer to deal with smaller, familiar groups. After a few hours, an author may be tempted to hide in her room for the remainder of the event. However, when factoring in the registration fee, the hotel expense and the airfare, most people would prefer to see more than the inside of their hotel room. There are also the networking opportunities authors do not want to miss out on.
One of the best ways to deal with the crowds is to connect with one or two people who are also travelling by themselves and in need of a friend. At the RWA National Conference, I have joined small excursions to help ease the nerviness I feel being around new people. Besides making new connections, I am able to safely explore unfamiliar cities with a group.
Some people may feel awkward walking up to others and introducing themselves. However, when charged with a task, they become a different person, able to bark out instructions or open up and make others feel at ease. When this is the case, volunteering may be the ideal solution for a person who would normally hide in her room.
During the RT Convention, I helped pack gift bags, worked the registration desk, volunteered at a signing and helped register authors for the book sale. Each opportunity gave me a chance to meet new people and help ease some of the workload for the organizers of the event.
It is not always necessary to be on display at a conference. When you feel overwhelmed, it is okay to take a minute or two for yourself.
Schedule time during the day to return to your room. Once you are alone, put your feet up and review the events for the remainder of the day. You may also want to take time to redo your make-up or change into a new outfit as you are more at ease when you are refreshed and comfortable.
When attending conferences you want to try to get the most out of the event. However, make sure to take time out for you.♥
Ursula Renée writes stories set in the early and mid-twentieth century with a diverse cast who must examine their own beliefs and challenge society's conventions to reach their happy-for-now. Her latest novel, BITTER BLUES, is the second book in her Big Band Series and it explores the challenges an interracial couple faces after saying, “I do,” in the 1940s. When she is not writing, Ursula enjoys photography, drawing and stone carving. She is the mother to one son and two cats. Visit her at www.ursularenee.com.