A ConferenCe StAte
i’ve spent the past two weekends at conferences. One weekend was with a writing group that I belong to: Women Writing the West.
Jacque boyd Phd
The other I just returned home from, a New Mexico Charter Schools
conference. Both conferences related to work and both conferences related to activities that
I truly enjoy. They were a great combination, yet I had a totally different mind set for each.
Come to think of it the Annual Women in Aviation Conference is right around the corner: March 14-16, at the Gaylord
Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. If you haven’t registered yet—do it! If you haven’t made
reservations—do it! It’s one of the best tradeshow and networking conferences you’ll ever attend.
That being said, you really do need to
be prepared for the experience and get
into the proper mind set.
So, ask yourself, what is it you want
and what’s your plan for getting it?
When I attended my writer’s conference—one that I hadn’t been to in several years—I knew that reconnecting with
old friends and writing buddies was going to be a priority. Because I’m at the
stage where I’m mainly doing magazine articles, I didn’t have to take time
to make appointments with publishers.
My agent and I stay in regular contact
regardless of the type of writing I’m doing. I am already employed in the writing field, doing what I want and when I
want to do it.
That wasn’t always the case, so in
previous years I also had a plan outlined
to find the kind of work that I wanted to
do. I’d checked out the session schedule
before I left so I had a pretty broad idea of which workshops
I really wanted to attend to brush up on my writing needs. I
purposely left plenty of time for networking and downtime
during the day to just visit.
During the past weekend at the Charter School Conference
I had a totally different mindset. Although this conference is
also a place to network, I go every year so I see many of these
people at the conference. I’m also on several task force work
groups with many of the same attendees and we probably see
each other at least once a month. Pure socializing wasn’t really on my agenda, although I did leave myself a little open time.
At the school conference I had to be prepared to answer spe-
cific questions concerning my school, the curriculum, my bud-
get and educational philosophy. I did quite a bit of work before
I ever left home and brought a load of material with me.
If you don’t have an
email address that
uses just your first
initial and last name,
get one. Leave the
cutsie stuff for
personal emails if you
absolutely have to.
And, while you’re at it,
clean up your