If you are an aspiring writer, then today’s post will be a great introduction to some of the things you need to know before attending your first big writers’ conference. For those of you who have already attended several conferences, then this should serve as a reminder of a few tips that you probably already know.

While we hope that everything runs smoothly at your conference, we know that not all venues are able to offer the extras that we can. At The New Psalmist Retreat and Meeting Center (NPRMC) in Baltimore, we are proud to offer a variety of meeting spaces, audio/visual capabilities, catering services, and more. When you are looking for a space to rent for your next conference or event, please contact us to schedule your free tour.

1. Evaluate Your Online Presence

Hopefully you have already created a personal website and at least one social media site so that you can provide an opportunity for people to view your work and get to know you. With that in mind, make sure that you have the most current pieces of your work posted online. If you work at creating a good impression online, then you can trust that people will be interested in meeting you in person and vice versa. You never know when a good first impression could lead to an agent checking out your work online.

An additional piece to your online presence is making sure that you provide access to a portfolio of your work and your most up-to-date CV (resume). The best piece of advice we can offer here is to make sure that you include only your best pieces in your portfolio. There is no reason to provide every piece you’ve ever created, as this will likely disinterest your reader.

2. Pack Plenty of Business Cards

While some might be quick to dismiss these as outdated in our world of technology, it would be wise not to underestimate the power of a tangible object. As you meet and network with people at the writers’ conference, you want to be able to hand a business card to them when they ask how they can get in touch with you or follow your work. One last tip before you pack your business cards — make sure that all of your information is up-to-date and accurate.

3. Practice Your Elevator Pitch

If you’re unfamiliar with an elevator pitch, you should know that it is the 30-second version of who you are and what you do. Due to its brevity, you want to make sure that you are clear, concise, and persuasive. It might help to remember that the name of this pitch refers to something you should be able to share in the time it takes for a brief ride in an elevator. This means, that you should know what it is you want to other person to say or do in response to your pitch. An easy approach to ask for the sale is saying something as simple as, “Would you be interested in talking?”

4. Plan Your Wardrobe

While this is a conference and not a job interview, it’s important to remember that you want to make a good first impression on the people you will meet. You never know when someone you meet at the conference center could be the very person who will publish your work, offer a writing contract, or another business opportunity. That being said, you also want to keep in mind what the temperatures are likely to be inside the meeting rooms. For example, if it’s summer, then the conference center will probably keep things a little on the cold side.

At NPRMC, we are proud to be the second-largest conference center in Baltimore. Planning a conference this summer or fall? Be sure to contact us and request a proposal. We offer a wide variety of amenities that helps our conference center stand out. We look forward to meeting with you and discussing how we can fulfill all of your requirements. Call today to schedule your free tour.