I'm very excited that registration will open for the ACFW Conference in a little over a month. It is my favorite conference. I get to meet so many friends, both old and new, and I get to see my editors and my agent. I used to have a countdown widget here on the blog, but it was balling up the page loading, so I had to take it off. :( Sadness.
The ACFW Conference isn't until September. It is now the end of March. Is almost six months too early to prepare for the conference? NO! Actually, in some cases it might not be time enough. There are so many things I need to do in the next six months, I'm wondering if I will get them all done.
So, how do you begin preparing for a conference that doesn't occur for half a year?
- Start saving money. Conferences aren't cheap, though I'm convinced the best ones are worth the money.
- Start praying. Pray that God will prepare your heart for the experience. Conferences can be exhilerating, terrifying, friendly, lonely, educational, humbling, uplifting...and that's just in the first hour! Pray that God will help you set your expectations, that you will be realistic, and look on the conference as a stepping stone, not the launchpad of your career.
- Start honing your pitches and proposals. This is one of the most tense parts of any conference for me, pitching a project. Though, I have to say, my editor made my last pitch session with her a complete breeze!
- Finish that manuscript. I have a rather stretching goal of completing three manuscripts by September and a couple of pitches with sample chapters on two more projects. Like I said above, I don't know if six months is enough time!
- Plan to volunteer. You will get so much more out of the conference if you volunteer in some capacity. Last year I was an accidental volunteer in the bookstore, and it was one of the best experiences of the whole conference.
Question: Are you planning to attend a conference? What have been your experiences, and how are you getting prepared for conference season?