Conference season has started! Woohoo! No more counting down the days until I meet up with friends I usually only see once a year.
So much gets packed into 3-4 days and everyone's
experiences are different. We go away with a variety of highlights or
I thought I'd poll some of my
RWAustralia & RW New Zealand friends and ask them to recall
their most memorable moments of the conferences they've been to.
I hope you've been enjoying the snippets I've been featuring. For any
first timers out there, don't be nervous or afraid of going to
conference. More often than not you're going to find yourself welcomed
VERY warmly and will probably go away with a host of friends whom you
can't wait to meet next year at conference.
Anita's Memories: Confession: conference itself is one big, happy memory.
In fact, my first conference 3 years ago was so wonderful that I was determined to never miss one. So far so good (I’ll be at Gold Coast this year, and already saving for Perth next year).
Stand out memories from the three conferences I’ve attended include:
• Catching up with my cyber-friends in person
• Fan-girl moment with Barb Hannay
• Moments of inspiration (and growing determination) every awards presentations
• Surviving my first pitch...
Okay, so my list could go on and Kylie’s asked for my favourite. After thinking long and hard I’ve decided my favourite memory is going to my first cocktail party. Specifically Brisbane, 2009. This was also my first conference, and usually if you put me in a big crowd you’ll find me hiding in the corner. Ask me to dress up and you’ll be lucky to get me into the room. Make it a room full of people I don’t know and you’ve lost me.
But in 2009 not only was I there, in the room, in costume, but I was actually talking to people. Strangers. And having a ball. That night was a blast.
I was really anxious getting into costume, but then riding down in the lift realised RWA members really get into the spirit of dressing up. I wasn’t alone (although there was a fair sprinkling of people not dressed up), and the costumes are a fabulous ice-breaker. ‘Love your costume’ is a line guaranteed to start a conversation (much like ‘what do you write’ during the conference days).
In fact, that night I met some people for the first time who are still good friends today. Not in a million years did I expect that to happen. That night also made me realise how friendly RWAers are. Saturday and Sunday conference was no longer so daunting, and because of that I rode a high the whole weekend.
If you are coming to your first RWA conference this year and are feeling a little intimidated about the cocktail party, don’t be. Dress up (hide behind the costume if you have to). You’ll have a ball.