Tuesday, March 8, 2011



So you followed some of the pointers from yesterday's post and you are prepared to network your butt off at your conference. You know what your agenda is. You are there to network and meet new people. You have clear concise business cards. You have some prepared conversation starters.

Now it's GAME TIME BABY!!!!

The first thing you need to do is:


Your prepared you can do it. Its why you and all the rest of these people are there. Half of them are just as nervous as you


We’ve identified most likely places:

Gym for the workout folks
Café for the early birds.
Classroom for the learners
Bar for just about everyone and those in between.


DO NOT lock yourself in your room and write or sit in the back of the class or find a secluded corner of the restaurant then hide behind your friends.

They are all there for the same reason you are.

There are scheduled speeches and meals, join a table of strangers. You will be sharing a meal and the conversation will just happen. And if it doesn’t happen you already thought of some conversation starters before you got there so use them.

Oftentimes people get excited when someone starts handing out business cards in a group because they were waiting for the opportunity to do so with out being pushy.


This is something I have to train myself to do when I am working. In casual settings I talk constantly and forget to listen sometimes. But when I am in work mode I am all ears. Sure I offer info about myself but when someone is in my salon chair it is all about them. They are my primary focus. It makes them feel important.

When networking this is equally important. I am eager to chat about my books all day and so are they. But if you listen to them more than you talk about yourself they will remember you!


Write down their personal info on their business card or bookmark, whichever they gave you.

I will even do this in front of the person and tell them, "I enjoyed chatting and I don’t want to forget you when I get home because of all the cards I already have."

Be thorough with what you write. Hair color, conversation, kids names, etc.


You meet the nicest people smoking.

I didn’t say take up the habit but I cant tell you how irritating it is when you are having a great chat with 2 people and they go off to smoke. You stay behind and dammit when they come back, they made plans to go somewhere else and you have no idea what they were just chatting about.

News Flash: You should have gone too.

This holds true for classes. You want to attend the Writing Craft class and the nice lady you are chatting with is going to the How to Write Sex class.

Well what are you waiting for?

You can take an online class anytime!

Go with her. Solidify the bond.

Somebody wants to go sit in some piano bar and you don’t like bars or pianos but you think you’re making a great connection, suck it up and go!

This is doing something out of your comfort zone. And you should strive to do this at least THREE TIMES every day.

Only by constantly putting yourself out there will you make that one or two great connections. You will be so proud of yourself when it is all said and done.

But you're not done yet! There is a lot to do when you get home! Stop by tomorrow and find out what!

'Spicing up your love life one naughty read at a time'


  1. Another great post!

    Now that I'm reading this and the one before, I've noticed you were doing these things when we met. That's probably why I took such a liking to you. You are a personable professional. :)

  2. Um, I wonder why you would do something you don't want to do to get to know someone you may not even like. I know, I'm anti-social. I'm the person you'll see at the front of the class taking notes. I'd rather engage in the act of learning than meet and greet. I'm there to learn about my craft. Socialize not so much. What am I missing? Why should I change my ways?

  3. I do like that you are suggesting we do these things at least three times instead of hammering the idea that you do this all the time! I can push myself three times and take a rest from it, develop some comfort level with putting myself out there.

  4. LOL Donna
    Maureen, its about quality not quantity

    Sweater Curse: Here's the thing, if you just want to learn and take classes why on earth are you wasting your money attending a conference? You can learn online. A conference is all about meeting and greeting. The classes are just opportunities to do so. I'm not suggesting you become best friends with a smoker and go on vacation with them. This is BUSINESS NETWORKING!
    If that smoker is, let's say, another writer who writes stuff like you and the two of you are having a great chat with an editor and the two of them decide to go off somewhere and you think that the connection you have made would
    a. be a great cross promoting opportunity
    b. career opportunity
    c. help you learn something from their experience
    Why would you not want to do that?
    These are just suggestions on ways to think outside of the box. You can't be anti social and expect to sell your books, sweetheart. If you are at a conference you need to put yourself out there one to three times a day to make the expense and time worth your effort, IMHO

  5. Well, that's very clear. I now fully understand and (gulp) will try to lay my pen down and communicate.

  6. LOL Leanne! The thing is you just gotta try. My goal is to connect with ONE person each day. I have made great friends at conferences. I met Heather and Lisa, our editors and publisher, at RT. That's how I heard of Decadent Publishing. I have usually made three or four real friends at every conference. But the thing is, if you don't step out of your comfort zone you will not meet any.
    I hope that I at least motivated you to try something new!

  7. You have given me the kick in the pants that I sorely needed. : ) I could give you so many excuses. I'm shy. I have dyslexia and socializing is too much of a challenge. Bottomline is, however, I want to be a successful writer and will move mountains to make this happen. Smiling and chatting to a few people is a small mountain to move. What's the worse that could happen--they ignore me or they run away screaming, or they...

  8. *kick*
    Was glad to do it!
    I think you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is. Everyone there wants the same thing you do.
    A networking class I took once said that introverted folks actually form better connections and more lasting ones because they listen more. So break the ice and let them do the talking.

  9. Deanna, you got me with the crazy dance. I have pix. :-)~

    Not only did Deanna meet us, she was our first contract, and HER first contract. It has been fun! So glad we met last year at 'the prom'.

    You need to add,"You can meet some interesting people when you're 1/2 drunk and doing the Time Warp". Just sayin'.


  10. Leanne, I met Deanna last year at RT while she was lurking around the pitch sessions. She kind of took me under her wing a little bit and forced me out of my shell to meet people. Thing is, I'm pretty good at meeting men. I find them easy to talk to. Women...not so much. So I spent most of last year's RT trying to break out of that one huge comfort zone. Since most of the people at RT are women...well, you see the issue.

    Honestly, she's REALLY good at this stuff. Like crazy good. I'm not sure I'd follow just anyone to something I wasn't into, but with the right people there? Oh yeah. It makes total sense.

  11. Great post. Full of good suggestions. Wish you were going to Nationals so I could just attach myself to your hip and network right along with you!