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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Conference Crash

Most of us go to a conference every now and then, if not regularly. We pack, sort what we need, anticipate seeing old (or making new) friends and in general hope we haven’t forgotten anything important once we’re there.

This past weekend I attended the Cal Dreamin’ Conference in Southern California. (Brea, to be exact. It’s worth noting that this conference is not every year, but every OTHER year.) I remember the first time I attended, which also happened to be its inaugural year. Truly, it was one of the best conferences I’d ever attended. Unfortunately, I missed its second year due to a scheduling conflict. I was happy to be back and not only give my new workshop on body language, but also participate in Barbara Vey’s Reader Appreciation Event, California Readin’. There’s nothing like getting hundreds of readers together with some of their favorite authors. It makes for lots of laughing, story-telling and general fun. I’ll admit to enjoying another aspect of the event. My sister and good friend were able to come and it was fun to share a few hours with them while wearing my work shoes (so to speak). They’ve known me before I began writing, so it was a chance for them to see me in my author world. (Oops, I digressed.)

Back to the conference. I think this conference will always be one of my favorites, not only because it’s local (and I don’t have to deal with an airport/airplane), but because of the quality of the event. It might be relatively new and on the smaller side, but it’s definitely mighty. The workshops were plentiful and excellent with top-notch speakers and authors alike.

Here’s a shot of some of my favorite authors in my local chapter, and next is the table (at the reader event) I co-hosted with RITA nominated author, HelenKay Dimon.

Has anyone here participated in a Barbara Vey Reader event? They are something else. I've never seen so many voracious readers in one place. Although it's not hard to see why the event attracts so many people. The authors are very generous in their swag and appreciation of the readers. 

As usual, I arrived home wiped out and also invigorated, ready to tackle my WIP with new insight and high hopes for a miracle that I can actually finish this book. Haha.

So I’m curious, what kind of conference do you prefer? Bigger ones like the RWA National and RT or the smaller regional ones that might be a little more low key? Any local conferences you can recommend for the rest of us? Let me know! 

Have a happy Monday!
(And P.S. Work has me out of cell phone range until tonight when I get home, but I will be responding to all comments as usual. Thank you!)


Anne Marie Becker said...

Thank you for sharing your experience! I've never attended a Barbara Vey reader event, but I've heard they're wonderful. How fun for the readers to go home with all of that swag. :D

I now prefer the bigger conferences because of their variety and bigger reader/signing events, but I used to prefer the smaller/regional ones. I had more opportunity to connect, it seemed, with both writers and readers. And while I was still in the early stages of learning the craft, I liked having a smaller, less intimidating environment. ;)

Dee J. said...

Hi Anne Marie,
I hear ya. It's hard for me to decide which I like better... big or small conference. The one thing I've discovered... both are equally exhausting! LOL. Thanks for stopping in!

E.L. F. said...

That was an amazing event and we readers greatly enjoyed interacting with authors and appreciated those fantastic gift baskets. Barbara is quite a character and definitely provided an experience that will be treasured. Thank you all for your generosity as well as the fun games and yummy desserts!

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