Wednesday, July 10, 2013

OMG! National is next week!

duluoz cats/Flickr
I can't believe that RWA National is almost upon us. Seriously, how did July get here so fast? Can you tell I'm completely freaking out?

I'm a National newbie, so I've read lots of blog posts on what to expect and hints for how to best navigate the conference. I even managed to come up with something all on my own :)

1. Angela Quarles has a great post of tips for newbies. My favorite: Bring your own water bottle to refill at a drinking fountain and small snacks to help you make it until your next meal.

2. In the comments on Angela's post, Suzanne Johnson recommended getting a rolling tote to help lug all your new books around. I ordered one from Amazon.

3. Someone on the PAN loop posted information about a photographer who takes affordable headshots at the conference. I made an appointment and can't wait to see how it turns out.

4. If you're a Groupon or Living Social member, you may have seen some great deals from Vistaprint. I used my deal to order business cards and cover flats.

5. National is a wonderful opportunity to network, but I am horrible about keeping up with business cards. To help me with this, I've installed Evernote Hello, which will allow me to take pictures of the cards with my phone and save it with a contact.

How are you getting ready for ATL? What is your best tip for getting the most out of National?


Ali Hubbard said...

Got to get a rollable tote! Great tip . Thanks! I'd never heard of evernote so I'll look into that too. Only a few more days!!! I saw where RWA has an Agenda you can build which shows the rooms of the workshop. ..access through the Workshop link. But you could only add 1 workshop per slot. I didn't like that.

Chris Bailey said...

Kerry, thanks for sharing your research. Evernote Hello sounds like an everyday lifesaver for me! The Southern Magic posse will make this RWA the best. Wish I could be there with y'all. Have a happy conference!

Aidee Ladnier said...

Angela Quarles' blog posts are amazing. Did you see her one-stop shop conference lists here:

I'm so excited about next week!

Meda White said...

I've been stockpiling snacks for weeks so I'm ready on that front. I have a packing list that I check off after my suitcase is loaded. It sucks to get somewhere and realize you forgot your PJs or shoes or hair gel. I need to look into the tote situation. Thanks for sharing these tips y'all. I'll see you in the ATL.

Kerry Freeman said...

@Ali - I need to build my agenda. Thanks for the reminder!

@Chris - I'm hoping Hello will really help me remember all the new people I meet. Wish you were going!

@Aidee - Thanks for the link! I have lots of reading to do now :)

@Meda - You're so organized! I'll probably make my packing list about 5 minutes before I pack, which is usually the night before I leave ;)

Suzanne Johnson said...

@Kerry--I'm off to look for "Hello" as well! If I manage to pack more than an hour before I head out the door, it will surprise me greatly (and be a first--I'm a notorious last-second packer. In fact, last trip I took, I left my suitcase sitting outside the front door and had to dress myself in Walmart for two days!)

Louisa Cornell said...

These are some great tips!

I have a packing list on notecards. I put it back in my desk drawer every year so I can use it again and again. I edit it after each trip - taking off things I didn't use and adding things I forgot. It is very detailed and each card has a category - Clothes (a card for each category - bras, panties, slips, skirts, blouses,etc), makeup, jewelry, shoes, clothes, toiletries, etc.

Yes, I am a bit OC, but I sang with a traveling opera company in Austria, Germany, and all over Eastern Europe. Organization saved my butt more than once.