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5 Tips For Attending An Authors Conference


Authors conferences can be a fantastic place to expand your knowledge, improve your writing, meet other authors, and discover new products and services. But they can be a wee bit intimidating, especially for a first-timer. If you’ve never attended an author conference before, here are my 5 tips for success:


Some conferences are massive, with lots of waiting in line and walking. Inkers Con is a smaller event. We purposely limit our attendee list to encourage attendee interactions. We also hold the event in a spacious and beautiful hotel with lots of comfortable seating and places to relax and chat with fellow authors or work on your computer.


You need to keep up your energy because there is so much happening! Most conferences do not include food, so you will need to scout out the closest restaurants or snack machines. If you’re coming to Inkers Con – don’t worry! We offer a beautiful hot lunch buffet with time to relax and enjoy it as you chat over the presentations you just watched, and share ideas and experiences with fellow attendees.


Before arriving at the conference, think about what you want to accomplish, both at the conference and in your author career – and write down these goals. Envision finding the perfect solution and information to help you achieve these goals. Then, while at the event, keep your mind and ears open – you’ll be amazed at how much this simple tip can magnify your experience.


It’s easy to hide in your hotel room and scurry in and out of classes with your head down (trust me, that was my M.O. at my first few events). But I urge you to attend as many events and classes as you can and hang out in the common areas. At Inkers Con, we have fun evening networking events that are built for even the shyest attendee. You’ll also want to stop in our Instagram room, and have fun creating dozens of beautiful lay-flat images that will showcase your books and elevate your marketing game.


If you struggle with shyness or are an introvert, here are some easy ways to meet fellow authors:

  • Approach organizers and offer to volunteer. It’s hard to feel awkward if you have something to keep you busy, and you’ll get to know fellow volunteers plus interact with attendees in a natural way.
  • Grab a seat early and introduce yourself to the people next to you. An easy way to spark up conversation is to say “I’m so excited for this class. I really struggle with _______” or ask them if they’ve attended Inkers Con before, or ask what kind of books they write. At Inkers Con, we have nametag labels that can help you identify whether a fellow author is aspiring or in a specific genre, which is a great conversation starter.
  • Interact online before you arrive. Most conferences have an attendee group – Inkers Con has a Facebook group and an app, both which allow you to interact with fellow attendees and participate in meetups or discussions. At our last in-person con, attendees raved over the app and how it allowed them to “know” several names/faces before the event and gave them a built-in network upon arrival.

Update: One of the bonuses for signing up for Inkers Con Dallas 2024 is the Make Friends Fast Networking Guide. Or be one of the first 500 authors to register for Inkers Con Digital 2024 and gain exclusive access to the Online Networking Checklist!