Many writers have the mistaken idea that social networking is only beneficial for connecting online. Or that it only helps when you can’t be at a conference. But it’s important to plug in through social networking BEFORE the conference starts!
Connecting early can greatly increase what you get out of the event. And that is so true for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference coming up in September. Conferences are expensive and you'll get so much more for your money if you plug in early.
Here are some things you can do in advance of the conference:
- Begin to follow the conference hashtag. For the American Christian Writer’s Conference, it’s #ACFW. The cool thing now is that you can follow hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. By following the conversation you’ll be able to see who else is going, find up-to-the-minute information, and see the answers to questions other people ask.
- Visit the conference website and plug in with the faculty and staff. This is a biggie, especially when you’re networking and/or pitching a project. Take a look at the faculty who are scheduled to be present and plug into their social networking connections. If they have a Facebook page, like it or friend them. If they have a Twitter account be sure to follow them. Take advantage of this advance information by getting to know what they’re looking for before you arrive at the conference.
- Visit the conference website and check for special eloops or online groups. These can help you connect with others who are attending. ACFW has a first-timers loop that was especially valuable for me before I attended the first time.
- Finally, put a call out on your social networking accounts. Ask if anyone is planning to attend the conference. It’s always more fun when you can share the experience with a friend.
Now it's your turn to share. How do you use social media to prepare for an upcoming event? Be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
Don't forget to join the conversation!