Vicki and I attended a readers' conference over the weekend. It was interesting as I looked at it from a reader's perspective. There were lots of free gifts - post its, pens, gadgets, and so on. Books of course were high on the gift list.
I wanted to take aside the organizer and say - listen there are some basic things you should have going. First an agenda of events - either handed out to people or posted in the hall. Second, a map of where rooms are. Third, set up early and be prepared for the long lines.
Something I want to say to hotels and conference centers. I get they make the most money by jamming as many people into one room as possible but let's be realistic. People are not child size. They range in size from small to large. Additionally, handicap people with walkers, wheel chairs, and scooters need to be able to get through.
One of the events was a signing. In order to get to the signing, we had to go from a lunch to another room. I told Vicki to go without me because there was no way my scooter was getting through the crowd of people and tables. Skinny people were struggling to get between tables.
As a writer, I soaked in all the things readers seemed to enjoy. I wonder if at some point I would do an event like this. At the same time, I wonder if I would be able to do an event like this with my mobility issues.
My daughter suggested I donate items to one of the reader conferences. I'm going to see if I can do this. I can crochet something and add some of my books to a basket for one of the giveaways. I certainly don't have the funds from my writing to be a guest author at an event but I can start small and go from there.
Small talk is not my forte but is definitely needed at an event like this. I'd rather have a meaningful conversation than do small talk. Yet small talk abounded at this event. Whether it was between fellow attendees or with an author, you have to be willing to talk about common topics which won't offend people. This is quite a feat for me.
It was good to spend time with my daughter. I didn't know any of the authors, don't read any of them. But it was interesting to talk to some of them and to see the event. As normal for me, I was not in love with the large crowd or the noise. This is my introverted self screaming in my head to run from so many people. I like the one on one or small group. I'm glad I went. If my daughter asks, I'll probably go again. I should probably read some of the books by the authors who will be there before I go to the event.
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