It occurred to me after leaving Philadelphia for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference that a well planned trip provides a more productive experience. It can be intimidating and over the years I’ve learned some ways to simplify my time. 

1. Key to enjoying your trip is a well thought out workshop schedule. Think of your greatest need as a writer and focus on the workshops covering those topics. There are so many choices made available, it benefits you to tailor your schedule to your greatest need. 

For example, I have a completed manuscript and will be publishing therefore a strong                interest of mine for now is learning how to market and promote a book. 

2. Good walking shoes. You may think that attending a conference in the summer warrants summer clothes. Makes sense right?

Once inside most venues offer air conditioning which requires longer sleeves and covered feet. I passed more women who were cold in long sleeve shirts and sandals. While the temperature may be tropical outside, inside it feels more like a cool fall day. 

Bring comfortable business dress shoes for men and women and layers of clothing. Especially for the women. I wore flat business casual shoes and heard the woman in front of me in my first workshop say how cold her feet were in sandals.

3. Stay at a relatives or a friends house to cut down on costs. Or, share a room with a friend. I don’t suggest rooming with a stranger unless you are very flexible with your schedule. I have roomed with strangers and friends and it is much easier to room with someone you know. If you choose a stranger find out his or her preferences for bedtime, showers and what to expect before the conference time arrives. 

This last conference I stayed with my mom and dad in the Philadelphia suburbs and had a fun time visiting them in between my workshops.

Oh, and bring paper and pens. Lots and lots of them. Unless you prefer your laptop or notepad of course.