Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Conference Checklist

Bouchercon is this weekend, in Chicago.

Every conference, I make out a checklist of what I need to bring. Since I always bring the same stuff, it would make sense to have a permanent list rather than make up a new list every time.

I also thought it might be helpful for newbie writers who have never been to a conference to have an idea of what to bring. So here it is:

200 website business cards (have my book covers and URL on them)
30 address business cards (with my phone number on them)
100 flyers for goody table (or in my case, coasters)
10 extra copies of Whiskey Sour and Bloody Mary (in case the dealers run out, or I need to give someone a free copy)
Scotch (a good single malt kept in the room helps you make new friends)
Beer (I normally don't travel with beer, but this is in Chicago, so bringing a case is a smart idea and will save $$$)
Schedule (where I need to be and when)
Hotel information, including reservation number
Extra pens
Whiskey Sour mix and Dixie cups for ITW table.
Gifts for booksellers (I give them a signed airline bottle of Jack Daniels)
Cell phone and charger

Plus the usual clothes and sundries. My B'Con schedule is as such:

Friday 9:00am panel--Authors Duke It Out: What's the Difference Between A Mystery and A Thriller? (T) Moderator:Joe Konrath panelists: Jon Guenther, Christopher Rice, James Rollins, Penny Rudolph.

Friday 11:45 Backspace lunch, meet in hotel lobby.

Friday 5:00pm-6:00pm-- The Macavity Awards are given by Mystery Readers International for excellence in the mystery field in the categories of: Best Novel, Best First Novel, Short Story and Non-fiction. Janet A. Rudolph, Editor of the Mystery Readers Journal will present the awards. I'm up for best First.

Friday 10pm-11pm-- I'm MC for the Bouchercon LIVE Charity Auction - (In-Hotel) - Come early, bring money, and bid often. It's for a good cause. All funds raised by the Bouchercon charity auction will be given to Centro Romero, a not-for-profit Hispanic organization about 20 years old. They have 4 divisions, one of which is the Youth Program. The Youth Program runs literacy tutoring for about 30 kids right now, and has a waiting list of 80. They tutor reading and math during the school year, and reading and writing during the summer months. A cash bar will be provided.

Saturday - ITW Booth 3:00 - 5:00 pm. I'll be giving away Whiskey Sour drinks.

Saturday 7:30PM to 10:00PM (reception 6:30PM) - Anthony Awards Banquet - This year, the banquet will be held away from the convention hotel at the Mid-America Club, located on the 80th floor of the Aon Center Building at 200 East Randolph Drive. I'm up for best first novel, and Whiskey Sour is also up for Best Cover Art.

As you can see, nowhere have I listed "Winning Acceptance Speech" as something I must bring. The reason is simple: I'm not going to win anything. It's an honor being nominated, and I'll be genuinely happy for whoever does win.

Besides my schedule, I have a threefold agenda for this conference:

1. Root out the secret parties and get myself invited to them.
2. Meet as many new folks as possible. That's why I go to these things. Touching base with old friends is great, but if I want to broaden my fanbase, I have to seek out new faces.
3. Talk shop. There are several authors I'd like to corner and pick their brains.

Looking forward to it. Should be fun.