Managing a Conference the #Introvert Way

It’s been a number of years since I attended a conference. Because I love connecting in-person with people I meet online it was exciting to learn from Jacqueline Gum about the PubSense Summit(TM).





Industry leaders all in one place from March 22 to March 24.

Managing a conference the #introvert way.

PubSense conferencePlanning for a conference:

For me, the planning of attending a conference is a time and energy issue. After I looked at the concurrent sessions for the 3 days, I felt almost overwhelmed.

But being the gracious Southern Bell, Jacqueline made time to walk through the conference agenda with me pointing out her take on each session.

We telephone talked and emailed until I had all selections made to be ready to press the REGISTER button.

Where to stay:francis marion hotel for conference

While I wanted to take advantage of double hotel points, the host hotel’s nightly rate was too good to turn down. The Francis Marion Hotel turned out to be the perfect place to stay. Have you ever stayed in a hotel where every time you left your room to take the elevator that the doors were just opening for you – and no one was on the car? Spooky huh? Rumors had it the floor we were on was haunted. In addition to this little benefit, the hotel was within a 5-minute walk of two events held outside the hotel.

But fast elevators and short distance walking and talking with people I will likely not see again is pretty comfortable.

Registration desk:

It never fails for me to be the first or one of the first people at the registration desk and this conference was no different.

This quieter time lets me meet the event staff and talk with them before things kick off. Then I have some friendly names and faces for the event as it goes on if I have logistics or any questions.

Starting off with some personal reflection:

What I loved about the Summit is that the opening presentation, led by Brenda McClain, offered a chance to reflect on – “Why am I here at this conference?” It was a chance to reflect on the pre-planning and personal goals.

Bren (that’s what Brenda goes by) also confirmed my suspicions that most authors there were – introverts. Then I felt one of my three goals would likely be met.

Conference parties the introvert way:conference parties the introvert way

There was just one conference party! Hooray. Likely most of us in attendance were crying that cheer.

I paid for my husband to go as a guest to all events and as the extrovert in our couple, he was excited when that evening party was on the agenda. Food, people, drinks and people. Yes, people.

It was so refreshing that every publisher, agent and the industry leader representatives from CreateSpace, Kindle, Publishers Weekly, IngramSpark, Chubb Insurance and more were so approachable. That’s what I took advantage of for the ‘Appy Hour.

Those are some of the ways I manage a conference. I think I’d be remiss though if I didn’t give you some takeaways.

Conference 4 gold nuggets:

In looking through all my pages of notes, it occurs to me if you are a book author or writing one you might be interested in a few resources and findings.

  1. Scrivener is the new word processor in particular as an author writing for platforms like Kindle. Who wouldn’t want to automatically convert to that format?
  1. Fiction in the digital format sells more than other genres. But whatever you write, the delivery format needs to fit your market.
  1. They call themselves, “the bible of the book business”, Publishers Weekly. If you have written, are writing or thinking about writing a book, this goes to publishers, booksellers, librarians, literary agents, authors and the media. You can subscribe free online. It was one of my top 5 action items for my return – and I did it.
  1. Just as quality and relevant comments are important to the success of blogs, reviews are important to the success of a book. If you have good reviews use them.

The real work in writing a book is in the writing and marketing. Write, then publish and know that selling takes the most work for most authors. I suppose the same could be said of a blogger’s work.


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  1. It’s so wonderful that you and Jacqueline me. Glad it all worked out so well!

    Conferences are interesting. Personally sometimes enjoy the networking sometimes not. Has it ever happened to you that you arrive at a conference at the other side of the world and they have failed to fix accomodation for you? Happened to me once in Africa. But one of the most famous ANC personalities offered to let me and a top Mozambiquan businesswoman share his room. But in the end the organisers managed to find single rooms for both me and the other woman at top hotels. Thank God for that. But it was kind of the man, wasn’t it?
    Catarina recently posted…External directors boost startupsMy Profile

  2. That’s great! It is so nice actually meeting people in person. Thanks for sharing the links about writing a book. I will be checking this one out soon.
    Sabrina Q. recently posted…Simplify Email NotificationsMy Profile

  3. Jacqueline Gum

    The highlight of this conference, for me, was finally meeting Patricia and her husband Marty. My admiration for you and your work has been completely enhanced by our meeting. I believe, more than ever, in your message and it’s relevance. For an introvert, you sure are one dyn-o-mite personality!!
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…Easter… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  4. Pat! Oh, it was so wonderful to meet you. I love that you arrived at PubSense ready, set for action. It was clear that you had a plan. I admire you so!

  5. Pat, first I am jealous of you that you met jacquie – I would have loved to have shared that with you but que sera. I learned from you that I’m an introvert and that must be a reason why I never liked conferences – at least not the ones I had to attend. We never received an agenda ahead of time which would have helped so much with session planning. Anyway, I’m glad you had a good time and came back with the great information that you shared here, especially Scrivener – will be looking that up..
    Lenie recently posted…GMO – Pros and ConsMy Profile

  6. Great having you there, Patricia, and an excellent write-up — That’s our favorite part as well, how approachable and generous the speakers are… Continually impressed by the quality of people in this industry 🙂
    Shari Stauch recently posted…Five Ways to Assess Your Book Cover DesignMy Profile

  7. A conference well worth attending I am sure and having Jacquie assist is pretty much icing on the cake if you ask me. Really glad to hear you got so much out of it. Thanks also for the information and links.
    Tim recently posted…ApartheidMy Profile

  8. I’m also jealous that you had the chance to meet Jacquie IRL (in real life). Your post is very timely for me. I am about to attend 3 conferences in the next month and a half where I will be by myself and and will not personally know anybody. I’m even sharing a room with someone I’ve never met IRL at one of them. This is where I have to pretend I’m not an introvert and I’m not bringing my husband to any of them, but that’s ok. He’s even more introverted than I am.

    I recently wrote two book reviews for friends who recently published books. It definitely seems to be true that these days, once you’ve done the hard work of writing a book and having it published, you still have to work very hard to promote it.

  9. Beth Niebuhr

    It sounds like a great experience, Patricia. And how great to have your own personal guide and to get to know Jacquie in person! Does it help that your husband is an extrovert? I wonder if that makes things easier since you aren’t one.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…Women, Use Your Big Girl Voice!My Profile

    • Jacqueline made the BEST restaurant recommendations we could have selected! And she was so helpful in getting me to the right people.

      In this case, my husband was really with me because he LOVES history of our country and wanted to visit a couple of places right there in Charleston. He only attended 2 of the events with me! It actually was knowing that Jacqueline was there that made being at the conference easier.
      Patricia Weber recently posted…5 Top Weekly Blog posts, week 5, from #Introvert InspirerMy Profile

  10. For so many years I attended anywhere from 4 to 6 national conferences a year as part of my job. I haven’t attended one since making the shift to full time writer and definitely haven’t missed them, but I’m glad it worked out so well for you, and thanks for the great tips. Now that I’ve been away from the crowds for awhile I think maybe next year I’d like to attend the annual BlogHer conference as well as a couple of writer’s conferences.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…How to Beat the Destructive Habit of OverthinkingMy Profile

  11. I loved attending the PNWA conference the past two summers, but won’t be able to make it this year. The best advice someone gave me was it’s okay to leave a session that doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped and just get up and sit in on another. Some of the those have turned out to be the best sessions I can remember. Also, the size of the host hotel matters. My first summer, I stayed at the Hilton where the conference was held, but my room as on the opposite side of the complex from most of the session venues (as in 10-minute walk). The next summer I stayed at the Marriott (for free with travel points) and it was basically across the street from the Hilton’s conference center. Worked out much better that way. Also, the only part of conferences I dislike the most are the periods in between sessions when everyone congregates in halls. That’s when I usually go out and walk up and down the sidewalk to take in some fresh air and enjoy the peace and quiet.
    Jeri recently posted…#PubTip: 5 Reasons to Crowdfund Your Next BookMy Profile

  12. I think it is an outgrowth of the democratization of publishing that along with the ability to publish goes the job of marketing what you publish whether it’s a book, a news story, a blog post, or whatever. Google is always fond of saying that the best way to assure high search ranking is to produce great content. But it isn’t really that simple. You can produce great content but without the effort to dray attention to it, no one my ever see it.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…DesertMy Profile

  13. I have yet to attend an author conference. I would very much like to one day. Thanks for the Publishers Weekly tip. Signed up…

  14. That’s so great you and Jacquie met up at the conference. Sounds pretty intense, but SO much information. I’m not sure I have the stamina for a conference like this, but I love that you’re sharing your experience as well as the info you shared at the bottom of the post. I’m a big fan of Scrivener and have been using it for about 3 yrs now. If you’re thinking of using it, check out my post on it as I include a number of links re: learning the program.
    A.K.Andrew recently posted…Oscar Wilde:120th Trial Anniversary in National #Poetry MonthMy Profile

  15. What a wonderful post, I liked your comment about the floor you stayed on being haunted. Reminds me years later I went to a conference, was asked to go. The hotel seemed like it was out of the 1950’s, including bellhops with their hats. I attended the conference and left. Weeks later, I notified the group that invited me, and the group did not exist anymore. They all had been killed in a hotel fire in the 1950’s, the same hotel I had attended the meeting. I drove back to that hotel, and it was a vacant lot. No, I am just kidding. There was a McDonalds where the hotel stood.

    I am interested in learning more about Scrivener, it seems something I could us.
    William Rusho recently posted…Upstate Comic ConMy Profile

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