The New World of Conference Networking

2 Aug

Social Media has completely changed how people network.

Now that I’ve gotten the whole State The Obvious thing out of the way, let’s move on.

It dawned on me that social media — especially something like Twitter — really had to change the way successful writers look at networking at conferences.

Let’s be honest, successful (and even up and coming) authors need to have a bit of a wall around them. They can’t be everyone’s new bff. They can’t even be everyone’s bf, forget the forever part.

So how does that cause adjustments at conferences? I have no idea. I’m not there yet, but I did have a couple moments where even I felt like “a little personal space, please” so I’m sure certain people must have been ready to go into lockdown by hitting the airport at the end of the week.

And so, because I’m wonderful like that, I give you: The Rules (or Guidelines) of Rocking Authors (in which Bria tries not to knock down anyone’s personal walls)

Feel the love:

  1. If they gave you a card (unasked for), use it
  2. If they ask you to email them, do it 
  3. If they ask for your card or email, give it
  4. Don’t be afraid to send Thank You emails (I have a few to send after conference) but be sincere. A thank you is not an “in” – if you’re trying to use it that way, that’s not a Thank You
  5. Do Good Gossip! I met Margaret Mallory in the hallway when she needed directions… I walked away with a LOVELY view of who she was (I wasn’t kidding, it’s not her last time on that Rita list), you don’t need to become friends with someone to pass-on the “she’s lovely” word. She probably has zero memory of the meeting, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember and appreciate her excitement. So, go buy her books. You’ll enjoy them!

Feel the love…. but from a distance:

  1. If you sat at the same lunch table by accident
  2. If they’re a friend of a friend, but don’t fit into list one
  3. If you meet them at a party, and they also don’t fit into list one
  4. If you know them from Twitter and meet them in person, that doesn’t mean you already “know” them
  5. If, like in #4, you meet a tweeter, Twitter is not a magic key to a future friendship. Go back to Twitter the same way you left it

Not feeling the love…always from a distance:

  1. Never forget authors talk… that was said to authors, agents, editors, people who carry books to the store, etc
  2. Be gracious, it takes 30 seconds
  3. You have only so many days a year you have to be “on” – either find the energy or stay in your room…or home. Rude behavior creates elephant memories

Just so you know, I had a lovely dinner with several friends (OhMyGod! Is that Mel! See, there it is.) and it turned to who we’d met. Some stories were just easily over-looked snarks, but some stories left all of us knowing we’d never *buy* an authors book again… oh, we’re not going to shoot ourselves in the foot and not *read* them, but that’s what libraries are for. BUT, unlike one story I heard, I highly recommend not saying to the ungracious person, “Wow, I just wanted to say thank you. I’ll never buy your books again.” Negative energy is negative energy.

Keep the positive flowing.

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