July 22-24, 2021


The Perfect Conference Preparedness List

Half of the battle of readying for a writing conference is making sure you’re properly prepared. Of course, for the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, this means having your pitch perfected if you’re participating in Pitch Slam, keeping a copy of the schedule with your preferred sessions highlighted, and bringing necessary chargers—whether it’s for your smartphone or laptop.

But that’s not everything though. While you’re prepping your writing for the conference, you also need to make sure you’re prepared in another aspect: packing. Yep, it sounds so trivial, but if you’re busy with your pitch, looking up speaker bios, and highlighting sessions, you may totally forget some all important items, even the basic necessities.

With that in mind, we decided to put together a list for you! Keep this handy, and make sure you pack these essential items:

  1. Business Cards: Hit it off with another writer during a session? Or maybe you discover you’re sitting next to an editor at one of the keynotes. Business cards are a great way to network, and an easy way to share basic contact info when you make a new connection.
  2. Layers: It could be a sweltering August in New York City, but you don’t want to freeze if any of the conference rooms happen to be a little chilly. With hundreds of attendees, the rooms can run a little cold sometimes. We recommend bringing a light jacket or sweater.
  3. Comfy Shoes: You’re bound to do some walking between sessions, and maybe even grab lunch at a nearby restaurant or a drink with new friends at the end of the day, so bring something comfy to walk in. There’s nothing worse than aching feet at the end of a jam-packed weekend!
  4. Snacks: Don’t get distracted by a grumbling stomach! Make sure to pack some snacks in case you’re hungry, or don’t have time to grab something to eat. The hotel has a little shop, but you can also run across the street to the 53rd Street Gourmet Deli—which is open 24 hours—for a wide variety of food.
  5. Note-Taking Materials: Whether it’s a laptop, notebook, or legal pad, make sure you have something to take plenty of notes. Please note that we will not have tables at the conference.
  6. Already Published? Bring Your Book! Remember: You’re not just at the conference to learn or find an agent. You’re also here to network and connect with other writers! So if you have an already-published book, feel free to bring a few copies to share with other attendees, if they’re interested! We can’t sell this book in our popup bookstore, but this is a great way to get reviews on Amazon or Goodreads.
  7. Reusable Water Bottle: We’ll have water jugs on-site, so you won’t have to buy a new water bottle everyday. Just remember to bring something you can reuse to stay hydrated and refreshed throughout the conference.

Did we miss anything? What do you always make sure you have packed for conferences? Give us a shoutout on Twitter, and make sure to use #WDC19, and let us know!