On Monday, we addressed the Do’s and Don’ts of conference etiquette. Now, let’s dive into what we need to bring to the conference to ensure we are prepared and ready to go!



A teachable heart, a ready willingness to help others, and a realization that the conference is a step along the journey, not the consummation of it (in other words, don’t look for the multi-million-dollar contract). For tangible items – something to write on and take notes with, business cards to share with other writers and with agents/editors/publishers. –Ronie Kendig, Author

Clothes. Please don’t come naked, even if it fits your fandom.

Comfortable shoes. There’s a lot of walking to the conference room and cafeteria from the dorms. You may want to bring your good shoes along in a bag so you can wear them at the conference, but wear your sensible shoes for walking back and forth.

Costume. Yeah, I know technically the costume is “optional,” but we have a lot of fun at the costume-friendly banquet. You don’t want to miss out on that aspect.

Notebook, laptop, tablet, etc. if you want to take notes. There’s a lot of good information to be gleaned, and although the speakers will probably have notes of some sort, it is nice to be able to take your own notes.

Money. Bookstore. Enough said. –Avily Jerome, Author and Editor for Havok Magazine

A Nerf Gun and lots of ammo. heh, heh, heh …  –Pam Halter, Author

conference-88Your laptop. Books to sign. Proposals to pitch. Your costume! For photos and social networking (#RealmMakers): Your phone with a full battery, spare charger, and (optional) extra charger battery. And a coffeemaker for your room, and a sealed drink container. This way you can make your own custom survival beverage and sip on it throughout the day, like Mad-Eye Moody. –Stephen Burnett, Writer/Editor at Speculative Faith

A backpack definitely. Snacks. A water bottle. Lots and lots of caffeinated beverages. Oh! And don’t forget your cosplay. 😉 -Victoria Grace Howell, Writer

I’m a better note-taker with a keyboard, so I’ll have my tablet handy. Others prefer paper, which means fewer fights for outlets! (On that note, leave those giant plugs that take up too much outlet space at home or in your room. I usually travel with a small power strip, which I call “The Friendmaker.”)

Bring layers. I have yet to attend a writing conference in any state which featured stable climate control. Dress for both thermostat extremes, maybe short sleeves with a jacket or sweater to supplement.-Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Author

Business cards. Please, please, please. Even if you only have the vaguest idea of a story you might possibly write. Also, a warm sweater or cardigan, because conference centers are ice boxes. In addition, a packet of tissues, because you never know. Sneezes and stains sneak up on everyone. –Janeen Ippolito, Author and Editor at Uncommon Universes Press

Also, don’t forget . . .

  • 100_0407aWhatever it is the agent/editor you want to see has requested for the appointments (see previous posts).
  • We had people dressing anywhere from business casual to geek chic. 🙂 I would advise to go business casual on the day(s) you have an appointment.
  • Light snacks if you have dietary limitations.
  • Chocolate (great way to make friends!).
  • Even a minor repair kit for costumes.
  • Gifts for the Super Intergalactic Overlord-Queen of the Realm Makers Consortium, or SIOQotRMC. (Just kidding!)

Like I said on Monday, one of the keys to a successful conference is preparation!

Did we leave anything off the list?

What should attendees bring to Realm Makers?