http://www.acfw.com/ - click on Conference in the left column
This is a picture of me with my agent Joyce Hart at the 2005 national conference.
When I wrote and sold my first two books, I didn’t know much about publishers or agents or anything. We didn’t have an organization like ACFW.
After the organization started having national conferences, that changed in my writing life. I was able to actually meet editors face-to-face. I ate meals with them, and many of them have become my friends, even though they’ve not published any of my work.
Unplanned meetings in the elevator when you can just visit with an editor. Maybe a group casually sitting in the hotel lobby or sharing a cup of coffee. Participating in the Late Night Chats. Perusing the books in the bookstore. There are a lot of places where you can get to know publishers besides at your 15-minute appointment.
The more national conferences I attend, the better I get to know many of them. We are friends and chat amiably. These chance encounters enhance your private meeting about your book, because the editors have seen you in many situations.This is a picture of me with Chip Macgregor at the banquet at the 2008 national conference.
I try to always be myself wherever I am at conference. Our personalities are what make us unique, and we shouldn’t try to hide them behind a wall.
Remember editors are real people. Editing is their job. They wouldn’t have a job without authors writing books. So connect with the publishers at conference. You’ll be glad you did.