In mid-May 2014, hundreds and hundreds of readers and authors will descend on New Orleans to discuss books, romance, and writing. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, a lot of talking, and a lot of goggling. It is an absolutely amazing–and ultimately exhausting–experience.
I’ve previously offered up some general thoughts about making the most of RT. This year, I’m hosting RT Prep Week, with guests, a contest, and posts to help you prepare for a week in the Crescent City. You can see the entire RT Prep Week schedule here.
Today’s prep: a list of some RT convention must-haves that will make your convention experience a little easier.
1. Clothing: Wear clothes in layers and comfortable shoes. You’ll be on your feet walking between panels or maybe out to lunch. And the warm, humid air of New Orleans can be quite a contrast to air conditioned hotel rooms, so a light cardigan comes in handy.
2. Convention “First Aid” kit: Depending on your personal needs, band-aids, lozenges, hand sanitizer, tissues, hand wipes, lotion, lip balm, and basic OTC medicines (Advil or aspirin) are very handy to have around.
3. Food and drink: Lines at hotel kiosks can be long, and prices can be high. Bring bottled water, healthy snacks, and in the event you meet a dashing cover model or favorite author, gum or mints. 🙂
4. Prepare for your favorite authors: The convention supplies a tote bag, but consider bringing along an extra, foldable tote (like Baggu) in case you need a little extra help. Bring a couple of Sharpies (black and silver will show up on lots of colors), and a notebook for autographs. An extra memory card or battery for your camera comes in handy, as does a backup battery or charger for your phone. Do be polite and friendly when opportunities to meet your favorite authors present themselves, but don’t interrupt conversations or obvious personal time.
5. Prepare for business: If you’re a writer, blogger, or author-services-provider and you’re at RT to drum up business, be prepared just as you would for a job interview. Bring business cards (or the like) to hand out to others, an extra pen, and, as discussed above, employ a good sense of timing.
6. Prepare for New Orleans: Bring a foldable map of the city and a travel umbrella for unexpected downpours. Familiarize yourself with travel routes and spots you’d like to visit as time permits. Restaurants–especially those in the immediate vicinity of the hotel–may be busy, so if you want to get into the city, consider making reservations. I love Opentable for reservations, and Urbanspoon is a great resource to learn more about restaurants.
7. Miscellaneous: I’m a religious debit card user, but I try to keep a few small bills around for tips, snacks, and admission fees.
And now for the contest! Enter below to win an RT Survival Pack, including:
- EAT DAT, a guide to New Orleans restaurants
- Streetwise New Orleans Foldable Map
- Frommer’s Easy Guide to New Orleans
- A Chicagoland Vampires Tote Bag to pack your goodies
- Some plane reading: Signed copies of BITING COLD, HOUSE RULES, BITING BAD, and WILD THINGS
- CV Swag, including Cadogan House lanyard, “I Survived Hard Bitten” button, and CV pen
Good luck, and drop by again tomorrow, when I’ll talk about travel tips and tricks.