We have 20Books Vegas 2022 coming up soon, which means it’s time for a quick refresher on the value of in-person conferences.

Motivation and positive vibes. Authors are happiest when they are around other authors. It brings most of us out of our shells because we find people with whom we don’t have to make small talk. We find our tribe.

And that’s the most important part of all. Most conferences have a social media surge prior to the show. Find that person who you can relate to, a person who writes in your genre and is maybe at the same place in their author journey. Meet up with them at check-in and you’ll find that it’s a lot easier when you’re going through the unknown with a friend, even if they were a stranger until moments before.

It’s not about an introvert becoming an extrovert. It’s about an introvert tapping into what makes them who they are—the ability to focus on things that are important to them. Extroverts will find plenty of people who could use a friend. Look for them, but don’t overwhelm them. Be at ease. Extroverts will seem like they are thriving, but they also have the challenge of too many people. Will they get anything substantive out of the conversations? They have to also work outside of their norm to get the most from a show.

Don’t be alone in a crowd. When you realize that you’re surrounded by people who are just like you, it will take the edge off, but only if you open your mind. There will be noise, but that’s because people are excited to see old friends and new. Wear earplugs until you find someone you’ve met, even if only online. Give yourself power over your environment.

And have a plan. Plan your session attendance based on your business needs. See the guest speakers; talk to them to fill in gaps in your foundation. Get better at craft. Get better at ads. Get better at blurbs. Hire a great cover artist. There are so many opportunities at in-person events that will enable you to take your business to the next level.

And that’s why you invest money for in-person events. You are investing in yourself. Fear the failure of not getting your business off the ground, but don’t be afraid of talking with the people who can help you prevent that.

Consider at least one in-person author conference and go. Learn and grow. Build a strong business, and free yourself.

Craig Martelle

Picture of Craig Martelle

Craig Martelle

High school Valedictorian enlists in the Marine Corps under a guaranteed tank contract. An inauspicious start that was quickly superseded by excelling in language study. Contract waived, a year at the Defense Language Institute to learn Russian and off to keep my ears on the big red machine during the Soviet years. Back to DLI for advanced Russian after reenlisting. Deploying. Then getting selected to get a commission. Earned a four-year degree in two years by majoring in Russian Language. It was a cop out, but I wanted to get back to the fleet. One summa cum laude graduation later, that’s where I found myself. My first gig as a second lieutenant was on a general staff. I did well enough that I stayed at that level or higher for the rest of my career, while getting some choice side gigs – UAE, Bahrain, Korea, Russia, and Ukraine. Major Martelle. I retired from the Marines after a couple years at the embassy in Moscow working arms control. The locals called me The German, because of my accent in Russian. That worked for me. It kept me off the radar. Just until it didn’t. Expelled after two years for activities inconsistent with my diplomatic status, I went to Ukraine. Can’t let twenty years of Russian language go to waste. More arms control. More diplomatic stuff. Then 9/11 and off to war. That was enough deployment for me. Then came retirement. Department of Homeland Security was a phenomenally miserable gig. I quit that job quickly enough and went to law school. A second summa cum laude later and I was working for a high-end consulting firm performing business diagnostics, business law, and leadership coaching. More deployments. For the money they paid me, I was good with that. Just until I wasn’t. Then I started writing. You’ll find Easter eggs from my career hidden within all my books. Enjoy the stories.

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