Tips from Alumni

New to editorial conferences? Not sure how to prepare? Below are some tips from PENCON alumni to help you make your trip a complete success!


What to Bring

  • Business cards
  • Comfortable shoes and clothing
  • Chocolate or candies to munch and share (some will be provided too!)
  • Folder or notebook to keep handouts, business cards, flyers, and freebies

Roommate Management

  • Earplugs … just in case
  • Take a few minutes after check-in to unpack leaving a top drawer or two available out of courtesy
  • Be flexible to work out a schedule for shower and room access

Information Management

  • Take notes during the workshops, but also devote time to read through your notes and listen to workshop recordings afterward.
  • Be prepared for God moments. Sometimes the best things learned at a conference are straight from God. Write it down. Get alone by yourself for at least 15 minutes to “decompress” and to allow God time to cut through the din and minister to you.
  • Try going to a workshop you hadn’t initially considered. In our business, knowledge is everything. Who knows? You might learn something new that would be an asset to your business.
  • If you need to take a break during the day, go back to your room or find a comfy spot around the hotel to relax. Don’t feel bad about missing a session.
  • Preorder the audio recordings in the bookstore. Since two sessions run each hour simultaneously, there is more to learn after the conference. Attendees get a significant discount on the complete set of audio recordings.


  • Hug some people, but be aware of body language. Some might rather shake hands or just nod their greetings.
  • Sit with a new person during meals and workshops. It’s a great way to get to know people and ensure a rich experience.
  • Talk to others. Ask questions. Make connections. You never know how God could use these contacts.
  • If you plan to schedule a meeting with a speaker, anticipate any questions you may have in advance and write them down. This will help you make the most of your meeting time.
  • Go to dinner with other attendees each night and chat about what you learned.

Scheduling and Transportation

  • Save money by taking the MARTA to the hotel. Plan for 45 minutes to purchase your ticket, ride the train, and get to the hotel.
  • Arrive on Thursday and join the group for an afternoon activity. Don’t forget to get your welcome packet that night.
  • Come early on Friday morning to look at the bookstore.
  • Stay the extra night on Saturday to enjoy dinner out with the group.
  • Leave on Sunday morning to have restful night before heading home.