Countdown to Conference – What to Wear

Hi all!  The RWA national conference will occur in late July – and it’s time to prepare!  Thousands of people will converge upon Ths Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Orlando Florida for workshops, pitching appointments and er, cocktail parties.  I can’t wait!  I attended the national convention in DC last year having only been writing for about six months.  I didn’t know a soul and hadn’t joined any of the online specialty writing chapters.  So I went to the workshops and pitched my books to editors and agents.  That’s it.  And I enjoyed being anonymous. 

But  now I’m a member of several online chapters, have an agent and an editor and have made some good friends.  So along with the workshops there will be…yep.  Social stuff.  Cocktail parties.  Get togethers.  Yay!

Last year I couldn’t quite get my head around the dress code.  What the heck is ‘business casual,’ anyway?  Here’s what I saw:  On Thursday (opening sessions, keynote luncheon) – people wore casual skirts, capri’s or pants with blouses, sweaters and/or blazers.  While it’s hot outside, the A/C is pumping inside, so have a blazer or sweater handy!  On Friday – same dress code.  Some people had their pitching appointments on Friday – so the skirts might be a bit nicer or the pants a bit more pressed.  I wore tan pants, white shirt and a red blazer for my pitching appointments. 

Finally, on Saturday you might see some jeans.  (Yes, I wore jeans with a nice blazer on Saturday because both of my pitching appts were the day before.)  But some people will have pitching appointments on Saturday, so they’ll be in…you guessed it…business casual.  🙂

Finally – night time.  From what I observed, normal cocktail attire worked.  Though there are some fancy dresses donned for the Golden Heart/Rita award ceremony. 

It's all about the shoes...

I think the important thing is to be comfortable in what you wear, because that will show.  As always, shoes count.  There’s quite a bit of walking around, so they should be comfortable – and adorable, or course!

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One thought on “Countdown to Conference – What to Wear”

  1. Lynn Rush says:

    I am always cold at those conferences. I went to a bigger one last September and froze in quite a few of those classrooms.

    I was unagented and such back at that conference. It might be fun to attend one now that I have an agent and such. . . seems it’d be less stressful not having to have those one-on-one meetings to pitch to agents. LOL

    I’ve been to the swan/dolphin resorts in Florida where the conference is. . . it’s soooo beautiful. Loved it there. You’ll have a blast!