Diary of a Conference Coordinator: Conclusion

Sunday is always low key at the Pennwriters Conference. Dress slacks and sports coats give way to blue jeans and t-shirts as everyone prepares for the trip home.

Silly me, I thought I might get to take in a workshop or maybe two on this last day. However, I didn’t take into consideration the hotel bill which needed reconciled.

I did get to sit down and chat a bit with agent Lucienne Diver over breakfast. And agent Uwe Stender and I had a nice talk in the Hospitality Suite during a lull in the action.

One of my perennial favorites is the basket raffle. With Barb Lockwood and Don Jodon as my assistants, I called out the winning numbers and gave away three tables of gorgeous baskets and goodies. I even won three of them myself, including the chocolate lovers basket. No, I didn’t rig it.

When the last basket was awarded and I’d thanked everyone for coming, the place emptied out, leaving Lisa Kastner, Jackie Shaffmaster, and I to make a final study of the bill.

The 2009 Pennwriters Conference is in the history books. It’s over! I’m free.

I’m also immensely grateful for all the speakers, agents, and editors who presented superb workshops and panels; for my team and all the volunteers who jumped in to help at a moment’s notice; to Mary Alice and Richard of Mystery Lovers Bookshop for guiding me and supporting me through the whole process; for the hotel staff who solved all problems as soon as they cropped up; and to my family who allowed me to spend long days in my office working on details without complaining.

There were few moments that will stick with me from the weekend: Paula Matter arriving Friday night with a Conference Coordinator Survival Kit containing munchies, wine coolers, and a greeting card for each day of the conference. Dancing in the hallway with Lisa Scottoline to music from a wedding reception going on at the same time as our keynote dinner. Having drinks with my Sisters in Crime on Friday night and feeling like the belle of the ball. Our impromptu quartet singing the Mahna Mahna Muppet song in the Hospitality Suite Sunday morning…

There are many more.

Was it worth it? YES. Am I happy I did it? YES.

Will I do it again? NO. But I’m happy to offer future conference coordinators the assistance and support that I’ve been shown.



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