July 10, 2018

The Ultimate #RWA18 Conference Packing List

Stack of old-fashioned suitcases with text: The Ultimate Conference Packing List

Those of you who follow my blog know that I’ve struggled with various health issues the past few years. Despite that, I’m leaving next week to attend the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Annual Conference, which is meeting in Denver, Colorado, this year.

(Blame my family’s refusal to let my introvert tendencies interrupt my default every-other-year conference schedule: “Maybe I shouldn’t go this year.” “Why?” *flails for somewhat-logical excuse* “Nope. You’re going.” “Okay, okay, I’ll go.” *smile*)

Get ready for writing-conference season with this packing list... Click To TweetAt least I won’t be as bad off as I was for the conference two years ago. Between taking a year off from surgeries and adding in lots of physical therapy, I hope my issues will remain “stable” enough to be up for all the conference walking and eating in spite of my ankle and jaw problems. *fingers crossed*

Besides, I wouldn’t want to miss out on participating in my book signing or the three awards ceremonies I’ve been invited to. Stone-Cold Heart is a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Reader’s Choice, and the PRISM awards, and the winners will be chosen during the conference. Yeeks!

Now I just have to get through my usual I’m-an-introvert, pre-conference freak-out panic attack. Wish me luck. *grin*

Going to RWA18? Let Me Know!

If you’re going to the RWA conference, let me know so we can meet up. Putting real people to names and avatars is one of the best things about in-person conferences.

  • If you’re registered for the conference, come see me at the…

Indie Book Signing
3:00-4:00 pm
Friday, July 20th
Plaza Exhibit Space (Plaza Building, Concourse Level)

I’ll be signing copies of Treasured Claim, Stone-Cold Heart, and giving away goodies.

  • Or if you’re not registered for the conference but live in the Denver area…

The “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, a pro-literacy fundraiser book signing (with hundreds of authors), is open to the public and free of charge:

Saturday, July 21
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Plaza Ballroom (Plaza Building, Concourse Level)
Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel

(I’m not signing at the Readers for Life event, but I’ll be checking out all the books as a reader-fan, so if you plan to come by, let me know if you want to say “hi.”)

Now, before I get distracted by the peel-off-my-introvert-shell stress, let me share my handy-dandy ultimate packing list! *smile*

The Ultimate RWA Conference Packing List

  • Conference outfits (clothes and jewelrycasual business most of the time, dressier business for pitches or editor/agent meetings, dressy for special occasions such as award ceremonies)
  • Comfortable shoes & gel inserts
  • Snacks for between workshops when you can’t stop for lunch
  • Medications (no hangovers allowed) & prescriptions
  • Your schedule/RWA2018 app
  • Laptop/cellphone/camera (& chargers/power cords/portable chargers/extra batteries)
  • Paper/pen/highlighter
  • Business cards (and a place to hold others’ cards)
  • Small toiletry case for purse or bag
  • Some way to ship back or carry your goodies
  • Some way to personalize your RWA tote bag to make it easier to find among the 2000 identical bags
  • Small sewing kit/safety pins for wardrobe malfunctions
  • Bandaids for blisters
  • Mints/candies to suck on for energy and fresh breath
  • Swimsuit/coverup/workout clothes (for all of that *ahem* unscheduled time you don’t have)
  • Cardigan for chilly conference rooms
  • Dress purse for any dressy occasions
  • Earplugs, white noise app on phone
  • Umbrella
  • Cash for tips, Literacy Booksigning, dining with friends, vending machines
  • Extension cord for hotel room (2-4 women, 1 sink—do the math)
  • Extra hangers for hanging all your nice clothes in the closet
  • Pins for lanyard (PAN/PRO, chapter, etc.)
  • Sharpie marker and tape for labeling shipping boxes
  • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, stain stick or wipes, moisturizer
  • A mini-wheeled cart/dolly (if you need to transport promo or books around)

Other things to prepare and do:

  • Print out of hotel reservation, download airline/hotel apps if desired, and email all important documents to yourself to ensure you have copies
  • Attach business card to phone/camera in case it gets misplaced
  • Make sure you drink plenty of water

Specific to our high-altitude Denver location this year, I’m adding a few other things to the list:

  • Take it easy the first day and give your body time to adjust
  • Be careful drinking alcohol, as high-altitude can double the effects
  • Bring saline gel or spray if you’re prone to nosebleeds
  • Really…drink lots of water, which helps guard against altitude sickness
  • Take extra care with medical issues (altitude might affect medication, chemical balances like glucose, etc.)

*whew*  All right, what am I forgetting? *smile*

P.S. Today’s the last day to enter my Blogiversary Contest!

Do you have anything else to add to this list? Are you going to the RWA conference? (Let me know if you want to meet up!) How do you prepare for big trips (are you as much of a over-achieving perfectionist as I am, or do you go with the flow)? Are you an introvert who struggles with in-person events? How do you handle those situations?

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Elle Love
Elle Love

Congrats on being a finalist!!! How exciting!!! It’s an honor just to be nominated and all that, but I hope you win.


Congratulations on being a finalist!!!! As a fellow introvert attending conferences, it’s tough to break out of the shell, isn’t it. So much easier when people have to come to you :-). Good luck on pitches with agents.

Christina Delay

Congrats, Jami! That is fantastic news! I’ll be there as well and would love to finally meet you in person!

To add to your list: props for the Cruising Writers #BestWritingRetreat contest to win a FREE writing cruise! We have an elevator wrap that can be used as a photo backdrop for people to get creative with creating a picture of their Best Writing Retreat ever! All the details on the website :).

Shani Lynne
Shani Lynne

Hi Jami,

This is an awesome list, definitely good to have for any conference. As a former Denver Native who now calls Texas home, I can honestly say another thing to remember is that the humidity is different at that altitude and can make breathing difficult.

Also, I would add instant coffee and tea to that list simply because it’s easy to make in the room and I am not human without it in the morning. 🙂 hope to see you in Denver!

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara


Click to grab Treasured Claim now!