As that one gears up, here’s a recap from last week’s chat, How To Prepare For Journalism Conventions. The idea being that if you just show up after paying your couple hundred bucks without a plan, you may not get what you want—new contacts who could hire you.
Colleen said that despite the economy, it’s a good idea to go to the convention (she didn’t add, but we assume it’s implicit, that if the cost is an issue, don’t go or find a way to make it work).
“But I would say,” she added, “make the trip worth your while. Have career goals to meet and collect cards that you can follow up on afterwords.”
Ellyn Angelotti recommends reaching out and making contacts ahead of time. Find out which of your Twitter friends are going to be there and set up coffee dates, or decide which speakers you know or would like to know and e-mail them beforehand.
And don’t forget to physically prep. Get some rest the day before, have your shoes shined or whatever, get a portfolio ready, and so on. Joe: “I would guesstimate that if you’re going to spend four days working a convention, you should spend two days getting ready for it. Prepping your resume and portfolio, making appointments in advance, thinking about interview points, researching the companies and all that.”
For new grads, Joe recommends: “Have perspective and patience. Even in the crazy, go-go times, hardly anyone was hired on the job fair floor. So, don’t expect it. But work withthe contacts you make and hope to be ready for something that might not even be on the horizon at conference time.”