I'm going to RT and I'm very excited. I love conventions - the networking, the parties and -- oh, yeah, the workshops :) This will be my opportunity to hang with fellow writer friends, make new ones and find out what the publishing industry has in store in the coming months with spotlights on different publishers.
I hope you get a chance to go to a con this year. Writers conventions are very important to you at any stage in your career. You need to get out there and become known. Meet editors, agents and fellow scribes in person, face to face, so when they hear your name, they can associate it with you. Do pitch sessions, if they have them. Sometimes, writers are afraid to pitch. Don't be. Editors and agents are just people like you and me. They are often very nice and fun and are waiting to get to know new writers, because they are always looking for new talent, and maybe you're the one they're looking for.
Later in the week, I'll post tips for networking and meeting new people, so be sure to check back. If you haven't signed up for a conference, think about it very seriously. If you've never been, start small with a regional con. If you're a veteran con-goer, go bigger - do RWA National in Nashville or Sisters in Crime or whatever particular brand of conference you're looking for. But get out there and meet people and make yourself known.
A good place to find conferences is shawguides.com - there are several lists available online. You can usually search by genre, location or date. If you need some suggestions, please feel free to comment here or email me at email@example.com