Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Calling All She Speaks Gals

This note is for anyone attending the P31 She Speaks 2009 conference:

I want to tell you how very excited we at P31 are about this year's conference, and about YOU coming! We're simply thrilled and honored that you will be sharing your weekend and your dreams with us.

We have SO MUCH in store, I know you are going to absolutely love it. Be sure you take good notes in each of your sessions, and after meeting publishers or leaders because by Sunday you will feel you're on information overload. What you were so thrilled to learn on Saturday morning, and were certain you'd remember, you'll be scratching your head trying to recall two weeks later. Each session has handouts, but also take good notes. Or even better, purchase the CD of the session before you leave the conference to listen to it again as needed.

Strike a BALANCE on social time and sleep time. This conference runs from early morning Saturday until nearly 10:00 pm. And as I mentioned, there is a lot to take in and learn so you'll want to be rested and at your best. That said, this weekend is a great time to make new friends and forge connections with like-minded women. So put yourself out there to meet, greet and network but make sure you turn in and turn out the lights before too long.

When I'm going somewhere, I always appreciate when the event coordinator gives me tips for how to pack. So let me give you a couple PACKING TIPS for this conference. The hotel will have ironing boards, hair dryers, soap and little bottles of shampoo and conditioner for you. So you don't need to pack those things unless you want yours from home. There is also a little gift shop in the lobby that sells toiletries or medicines you might have forgotten or discover you need. And there is a small sink, microwave (I believe) and a small fridge in your room if you want to bring snacks or drinks with you.

I must warn you it is COLD in the conference rooms. If you are in a cute summer skirt, strappy sandals, and cotton short-sleeved top, you'll be miserable .... very pretty, but miserable. I suggest long-sleeve tops, or a jacket (blazer/sweater), or both. I also suggest hose if you want to wear a skirt. I've been known to wear hose under my slacks there just to keep warm! Now if you are having menopausal hot flashes, you will probably think it feels great!

I also want you to wear COMFY SHOES because the conference center is fairly large and you will do a bit of walking. I don't mean Crocs comfy, you'd look a little under-dressed, but this is not the time to wear those super cute heels that kill your feet inside of a half hour. You want to look polished this weekend, but you don't want to be distracted by your temperature, clothing or shoes.

Bring your BIBLE and journal because God will have much to say to your heart through out the weekend if you yield it to Him. This is another case in which to balance your time. Make sure you carve a little time to steal away alone with God somewhere in the hotel to connect with Him personally each day. If your room is crowded and the lobby is noisy, I recommend the prayer room we will have set up. It is such a serene place - be sure to slip in there at some point in the weekend.

If you have a PUBLISHER MEETING and you're feeling clueless about what to say to them, relax. Remember they are just people, and they get this sort of thing all the time. Just be prepared to explain your book concept. Please avoid saying that God gave you this book (even if He did) as that puts them in the awkward position of having to accept or reject "God's idea." There's a free bonus session on How to Prepare a Powerful, Effective 15 minute Publisher Meeting at 1:15 on Friday afternoon you can attend for more tips.

Finally, I hope you will come INTRODUCE yourself to me when you see me. I want to meet you, hear your heart, and what drew you to She Speaks. You are the reason we do this conference every year. So I want you to know that the P31 team is always approachable and here to serve you.

That's it, but feel free to ask a question if you still have one. Or to leave a tip if you've attended before ... Wendy already left a good one in the comments. :)

Counting the Days! ~ R


  1. Rachel! Oh, how I can't wait to come back. You know I'll find you girlie, and there are hugs in order...wish there was some down time to share a cup of coffee, but hugs then and blogs later will do. :)

    One other suggestion, if I might add to your thoughts. LOTS and LOTS of women had lil business cards or slips of paper with their contact info on it to exchange with folks they met. I sooooooooo wished I had these last year, and I'm coming armed with my business cards this year.

    A week from tomorrow night I'll be sitting in NC. Wooohoo!

  2. Oh how I wish I were going. All along I have felt there wasn't any place for me here. I don't blog. I am soo not a leader to even think about leading in women's ministry. And to have the desire to write a book, no way.

    On Monday and Tuesday I attended Tracie's conference. First of all I have to say WOW! That was the first time I heard her speak. WE were able to spend time together and I asked her about She Speaks and how I would fit in. So now I think plans or in order for next year.

    I can't wait to read all the blogs after everyone returns.

  3. Thanks, Rachel! Those "insider" tips surely help to calm an anxious heart.

    So looking forward to meeting you.


  4. How exciting!!
    I wish I were going this year. I was so glad we met last year.
    Will be praying for all going and speaking. May God show You a new side of Him this weekend.

  5. Great post and good tips. You cannot over-emphasize how cold it is!

    I might add is it seems that last year I was wishing I had brought a light weight little fabric tote bag. I ended up with lots of stuff to carry.

    And when you exchange business cards with someone, it helps to jot some little note on the back to help you remember them! So many lovely ladies, only so much mental RAM!

    Looking forward to meeting you!

  6. Thank you so much for the tips! So thankful to know about the temperature! :D I'd rather be hot than cold anyday...

    I'll look forward to meeting you!


  7. Hi Rachel,

    Though I adore cold weather and chilly rooms, I remember feeling like an Eskimo last year. I'm bringing a sweater and will wear a warm camisole under my shirts. Along with closed-toe shoes so my toes don't freeze. :)

    I also forgo a purse and put what I need in a large, lightweight tote bag so that my schedule, publisher appts., notes and business cards are always with me. Saves running down those loooong hallways back to the room cuz I forgot something.

    Praying for all of you at P31, and all the women attending. Looking forward to meeting you, Rachel!

  8. Oh, I am loving all the little tips and can't wait....but wait til you see my Crocs. Yep, got them free as a blogger from Crocs...high heels and adorable. They have come out with a designer line, and wanted to break down the misconceptions. Who would have ever thought? ;)
    Isn't that so funny? (and yes, a completely superficial comment for my first time...I know how to make a good first impression...hee hee)

  9. Oh, how funny (and awesome!) Jen.

    Be SURE to come show me your high heel crocs! What size do you wear? Can I try them on?

    :) Rachel

  10. Rachel,

    These are great tips ladies.
    This is my third year and I am so excited. Some of the things that I have experienced are:

    1) Drink lots of water, watch the caffeine. For me it tended to make me crash.

    2) I choose to sit with a different group at each meal. It helped me get out of the comfort zone and network more.

    3) I do the business cards as well. If you don't have any, make some quick ones on the computer. Include your email and blog address. It gets rushed and this makes exchanging information easier. (Antique Mommy,love the idea of jotting down something about the person on the back)

    4)Bring you camera's and capture those moments. Post on your blogs.
    I have always found the P31 speakers more than willing to pose for pictures.

    5)For me finding some downtime to be with the Lord during the day was and is so critical. It was so overwhelming the first time I went.

    I remember I was so tired and I have a disability. So I stretched out on some chairs between some chairs in the lobby with my Bose headphones and woke up an hour later. I don't recommend this, but it is an idea of how not to let yourself get run down.

    Can't wait to see everyone,

  11. Rachel, So glad I came across your blog. I will be attending She Speaks for the first time and I too am so blessed by all of you P31 gals. Your compassion, encouragement and prayers are a blessing!! I'll be 27 weeks pregnant so thankful it will be on the cool side!! I look forward to meeting you and pray God guides you in the days ahead as well.
    Blessings, Jill

  12. I, too, will be a She Speaks newbie this year. Thanks for all the tips, many I've found helpful when attending other writing conferences.

    Business cards: check, camera: check, down time with God: double check...

    Can't wait!

  13. The more I hear, the more I think I need to dig in the back of my closet for my winter parka! Yikes! So... you're saying it's cold in there, right? :-)

    I do appreciate the warning! I'm VERY cold natured and can't even think straight if I'm that cold in a room. So weird to have to find stuff like that in July...

    Ah... looking forward to it! Need to clear my brain to leave room for all the things I want to soak up while I am there!

  14. Rachel,
    I can't wait to see you my friend. Thank you for all the wonderful advice, loving the not a place for those cute big heals, and wear long sleeves or jackets. Have a gread Friday, see you next week.

  15. Hey, Rachel! I am loving these comments as well!! I had such a wonderful time last year and look forward to this year as well! I am going to be looking for Jen and her Crocs as well--those are like Heaven on earth for my feet--as ugly shoes as they are!!

    I will be layering the clothes as well--camisoles, short sleeves, jacket, fleece jackets!!! Heehee!

    Also, I am planning on running early Saturday morning in the parking lot--I know, not very scenic, but Runner Mom is a happier person when she gets her in for the day!! Any runners wanting to go with me, just give me a holler! Not too far and not too fast! Rachel, bring those running shoes, chickadee!!


  16. Well, one thing I want out of She Speaks this year is a hug from you! You were magnificent in the speakers' group and I owe you more than I can ever express.

    This year I plan to come and enjoy and be open to whatever Holy Spirit prompts me to connect to. (That sentence stinks, but it expresses my heart!)

    Thanks for the tips and I must admit I am packing all sorts of warm clothing layers because I was painfully cold.

    Be blessed and please pass onto the others how much all of us appreciate all you do to make our time meaningful and powerful.

    Until this weekend....God bless.

  17. AnonymousJuly 26, 2009

    Thank you so much for the tips! I am SO excited about attending She Speaks! I am a first timer and I am sure I am in for a very blessed weekend! Thank you for all the hard work you and the P31 team have put into making this conference a reality for us!

  18. Thanks Rachel. Though I'm speaking, this will be my first trip to She Speaks. Looking forward to it!

  19. AnonymousJuly 28, 2009

    I can identify with Angie (2nd to comment). I'm not gifted as a writer, speaker, or leader. Is there any other reason to attend the conference if you're not a speaker, writer or leader?

    Just wondering.


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