Every year for several years now, I’ve gone to the Life, the Universe, and Everything sci-fi/fantasy conference in Utah. Last year, I told you about it after the fact, so I’m trying to do better this time, in case you’d like to go. I’m telling you, if you like science fiction or fantasy, it’s a really cool conference to attend.
No, you don’t have to be a writer. They also have art classes, and a game room, and movies, and presentations of academic papers, and meet-and-greets.
Yes, they do have writing classes. And the art classes, and business classes, and worldbuilding classes. And oh-that-sounds-super-cool classes. Two of my family members got to attend a weapons class with real weapons. They raved for weeks.
Yes, you can meet writers there. Yes, you can attend any of the classes, presentations, movies, games, book signings, etc with your pass (except for a very few “bonus” things that either cost extra or require an extra sign-up). It’s a pretty reasonable price, as these go. Check it out at ltue.net
If you decide to go, here’s a little practical advice.
Have someone drop you off, or be prepared to walk from farther parking. Or stay in the hotel and don’t worry about it!
Wear good shoes and comfortable clothes/hairstyle. Layers allow you to go from Utah-winter-outside temps to variable inside-room temps.
Take food to eat, especially if you aren’t going to take an actual lunch break. (An actual lunch break is a great idea, but sometimes the classes are just too tempting…)
Look for a freebies table. There are usually bookmarks, business cards, and who-knows-what-kind of goodies.
Check out the book room. Besides books, they have swag and art and authors.
Talk to people–lots of people. Pretend you aren’t shy. Understand that lots of people around you are also desperately trying to pretend they aren’t shy, and just say something (nice) to them.
If hauling weight bothers you AT ALL, slim down your bag to lighter than you think you can carry all day.
Ask experienced attendees which bathroom tends to have shorter lines, and use it immediately after class.
Drink lots of water (if you lightened your bag, take a small bottle and refill it every hour). I know, it will just make you need the bathroom, but trust me, dehydration will not enhance your experience.
Wash your hands frequently. If you are sick, don’t shake hands with anyone, even your favorite author that you ran into in the hall. (Elbow bump, perhaps?)
If you have business cards in a related field, bring them. Give them out to anyone that wants one, or leave them on the freebie table. But be nice! If someone doesn’t want one, they don’t have to have one…
If the class you want to take is full, try something else or find someone for a conversation.
Take a shower (obviously), but please, please don’t wear perfume, cologne, essential oils, scented lotions, or other scented products. Not only are there a LOT of people, and scents pile up, but some people are allergic, and it’s not very polite to make things uncomfortable for them.
Be nice. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that, do I?
And have fun! Maybe I’ll see you there,
M. C. Lee
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