Over the last few days I've been trying to compile a list of local RWA chapter conferences to put on my calendar for next year. Being in a job where I have to give the powers-that-be my schedule almost three months in advance (yes, we've already completed the schedule through Thanksgiving, thank you very much) - I have to know waaayyy ahead of time in order to shuffle my schedule enough to fit not just the big conferences, but the smaller ones in as well.
A lot can be said for the smaller more intimate conferences. Less competition for editor and agent slots, greater opportunity to network, a chance to perfect a workshop you may want to submit to Nationals or RT the next year. I could go on, but in the interest of space, I won't.
Also, while looking into conferences, I've been putting smaller sci-fi/fantasy cons on the roster. Not necessarily for their workshops and siminars, but for the promotional opportunities. The thought is to get a table in the dealers' room and sell copies of my books and do promotional giveaways. And why not? Just because my sci-fi and fantasy has a good deal of romance and some really hot sex, doesn't mean that I have to regulate my books to romance conferences and signings only, right?
For big cons in '08 I'm already planning on RT in Pittsburgh, and a return trip to Atlanta for DragonCon. I might try the Mid-South Con in Memphis and a few smaller ones in NY State and Connectitcut. Of course, NJ in Oct.
Let me know if you hear of any small cons in the Mid-Atlantic to Ohio Valley states that would only take me a day to drive. I'll check 'em out and put 'em on the list.