Multi-day conferences have knowledgeable speakers and teachers. Usually, they’re held around the country near airports, with lodging in the same complex as the conference. Several guarantee ten to fifteen minutes pitch sessions with your choice of editor, agent, and author. New writers can by-pass the “Slush Pile” by sending their manuscript to editors, with a comment in the subject line that they met at the conference. Some also have fee based Boot Camps, Paid Critiques, etc. available to attendees. The Workshops are varied, including something for fiction and non-fiction writers, as well as Traditional and Indie writers.
I’ve attended several day or mini conferences. Many local editors, agents, and authors are on staff at these events. One I went to several years ago included one free critique session. I’ve learned a lot at these workshops. At one, I ate lunch with a well-known romance writer. She was very open to helping newbies. The benefit of this type of conference, of course, is the time and money savings. While they don’t have as many selections, they’re less crowded, and more personalized.
Another type conference, that I’ve not been able to attend, is the small group Boot Camp Weekend. Usually the instructors limited each camp to no more than eight to ten writers. These are more expensive; however, many say they are well worth the money. Instructors spend time teaching and focusing on each attendee’s work in progress.
No matter which conference you go to, take a notebook, several mechanical pencils, and a box of No-Doze.
Have fun and learn a lot.