Modern Journalist Toolkit 18: How to leave a conference full of freelance article ideas (but not tote bags full of brochures)
The first time I went to a large trade show as a freelance writer, I wandered around, mindlessly stuffing free tote bags full of every single brochure and pamphlet on display. When I got home I was completely overwhelmed. I had no idea how to coax those stacks of paper (most of which was a repurposed version of what’s online) into a decent story idea.
Thankfully, my process has improved a lot. Now when I attend a live event–either a multiday conference or a small lunchtime panel–I know how to prepare so that it’s a concentrated idea gathering session, rather than a chance to fill my recycling bin.
You can still take one of those free tote bags if you need them for groceries. But you don’t have to fill it up with the equivalent of a printed version of every website of every organization at the event.
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