From the Booking Desk:

It is hard to believe that this year’s Bouchercon conference is so quickly approaching. If you follow BOLO Books, you have no doubt seen the earlier parts of this series:Countdown to Bouchercon 1 and Countdown to Bouchercon 2. This week, I am pleased to be talking about some of the non-panel-related activities which will be happening during the conference.

You will no doubt arrive at Bouchercon with a list of authors you hope to hear, meet and get autographed books from. But remember that part of the joy of Bouchercon is discovering new reading adventures as well. With that in mind, there are several events planned that will help to facilitate this connection:

Author Speed Dating

Grab a seat at a table and get ready for a whirlwind tour of authors. Pairs of authors will circulate around all the tables in the room, giving quick introductions to themselves and their books.

This is a great way to start off your Bouchercon weekend – it allows you to meet many authors quickly and when you find some of interest (and you certainly will), it might help you to choose which panels to attends later in the conference.

Most of these authors will have bookmark and business card swag to help you remember them after the barrage of plots and characters you will have thrown at you in quick succession during this two-hour marathon.

Meet the New Authors Breakfast

This event is a little less hectic than the author speed dating event. Once again, authors will give a quick introduction of themselves and their book, but the volume of authors participating is reduced – limited by the requirement that they must be debut authors. This means they get just a little more time to convince you to become a fan.

I love this event!

One of the real joys of crime fiction is discovering a new author just as their career is starting. They will appreciate the early support and years from now, when they are winning awards and serving as the Guest of Honor at Bouchercon 2089 (Crime in Space), you can say that you knew them way back when.

Live Charity Auction

The charity auction is a great event. Even if you are not able to bid on any items, the MC’s are sure to make sure the evening is filled with laughter and fun.

If you are interested in bidding, my only tip is that items tend to go for lower cost early in the auction, when folks are just starting to get up their nerve to bid. Of course, the larger and more coveted items are later in the auction, so make sure to save some of your budget if you are planning to bid on them.

Opening Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremonies are often a hit or miss thing.  Sometimes they simply go on for too long, however, it remains a great way to get into the groove for the conference. This is also your first chance to see all of the Guests of Honor and Anthony Award nominees in one place.

Anthony Awards Presentation

I am always surprised at the lower attendance at the Anthony Awards. Who doesn’t love an awards show? I think it would be a real shame to miss this event if you are already participating in Bouchercon as a whole. Support the nominees by attending and cheering them on. It’s also a great place to hook with that one author you somehow keep missing. While this is not the official end of Bouchercon, it does serve as a nice event towards the wrap-up of the conference.

Finally, I just want to remind folks not to forget about the Hospitality Room.  You will find light snacks, drinks, and book giveaways in this room at various times through the weekend. Find it early and visit often. It’s a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle and rest your tired feet.