Some tips to make this year a great conference year:
- Keep a notebook handy. Jot down assignments, due dates,exercises.
- Save useful handouts for future reference. I created a binder and organized them by topic. When that moment comes when I say, "What did she tell me at the conference about creating a website?" I can just return to my binder and look it up.
- Get talking - make friends and connect with other writers. Make use of the fun boards where you're introducing each other and exchanging links.
- Ask questions and participate. You'll never be the only "newbie" there. I used to tell my second graders all the time, "There are no stupid questions." If you have a question, chances are someone else does too.
- Do the assignments. That sounds obvious, but you'll learn more by following through on what you're asked to do. It's more work, but you could get great personal advice from some experienced presenters there.