Q: Pamela asked: "Do you have any advice for newbies... to take advantage of the [Expo] networking events and parties?"
A: I’ve been to a handful of the Expo networking events and parties and I’ve never met any Hollywood big shots, so don’t go expecting to hobnob with A-list producers, agents and/or development execs. I’m not saying they won’t be in attendance, I’m just saying they might be awfully difficult to find. But I never go with the intent of meeting industry insiders. I go to meet other writers, talk shop and swap war stories. It’s a fun, pleasant way for me to spend a couple hours. So even if you don’t meet anyone who can directly advance your career, perhaps you’ll meet a talented writer you can partner up with. Or perhaps you’ll meet someone with a connection to an agent or producer. This is how careers begin.
“Networking Events” vs. “Parties”: I think your best bet for meeting industry reps will be at the networking events. The “parties” are typically more for writers to mingle and relax after a long day at the Expo. But definitely go to at least one of these functions. You’ll be glad you did.
Some tips: Have your pitch(es) memorized. Bring business cards (not scripts). Look presentable. Don’t drink too much alcohol.