A note of caution for the conference: Check your ego at the door.
Writers spend a lot of time, and blood, and sweat, and tears to craft a story. It's easy when you've put in the effort to think of yourself as the best of the best. And while it's good to have confidence in your work, you need to make sure it doesn't go too far. When you're overconfident, it can easily come across to others as EGOTISTICAL and HIGH-MAINTENANCE.
Our faculty members are here to help you. They've agreed to provide instruction, feedback, and face-time to aspiring authors. They are not well-paid for this. Trust me. The last thing you want is to give the impression that you think you're the best thing since oatmeal. Instead you want to give the impression that you're open to discussion, eager to learn, and willing to accept the publishing business for what it is.
You very well may be the next Nora Roberts. Maybe James Patterson has nothing on you. But you want others to discover this about you on their own.
Being a writer should come with a thick skin, but usually it's something you have to cultivate. Listen. Learn. Evolve and grow.
Be a joy to the faculty and attendees. Make friends.
You never know where good manners and a sunny disposition might take you. If you've already got the writing down pat, make sure you cultivate the personality to make you sucessful.