This will, of course, depend on your writing goals, how far along you are in your project, and your experience as a writer. If you’re just getting started writing, I’d suggest you speak with editors, agents, or other writers about the biggest mistakes they see aspiring writers make. In time, it’ll save you a lot of work and, hopefully, keep you from reinventing the wheel and repeating the mistakes others have made.
Make the best use of your time by meeting with the people who are the most likely to help you reach your writing goals. This might take a little research, but it’ll save everyone time.
One-on-one appointments are usually short—sometimes as short as three minutes. However, many times they’re about fifteen minutes. Still, that’s really not enough time to hand someone an article or story to read and then give you input. Instead, pick the brain of the person you’re speaking with. Let them see that you are serious about the craft of writing. If they ask to see a synopsis, proposal or manuscript, tell them a realistic date that you will have it ready. Give them your card. Thank them for their time.
If you’re pitching to an agent or editor, hone your pitch. I’ve heard it’s best to keep them to twenty-five words. Then, be ready with a more complete synopsis if the agent or editor asks you to tell them more. Also, come prepared with a one-sheet pithy synopsis of the story and a short bio in case they ask for it.
Throughout the conference hang out with different people at meals, breaks, meet-and-greets, and so on. Network. Collect people’s cards. Follow up.