Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Margaret Daley on Volunteering at the 2009 ACFW Conference

This year we have an exciting conference planned in September (17-20) in Denver. Donald Maass is teaching a class before the conference opens on Thursday evening, Sept. 17th. Our keynote speaker is Debbie Macomber. I’ve heard her speak before, and she is awesome. She is so inspiring and filled with a love for the Lord. Beyond those two great speakers, we have many workshops covering the craft of writing for beginners through the multi-published.

One of the most important aspects of the conference is the role of volunteers in making it a success. In fact, the conference wouldn’t be possible without its volunteers. There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer this year. I have already put out a call for people to be hostesses/hosts for the classes offered. People were great. I have those slots filled and will be turning to the other volunteer jobs that need to be filled.

Registration will open Wednesday night because of the Donald Maass workshop that starts bright and early (8:00) Thursday morning and goes until 4:00 in the afternoon. The people who are taking the workshop will need to register the night before. We will need most of our volunteers to man the registration desk on Wednesday night and all day Thursday. On Friday and Saturday we will need a few to be at the registration desk for people who come in late or for only one day.

Then there will be a need for people to help in the bookstore, with the editor/agent appointments and greeters at the meals. Those activities happen during the conference. Beforehand, we’ll need people on Wednesday to help stuff the conference bags for all the attendees. Now you see how the conference wouldn’t be a success without its volunteers. Every aspect of the conference is manned by people giving of their time to make the experience the best it can be.

So why should you volunteer besides the fact we can’t have a conference without people helping? It’s a great way to give back to ACFW. I’ve volunteered in the past. I love seeing old friends but also meeting new people. One of the reasons to go to a conference is to network. What better way while you are helping others?

So if you are going to the ACFW conference in September in Denver, think about volunteering to help out in one of the places I mentioned above. You won’t regret it.

Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines. She has sold sixty-four books to date. You can visit her web site at and read excerpts from her books and learn about the ones recently released and soon to be released.

Conference Teasers

ACFW Conference

Debbie Macomber and Donald Maass, are just two of the great reasons to attend this year's conference.

Coming to Seekerville July 29: Welcome to 5280, Denver the Mile High City. A virtual tour of everything cool, hip, and historical and legendary in Denver.

Seekerville is coming to ACFW, Denver.
Find out more September 1.


  1. Good Morning to Oklahoma and Margaret Daley. (I used to live between 31st Street and the fairgrounds by Goldies Patio Grill)

    I promised pastries and hot coffee today.

    So excited conference is in my back yard this year!!!

  2. Good morning, Margaret. Welcome to Seekerville! You're a very giving person so I'm not surprised you're involved in rounding up volunteers for the ACFW conference. I'm also certain you could share some great tips on time management. Sixty-four published books is amazing! Congratulations!

    I'm excited the conference is in Denver this year, putting us close to Tina!


  3. Welcome to Seekerville, Margaret!! You've got a big job on your hands, girl -- thanks for spearheading the volunteer effort to make the conference run so seamlessly!

    I think the safest place for me to volunteer is the bookstore like I did last year ... uh, though I suspect more jawing goes on than helping ...

    And 64 books???? HOLY COW, I only have three out there, and I'm worn out! How do you do it???


  4. Thank you for inviting me, Tina, and letting me talk about a great opportunity--volunteering at the conference. Julie and I had fun last year in the bookstore. You're right, Julie. I found I talked to the customer more than selling books. It's a great place to see your friends and be surrounded by books. I love a bookstore and can spend hours in one.

    My sixty-four books are over a twenty-eight year career. Julie, you've got many years to write and get to that number.

    Janet and Tina, I love Denver and it will be a fun place to have a conference. Tina, I talk my mother-in-law to Goldies for lunch. She loves that place. Best hamburgers.

    The best part of conference--seeing friends from all over the country--the world. I have a friend coming from Australia this year--Mary, waving to you and counting the days until we finally met in person.

  5. I'm so sad I can't go to the conference this year. Unless a miracle happens and God drops a load of money in lap. (Please, God?)
    But volunteering is fun. Everyone should volunteer. And unless you volunteer early, all the jobs will be taken! So volunteer as early as you can. :-)

    I pray I can go next year! It will be in driving distance.

  6. I want to add to Margaret's encouragement to volunteer. It is possibly the single best way to meet people, get involved, fight off your inner troubled loner and have fun.

    Most of the jobs are small, easy, like taking tickets before meals, stuffing goodie bags, helping with registration. No organizational skills needed. So that suits a nervous new comer very well. Just stand there and stuff tickets and papers into bags and talk.

    Definitely volunteer for as many things as you think you can handle.

    I got very brave last year and introduced session teachers at a couple of things. I got to introduce Terrie Blackstock and Angela Hunt before one of the classes they were teaching. I was very star struck and enjoyed being up there with the big girls very much.
    getting up in front of people is way outside my comfort zone, but I did it.

    If you're on the ACFW loop, watch for opportunities, requests for volunteers and leap in.

  7. And thanks for being on today, Margaret.



  8. Great post. I registered for ACFW over the weekend and am so excited for it to be September! Hopefully I can help volunteer (even though this is my first ACFW conference)...I'll be watchin' the ACFW loop for the call. :-)

    Great post. Thanks!

  9. We should all be praying for a lap full of money, lol.

    Besides the wonderful conference classes there is lots to do in Denver. Denver in the fall is wonderful--albeit hot.

  10. DOES ANYONE KNOW--if there's a way to volunteer through the ACFW website?
    There is a ton of great info about the conference there, so maybe there are ways to volunteer, too.

  11. Okay, the "inner troubled loner" will take the plunge. I'll be wandering around in a daze anyway, so I might as well jump in.

    I'm thinking my first volunteer job will be to carry a plate-full of treats from Ruthy to the conference. Don't all the Seekers and Seeker groupies want to try them out in person after all this cyber munching? I'm sure they'll last over those long flights!

    Thanks Margaret for the extra push. I'm off to find a suitable position. I'm so thankful there's a special orientation for first timers, too.

  12. Ohhh, I love this! I didn't volunteer last year, and it was my first year. I was nervous enough and had to be "on call" with my day job, so didn't feel it was wise for me to stretch myself too thin!

    THIS year, however, I really want to be able to volunteer! We are coming in Wednesday evening, but probably won't be there until a little later (still have to figure out how to get from airport to hotel... hrm)

  13. Margaret, I'm glad you did this post. I was wondering what volunteering would entail. Will I still be able to go to classes, etc?

    Thanks guys!

  14. KRISTA DO NOT PANIC. Getting from the airport will be simple. Just do what I do. Have the hotel info printed up and in your pocket easy to grab, then wander around like a toddler on the interstate and hold out the paper to anyone who looks official and say, "Where am I supposed to go to get to this hotel?"

    If they don't rob you blind, and what are the chances of that really, they'll direct you to ... something...a van or a phone bank or a train.

    Perhaps prayers are in order but I'm sure it'll all work out.

  15. I really liked helping with registration. It's simple and you see a lot of faces, maybe even meet a few people you sort of already know.

    I also like taking tickets at meals. The power is amazing. "Ticket, buddy or NO FOOD."

    It may be a mother thing, keeper of the food........

  16. DIA (Denver International Airport) has handy dandy people in cowboy hats who are information people who will help you with any info you need.

    DIA also has the blue shuttle service that all the airports have.

    And while the hotel is in what is technically Denver it is not in downtown Denver. It is in the burbs in the Denver Tech Center area.

  17. It takes a lot of effort to pull off all the details of a conference. Nice post. The conference is something we are all looking forward to.

  18. Mary, oh my! Seriously, I'm one that would do that too!!! All the while my husband (who is coming with me this year!) would be behind me, shaking his head in disbelief.

    My hope is that if someone DID try to rob me, he'd protect me!!

  19. Hey Margaret, last year was my first conference, but I jumped in, volunteered and yup, spent a lot of time talking to Julie and others in the bookstore. :)

    I haven't sent in my reg'n yet because I can't decide if I want to take in the early bird session or not. I want to but something is holding me back...

    Having read your post, I am feeling the conviction to spend Thurs volunteering this year... that maybe I'm not ready for good old Donald and God has other plans for me. Just thinking that is putting my mind at ease.

    Thanks Margaret, you're a pillar for me and I can't wait to see you again.

  20. Hi, Margaret! It's great to have you here today!

    I admit I haven't volunteered yet. I'll have to figure out my schedule and take a look at openings. Thanks for updating us!


  21. Margaret, thanks for joining us today! I volunteered out the wahzoo my first year and met tons of people : )

    Absolutely loved stuffing goody bags : )

    Can't wait for everyone to join us here in God's country, LOL!

  22. I'm sorry I was late coming back. I had to run some errands and look after my grandchildren for a little bit.

    Lynn, Debra, Krista, I'll be putting a call out for a lot of the volunteers for the conference the first of June. You can go to any classes you want and still volunteer like for taking up tickets at meals or registration on Wednesday or Thursday.

    Krista, I'm going to Denver for something different in July and just today I signed up for the Super Shuttle to take me to and from the airport. By doing it ahead of time online you save almost $3 each way--so a round trip was $34. Denver airport is pretty far out.

    Melanie, I'll be hoping and praying you get to come but if not, I hope to see you next year.

    Anita Marie, can't wait to see you again this year at conference. I'd love to have you volunteer on Thursday.

    If you can't volunteer at conference but what to volunteer at something for ACFW, drop me a line and let me know. If something comes up, I'll know you are interested in helping out.


  23. I'd love to go, and would love to volunteer (I'd take plenty of pics as well) but I can't, especially since I may have to return to Cali to watch my new baby grandson when my sil returns from deployment.

    Conference, precious adorable kid. Conference, precious adorable kid. Hmm ;o)

    Worse, I had to cancel out on the local conference I'd planned to attend because it runs on Sunday morning. Ugh. Seeking direction on this one. Prayers appreciated.

    Please tell me the 2010 conf will be held in the eastern part of the US.

  24. Kimberli, I believe 2010 is in Indianapolis... that's a little closer anyway!

  25. Yeah, Krista, you're right about the 2010 conference.
    Kimberli, I hope you can make that one.

  26. Oh, my goodness. Yes, Margaret. The drive the airport is another state--kidding. But really, you are right, DIA is very far out. Don't think about a cab.

  27. just fyi, if you aren't going to conference but you belong to ACFW there are ways to volunteer for the group.

    be on your toes and watch for your chance.

  28. Thanks for being here with us, Margaret! I love volunteering at conference--everything is so well run, it's very easy. I helped with registration last year and also with the editor/agent appointment desk.

  29. Thank you. Indianapolis? That's definitely a flight from eastern NC, but with a year + notice, I should be able to swing it. I'll see y'all there, D.V.

    Mary, do you mean volunteer for the conference despite not going? Or volunteer for ACFW? That I do, I've been the Carolinas AC for over a year, and for a time, served as a crit group facilitator.

    I'm a reformed multi-tasking workaholic who occasionally falls off the wagon, heh.

  30. Margaret, thanks so much for being with us today.

    I'll be looking forward to seeing you in Denver.

  31. Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to seeing you all in Denver or on the loop.

  32. Margaret, sorry I couldn't stop by sooner, I was trapped by runny noses and needy cakes.

    This conference is so much fun. This is where I met wonderful editors face to face (and not all of them do an immediate about-face when they see me coming. Just most...) :) agents, writers, and of course, best of all, SEEKERS!!!!

    I met Tina in the bathroom, saw her nametag and said something like, "Well, I've been watching your back from second place for the past year, it's nice to finally see your face..."

    Love that woman.

    And Mary had me spilling secrets I'd never told anyone in five minutes time.


    Such a fun thing, and wonderful support, learning, delving and understanding.

    Lovely, lovely, lovely way to learn and hobnob.

    Grabbing a pastry and getting ready for a work day.

    They're stale. Poo. Teach me to show up late.



  33. I guess I'm on perpetual volunteer status at the conference. Syd has me on speed dial, right after Cynthia and Robin! lol

    Last year I helped stuff bags, finalized last-minute registrations, and helped at the registration desk.

    You know what's fun? To have people just show up and register for conference right there on the spot.

    I love it.