As nice as it would be to have your convention buddies at your side 24/7, we know it doesn’t always work that way.
→ Get as many phone numbers as you can before the fact. Add them to your phone at leisure and avoid typos.
→ Practice basic phone courtesy in panels. Turn your ringer to silent or vibrate, don’t be afraid to send people directly to voicemail. Make sure your alerts and rings are unobtrusive or set to silent/vibrate. No one is going to be impressed by your ‘awesome’ ringtone if it disturbs the panel.
→ Texting is generally better than actually phoning someone. It’s much less disruptive, and that way your pals have the info when they do check their phone, instead of having to call you back to get it. (And also, some of us may be live-tweeting panels!) Diane: “It’s much much easier to get a good-enough cell signal to text than to do phone calls or email.” (Be warned that if you don’t have unlimited texting, you might go over your limit. It might be worth it to call up your provider and see if they can switch you to unlimited texting for just one month. It’s also a good time to unsubscribe any text alert subscriptions you may get from local news and such.)
→ Group messaging. If you’ll be with a large group, and most of them have smartphones, have everyone sign up for a free app called GroupMe. Eliz: “Instead of calling 10 people, you send out one text to a defined group and have them respond to the text. The app is available for most systems.” Bonus: It uses a lot less memory (at least on iOS) than Facebook Messenger.