I'll come to your writing conference.
I'll work my ass off for you.
I'll judge contests, teach workshops, and even answer questions in the bathroom.
I'll come early, and stay late.
Don't worry about showing me the sights or giving me a vacation. If I want a vacation or sightseeing, I'm going to a place where no one discusses query letters or SASEs.
In exchange for working hard and not complaining (any more than usual) here's your part of the deal:
1. Pay for airfare, hotel and meals. Don't give me an "honorarium" and tell me that's for expenses. Don't give me a dollar figure and tell me that's what you'll reimburse me. I won't do that stuff anymore. Pay what it costs to get me there. I'll give you an idea of air fare if you need one, and you know the hotel costs.
2. Have the hotel and the writing conference in the same location, or a very very short walking distance apart. I don't drive, and even if I did, I don't want to add to your expenses by renting a car that's going to mostly sit in a parking lot.
The reason this is high on my list is that when there are short breaks in the schedule it's really helpful to be able to go back to my hotel room, wash my fangs and brush my face. It's helpful to have some moments of quiet. It's nice to be able to change my shirt if I get grubby during the day (and you'd be surprised how grubby you get rolling around in gerunds and narrative arcs, and query pitfalls all morning.)
If I have to ask for a ride back and forth, I won't. I hate asking for stuff. I like to just be able to do what I need to do, on my schedule.
3. Don't mess up my schedule. Tell me when I need to be there, and when I'm done. I don't care if you add appointments in between, but don't surprise me the night before with "oh, your first appointment is at 8, not 9." I try to get work done when I'm attending conferences and frequently I'll have set up a phone or email appointment with someone thinking I wasn't scheduled.
4. Please please please encourage people to bring pages. There aren't a lot of people who want to see pages at a conference. I do. I'd rather look at the writing than fall in love with a concept, get home and find out the writing sucks. I'd MUCH rather fall in love with the concept, get a look at the first ten pages and be able to say "hey, you're starting at the wrong point." Please please please let me help people efficiently.
5. Don't schedule breakfast, lunch and dinner with authors. One or two is fine, but not all three. If I can have one or two meals with just presenters it's almost as good as down time.
6. Have your conference in the off-peak travel season. Not summer. Travel is a beast at best, and summer is the worst. If you have your conference at off-peak times it's less expensive to get us there, and it's easier on us.
7. Make sure I know the conference organizer's name and cell phone number. If my plane is delayed, I will call and tell you, but I have to know who to call.
8. Vet your agents. Make sure they've sold something THIS year, or represent people who have established careers. It's entirely acceptable to ask agents for recent deals. The subtle way is to ask what books they want available at the conference. My way is to just ask point blank. The middle way is to subscribe to Publishers Marketplace and do a search.
9. Have panels and classes that appeal to writers who aren't beginners. I salivate for those folks. It's MUCH more likely they are ready to be published than the raw beginners.
10. Invite any of my local clients to a lunch or two and comp them. Let them sit with me. I don't get to see them very often, and for that one thing alone, I'll be your devoted fan forever.