Attending Industry Conferences
The same philosophy applies to attending industry conferences, which include trade shows and other events where the people and businesses that you write about will be present. In the case of the writer whose expertise includes fine wines, for instance, it would be a good idea to attend an event such as the Boston Wine Expo, where more than 450 wineries offer just shy of 2,000 wines for consumers to taste.
Not only are trade shows like this one full of possible story ideas, they're also usually crawling with magazine editors who are looking for story ideas themselves. And trade shows are a facet of virtually every industry out there, so no matter what you want to write about, you can probably find a trade show to attend.
Always look your best when attending a trade show. You never know whom you'll bump into, and you very well could meet the editor of a magazine you've been pitching for quite some time. You want to make the best impression you can — that of a professional journalist taking his job of covering an industry seriously.
You also can use trade shows as a way to get yourself more connected to the industry about which you would like to write. You can introduce yourself to marketing directors from the companies that have displays, hand out your business card, and ask to be put on their mailing lists. That way, you'll have an edge over other writers when new products are introduced in the years to come. If you work hard enough and get to know enough people, you may even gain an edge in information over magazine staff members. That will make you invaluable when it comes time for editorial planning sessions.