I’ve got my packing to complete and my schedule to sort. I was relieved to see others on Twitter also expressing mild panic that the conference had suddenly crept up on them.
I won’t repeat my travelling advice post from last year. All I will say is the advice rings true and I speak now as a seasoned traveller having been around the world, quite literally last year, attending 11 conferences and 25 library vists.
I also wrote a post on preparing for SLA conference a couple of years ago. This has plenty of useful advice on what to bring and how to get the best out of conference. My three top pieces of advice are:
Bring plenty of business cards (if you don’t have work cards, or are between jobs, get some printed up) make sure you include your contact information: LinkedIn profile, preferred email address, blog address etc. Give them to anyone you’re introduced to. As soon as you meet someone and get their card, make a note about where you met them and what you talked about on the reverse of their card. It’ll make it easier for you when sending follow up emails when you get home.
For effortless networking plan your introductions – you’ll be meeting a lot of people and will need a succinct and memorable way to describe yourself and what you do. You’ll be more confident if you’ve prepared your answers to questions such as where you work, what you do and what you’re aiming to get out of conference.
For the first time in three years I’ve not got a packed schedule with official SLA activities as I’m now SLA’s past president. So I can actually attend sessions this year. I’ve decided to approach my conference experience adopting some advice from Ian Wooler on getting the most out of attending a conference.
Ian’s checklist of tasks pre, during and post conference is really helpful. It stresses the importance of planning, having clear, measurable objectives and constantly reviewing what you’ve learnt.Plus of course planning how you’ll share your learning with others on your return. I’m hoping this year to do more blogging on what I hear, see and learn, so watch this space.