Things I hate at conferences

(a continuing series)

Room size. Surely the people setting up room assignments know (approximately) how many people are going to be there! I mean, a panel discussion with four Highly Regarded authors is probably going to attract a crowd, right? And something you pre-pay for is easily counted in the “here’s the number of attendees” category.

Yet ALA manages to screw things up all the time. There was the infamous ISS tea that had to be done in two seatings – despite preregistration – because “they” didn’t get a large enough space. I can’t count the number of overflow rooms with really popular speakers, and the “is anyone here” rooms that could easily have held that crowd but instead had a handful.

Granted, it’s not a science. But it can’t be that difficult to guess on many of these presentations. Especially not the ones you preregister for.

ETA: The ISS Brunch was missing chairs (we had 100 tickets sold, so why not 100 chairs set up?!), and the Book Cart Drill Team competition was woefully underchaired, while an ALSC presentation was in a room far too big for its needs. Go figure.

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