Venn Librarian

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Things I hate about conferences

Posted by lpearle on 14 November 2008

(ok, not so much hate as wish were different)

I’m here in hot, humid Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood for the SLJ Leadership Summit. Flew in from wet, cold NYC last night and will return to even wetter, colder NYC tomorrow. As per usual, there are several ways to get from the airport to the hotel/conference center and the cheapest is usually the shared van.

Thing Two can tell you I’m not gregarious by nature (I think “dour” and “unsmiling” would be his terms of choice, but then, I’m not at work or Being a Librarian around him – I’m drained of all energy by that time. But during conferences… Anyway, I’m in a van with several others and the girl next to me is going to the same place. So, all friendly, I ask “are you going to the Summit, too?”

Nope. She’s here for her sister’s birthday (sis works for Starwood Hotels, and so gets great employee rates that they take advantage of). I could have predicted her question to me: “will you have time to relax/see the city/lie on the beach while you’re here?”

That’s an N.O. Most conferences I’m going from hotel to convention center to hotel to restaurant with nary a glance around me. I can tell you wonderful things about Seattle’s hotels and convention center. Ditto Portland OR. Pittsburgh. New Orleans. San Diego. Reno. Etc. But about the city? Nothing.

Today I started at 8am, and will end at 9pm-ish (this is actually being written Thursday night, aka “yesterday”). Tomorrow, I’ll start at 8 and end at 4, when I’ll rush to the airport to return home, sometime around 11pm (if the weather gods bless me).

Don’t feel sorry for me: I get to hang with some incredibly intelligent people, soak up their ideas and ethos. I get to hear interesting thoughts about digital books and the library of 2013 (interesting if you’re a librarian, possibly not for the anyone else). And I get to see old friends and meet new ones.

Still, it’d be nice to have a little time off..


One Response to “Things I hate about conferences”

  1. Anonymous said

    That’s why I always try to take a day to just enjoy, either before or after the conference. Just makes it all a bit more enjoyable and then I feel like I can say I’ve been there.Shree

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