Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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Things I love (and hate) about conferences

Posted by lpearle on 18 January 2010

Let’s start with the things I love (the things I hate aren’t exactly a secret)

  • convention centers that get wifi right – I’m guessing that the reason BCEC has such good connectivity is that it was built so recently (2004) that the technology infrastructure was built in; older venues have had to retrofit, not terribly successfully.
  • golf carts. No, seriously – if you’ve got a large space (New Orleans, I’m looking at you!), golf carts are a great way to get from the shuttle drop off to the exhibits and back if you’re old, injured or just carrying a ton of stuff.
  • YALSA just went virtual for almost all committees! Over to you, AASL

And the things I hate:

  • Too many things cross-scheduled ALA’s schedulers have to recognize that some people belong to more than one division, roundtable, interest group and allow for that
  • Conflicting purposes: is Midwinter a working conference? If so, get rid of all preconferences and the sunrise speeches and president’s programs. Is it a mini-Annual? Then create more no conflict time so those of us on committees can get to vendors.
  • excess paper Stop printing Cognotes (there are digital delivery methods if you want to “get the word out”). At least at Midwinter, get rid of the Exhibits coupon book. Ask all conference hotels to put out paper recycling bins. Find ways to streamline the program.

As always, the best part of any conference is the time to see your friends (who are also your PLN) and gurus.

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