Update 2 – even better list of things to do!
I’ll be presenting at Computers in Libraries 2005 next week, and thought I should give first-timers to the conference a run down of what to do while at the conference:
- Attend everything you can – there are so many good topics, presenters, and ideas being shared. You’re bound to find a time where you really want to attend two sessions at the same time.
- Participate – do you have a question for the speaker? Ask it! Don’t be shy. If there isn’t time to ask at the end of a session, find the speaker later in the day – we’re there to share!
- Network – Talk to the person sitting beside you before a session. Talk to someone milling about between sessions. Talk to speakers. Share your business card with people [reminder to David – pack some business cards].
- Bug the vendors – besides just getting a year’s supply of free pens and squishy toys for the kids, there’s some amazing vendors with awesome products! You don’t even have to buy stuff – you can have a literature gathering party, and take back a lot of good info to digest later.
- Get there early – More networking, and … well … what can I say: “Free breakfast.”
- Don’t eat alone – Those people you networked with? Go to lunch with them. Ask them questions. Go to a Dine Around – you’ll probably learn more than you bargained for.
- Lulls – Let’s be honest here. There comes a time at every conference where the afternoon session about Using Streaming Robo-Folksonomies for XML Tagging of College Freshmen really just doesn’t do it for you, and gee whiz – it’s a heck of a sunny day outside. Blow it off and go to the Mall – check out all the cool museums (or, if your boss read this, take an extra day before or after the conference to see the sights).
- Enjoy the area – The conference is in a cool part of DC, with neat loft apartments, some odd little stores, etc – take a walk around the block between sessions.
- Check your email – You can use the conference-provided PCs. Great setup, but long lines. Or take your laptop and visit one of the many Starbucks and other similar coffee shops and cafes in the area with wireless access. Update 1: I’m told that the Hilton’s lobby area had free wireless access last year. Here’s hoping for this year, too! Or, 9 1/2 – Don’t check your email. It might be nice to be away from your email for a few days.
- Share when you get back to work – most important. Don’t let your time at CIL be wasted. Share your new knowledge with library staff. You might just start a new initiative out of your notes from a session.
And – see you there!