Internet Librarian begins on Saturday and where its your first conference or your 20th here there is something here for you. Here are tips I’ve shared before and new ones learned the hard way. Below these I’ve also included a reading list with suggestions on networking and tips for introverts.
- Give people your name – wear your name badge up near your face rather than on a lanyard so it’s easy for people to glance at it while talking to. Introduce yourself, even if you’ve already met the person. Some of us have hard time with names and there are a LOT of people to remember.
- Don’t hang out with the people you came with – Go to different sessions, maximize your time at the conference you can share with each other what you learned.
- Meet new people – you’re probably not going to meet new people if you’re hanging out with the people you came with. Get out of your comfort zone, ask people what they want to get from the conference, how far they traveled etc, you never know what you’ll learn or who you’ll meet.
- Make a schedule, be willing to break it – One of the nice things about IL is they schedule breaks for coffee and chit chat and since you aren’t racing from one venue to the next you can actually utilize them. It is also a good idea to make a schedule of what you’d like to attend, know what you absolutely must see and what you’d be willing to miss for coffee with that person you’ve been wanting to meet or the awesome new person you just met.
- Know what amenities your hotel offers – internet access, gym, fridge, breakfast etc
- Ask for the things you need at your hotel – you’re a paying guest, don’t be afraid to ask for things to make your stay more comfortable. I almost always ask for more hangers, I like to hang everything up.
- Make time for down time - conferences can be overwhelming there is so much to do, so many people to meet. Don’t wear yourself out early, it wont matter how much you see if you are too worn out to remember it or how many people you meet if you are too burnt out to make a good impression. Monterey is beautiful, go see the sea lions, visit the aquarium, walk along the ocean, breathe.
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Layer your clothes, bring a jacket, sweater or shawl, temperature can vary widely in rooms and you want to be comfortable
- Drink lots of water – so easy to forget when you’re on the go and it is one small thing that can make you feel so much better
From others via Friendfeed, Twitter or blogs.
- In the exhibits, ask yourself before taking swag “would I want this if it weren’t free?” And it is unseemly to push people out of the way to get an advance reading copy. – Steve Lawson
- Anything you acquire, you will have to bring home. I like to stick a small flattened cardboard box and a roll of packing tape in my suitcase to mail home free books. – Jason P.
- ALA is very spread out. You need to factor in where a session/meeting is when planning a schedule - Tombrarian
- Bring more business cards than you think you need. You will always run out. I also know I’m ready to go home when I start handing out other people’s cards. When you get back, go through your cards and write people.
- Always visit the exhibits. ALA conferences survive because vendors continue to send entire cotillion of staff and equipment to the exhibit hall. At the very least, go in and greet the vendors your library uses (yes, even the vendors you don’t like). But if you have more time, wander the halls.
- Tip the people who make our visit so comfortable. Tip the shuttle driver, the hotel concierge who drags your suitcase to the lobby, the clerk who brings your bags up to the room, the hotel desk clerk who retrieves your suitcase, the maid who cleans your hotel room, the restaurant wait staff, and the cab drivers who hustle you around the city. Your tips mean a lot to these service workers, and enhance the image of the profession as a caring, sharing group. Bring dollar bills for the smaller tips (I rarely tip under $2 these days for anything) and a $20 (at least) for the hotel maid.
Must Read List
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