Conferencing 101: All the Tips
Published: March 24, 2017 by Kate M. Spaulding
In preparation for conference season, a roundup of great advice on why to go, what to pack, and how to survive and thrive.
It’s almost April, which means it’s also almost conference season. Coincidentally, it’s also Spring Break! Yay! I’m taking this opportunity to present to you some non-required (but highly recommended, if I do say so myself) Spring Break Reading (à la Winter Break Reading) about conferences and networking – and networking at conferences. I’d love to hear what you find useful or other suggested reads; I know you know how to have an online discussion, so let’s do that! Comment below!
1. For those not sure about the value of professional organizations and/or going to conferences:
- Students + Professional Associations = A Match Made in Career Heaven
- Why & How to Take Advantage of Student Memberships in Professional Associations
- 5 Reasons to Attend a Conference
2. Want to get your feet wet from the safety of home? Library 2.017 is happening on Wednesday, March 29 from 12-3pm Pacific. It’s hosted by the iSchool, it’s all online, and it’s F-R-E-E. The theme is “Expertise, Competencies and Careers.” There are keynote speakers and short presentations. Last year I wrote about Four Ways to Boost Your Career at Library 2.0, and those four ways are still true and applicable to other conferences. Am I good, or what?
3. Great! I’ve convinced you there’s value in attending. Now, the important things: what to pack and what to wear (eep!):
- The basics: Packing List A and Packing List B
- Beyond the basics: Daring Packing List
- How to Pack a Single Carry-On for a Three-Day Conference: I’m including this because I think it’s a good way to think about wardrobe planning. Obviously, your choices will vary, but the approach sounds good.
- From an ALA veteran, Conference Travel Packing & Survival Tips.
- Librarian wardrobe suggestions for work and for conferences.
- Survival Kit A and Survival Kit B
- Top 10 Apps to Download – plus, of course, any conference-specific app
4. There are several posts and lists especially for first-time attendees. Here are a few:
5. Once you’re there:
- Surviving and Thriving at Professional Conferences (for the most info, listen to or watch the linked webcast!)
- How to Be Awesome at Going to Library Conferences
- Attendance Advice and Making the Most of It
- Hack Library School has a lot of posts about conferences, and they are organized either with tags or by category. The content is slightly different, so look at both.
- How to Drink with Your Coworkers (because: reality)
6. Networking, because that’s a large part of why you’re going:
- Tips for Attending Big Conferences, which are really all about networking
- How to Make Networking at Conferences Feel Less Icky
- Last fall, Tracy Z. Maleeff spoke to the SLA student group about networking. A recording is available, and it’s worthwhile!
- Networking with friends
- How to Network at Conferences – but this isn’t the usual advice! Neither is How to Network When You’re an Introvert.
- Four Networking Tips for Introverts
- How to Fake Being a Social Butterfly
- Have your elevator pitch ready! I also like the anti-elevator pitch.
- Networking at Conferences: the infographic.
7. Can’t go after all? Kim Dority wrote a great piece about getting conference benefits without going and without spending a dime.
Phew. That’s enough from me. What are your best tips? Favorite articles you think everyone should be reading?