So I am reviewing my blog posts from SLA 2014 and thinking about a game plan for Boston and The Revolution and SLA 2015. Already having studied the schedule of internal conference events, now I am thinking about the outside stuff, the pieces that make the experience complete.
What’s really different this year? Well, last year I was a student, stumbling my way through the newness of everything. This year I am a SLA conference veteran AND a LIS graduate (barely, commencement is May 16th). So maybe I am a little bit smarter.
Some key takeaways/carryovers from last year: 1) stay at a bed and breakfast some distance away from the conference site – it’s way cheaper and you see more of the city; 2) pay attention to the scheduled events but know that the most interesting conversations take place between meetings, in the hallways, at the coffee line, at free breakfasts, and in the exhibition hall; 3) develop a game plan in advance for meeting and chatting with vendors – they can tell you a lot about how the field is changing and where the industry is headed; 4) be sure to schedule some down time, some “me” time in the middle of the conference – go to a museum, better yet, a library, and catch some live music, at a bar or a pub or a concert hall; 5) take plenty of business cards but more importantly, scribble notes on the cards you receive, something special about the person; 6) make it a point to look up folks you met in Vancouver – need to build on those relationships, maybe even send out emails prior to the conference; and 7) take a deep breath and enjoy the time away from home, or school, or the new job, or whatever the thing is you left behind.