Saturday, May 24, 2008

Expand Your Mind

....otherwise known as the conference season!

I have to admit, I am one of those strange life forms who actually enjoys attending conferences. It was not always thus. A long time ago at the beginning of my career, when I was still exceptionally shy, I would sit in programs taking in all I could from the speakers (yes keeping my extensive hand-written notes), but then wander through exhibit halls not knowing quite what all the vendors were talking about since I was neither a buyer nor user of the products at the time. I didn't know anyone else to eat with, so tended to stick to my hotel room or head home once sessions were over.

I'm pleased to report I am a lot more comfortable with the situation now and quite enjoy conferences. It is a chance to learn new ideas, talk with colleagues I rarely see, and make new connections. I still do find the trade show in some ways intimidating but now count many of the vendor folks as friends so that makes it a lot easier. Plus, you always know a vendor will talk to you if you approach them in the exhibit hall, so you couldn't ask for an easier set-up to meet people. ;-)

Anyway, since finishing up at the Mesh conference I have jumped on a plane to Saskatoon for the annual Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference. I can't wait! For those of you who are also here for the first time, feel free to introduce yourself to me if you happen upon me. I will do my best to make everyone welcome, too. If you have been to the conference before, I hope you will also take on the unofficial host role with me and welcome all newcomers. It can be very intimidating the first time around!

I have few official duties this year although am sitting on the Vendor Liaison Committee (the Loose leaf subcommittee) and have the distinct pleasure of introducing our keynote speaker Darlene Fichter on Monday.

For some reason I have been given a committee chair ribbon, which makes me somewhat nervous since I wonder which committee I have been sadly neglecting? Ah well, my goal at most conferences is to wear as many ribbons as possible, so I will take it. ;-)

Photo: Connie spotted at Mesh08 Afterparty sponsored by Social Media Group. Originally uploaded by ariehsinger


Rayanne said...

I also love going to conferences, but I'm still pretty shy when it comes to mingling between sessions. I was lucky at mesh to attend sessions with various people I've met this year, like new work colleagues and Twitter and blogger friends.

I'm still kind of old school, though. I take notes with a pen and paper, but I carry my MacBook in order to keep somewhat connected! : )

Glad you had a good time!

Connie said...

If you already know a few people, you are well on your way, Rayanne! I remember at the first Mesh conference I knew maybe two other people. This past week I looked around and realized I knew at least a quarter of the people there.

Just keep on connecting with people on an individual basis (you are great at that!) and soon you will know a lot of people and feel very comfortable.