Back again with the CPD23 after a year. But it does not mean I’m less interested in competing it. This project is brilliant. I will restart it from the place where I broke off last time.
In the thing 15 it’s all about conferences and events. I have attended, participated and even organised conferences for LIS students and professionals in the past 4 years.
One of the most relaxed ways of getting information about news and progress in your field. It’s a great way to get information without looking for it. Once you are there, everything you need to do is to go to the right place, take a seat and sponge everything you need. I have attended several conferences back in Latvia, BOBCATSSS 2009 and 2012 and 2 conferences here in UK. I really like attending conferences – it makes me feel more involved even without contributing. I also like to take notes during the conference and put down the best ideas that might get useful in the future. It also helps to remember what was this conference all about.
This part is a little bit more tricky. You have to be prepared. Some training might be useful. First you need to get a little bit acquainted with your audience, feel their mood and what are they there for. During your speech it might be hard to keep your voice in the same level – main thing is to stay calm and continue no matter what. Making some jokes might make you more relaxed but you need to be careful not to make yourself look stupid or telling inappropriate jokes. Also, it is important to be confident and prepared for all kinds of questions. Personally, I like the question part even better than the speaking part – it is easier to get feedback and tell the audience exactly what they want to know.
I have been involved in the process of organising a unconference almost 2 years ago. It was a very interesting experience for me. In planning a conference, the most important part is to know, what you want to achieve. Each type of conferences is different and so is the planning process. Planning unconferences is harder as you never know how big will the interest of the participants be. You have to have perfect communication in your team and know all strengths and weaknesses of all members. Find a strong leader and someone who will keep track of everything that has to be done or is done already. Delegate responsibilities by person’s abilities. Know your team and who is responsible for what. Bad promotion might attract wrong audience – people will not be satisfied, if their expectations will not be even remotely close to the actual event. If something goes wrong – don’t panic. Fix it quickly yourself or find someone who can. There is no such thing as “perfect” – every time there will be something that will go wrong – be ready and relaxed about it.
In each conference there is this special something that will attract specific audience. It might be the place, the topic or the people involved. Each and every one will be a bit different. I like conferences because they let people get out of their routine and get inspired. It is also a great place to meet new people with similar interests.