For over 2 years we sat at home or in our offices... attending conferences virtually. But now we're back to traveling in person to conferences, even more than we did before the pandemic! So we surveyed the Springy team and asked them to pull together a list of their favorite conference and travel tips.
If we see you in a few weeks at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago (Booth #1525), let us know which one was your favorite or share a tip of your own!
1. If You See Springy Talia On Your Plane, RUN
This is a "kidding, but not really" tip - as Springy Talia is known throughout SpringyHQ as having the absolute worst travel luck. Are her flights delayed an absurd number of times? Yes. Has her carry-on suitcase broken the minute she's walked into the airport? More than once. Has her plane emergency landed into a closed airport in Ohio due to an on-board fire? Yes. So, if you see Springy Talia on your plane... good luck.
2. Springy Diana Says Divide & Conquer Sessions
The chances are high that there will be several simultaneous sessions occurring that you want to attend. If you're lucky enough to be attending a conference with a coworker, consider asking them to attend those sessions and take great notes. If you're flying solo to the conference, you're not out of luck! Try making a conference buddy and teaming up to attend sessions that you're both interested in and sharing notes afterwards. Bonus: you'll now have a conference buddy for life and it helps with future networking possibilities.
3. Use Your Own 'Library of Things' Shares Springy Corinne
If your library has invested in a Library of Things, take advantage of it for your travels. That includes checking out a mobile hotspot, luggage scales, outlet adapters for international travel, noise-canceling headphones for loud flights, and more. Oftentimes, librarians forget that they are patrons too.
If, like your patrons, you can't easily find your 'Library of Things' collection as its buried in your OPAC, take a minute and explore LibCal's Lending Hub add-on module. The Lending Hub makes it easy to circulate unconventional things like headphones and mobile hotspots as well as museum eTickets and physical passes.
4. Double-Check the Names of Hotels Advises Springy Lori
At the larger national conferences, there will be sessions, events, and meetings at various Hiltons and Marriotts sprawled throughout the city. Nothing is worse than trekking your way to a Hilton 20 minutes away only to realize it's the wrong Hilton and you missed the event. Always be sure to check the names of hotels and don't confuse the Marriott Downtown with the Marriott Marquis.
5. Springy Meg Says Remember Your ABCs
Always Be Charging! If you see an outlet, anywhere, charge your devices. To that end, make sure you bring all the appropriate cords and plugs so you're not left with 10% battery trying to navigate back to your hotel.
6. Remember to Recharge Yourself Advises Springy Greg
There's a lot of pressure when attending conferences, both internally and externally, to not miss out on anything. FOMOC = Fear of Missing Out on Conferences. You'll over schedule yourself. You'll say yes to everything. And you'll spend your conference days from morning till evening soaking everything in. But remember, just like your phone's battery, your social and learning batteries can't keep running forever. Try to carve out time - yes during the day - to recharge. Maybe for you that means a quiet walk outside. Or a nap back at the hotel. Or lunch alone. It's hard to say no to commitments, but remember, you can't absorb new information if your battery is flashing red.
7. Record All Your Professional Development Travel Reminds Springy Lilly
It's important for administration, in their year-end reports, to quantify and share all the professional development work that staff are performing! This is more than just sharing notes post-conference with your colleagues, but also quantifying the hours, number of sessions attended, cost to attend, and more. To that end, be sure to set up a LibInsight Professional Development Dataset so staff can record all the qualitative and quantitative data about their conference experiences.
8. Springy Kirsten says Don't Forget to Set Yourself as Away Everywhere
We usually remember to set ourselves as 'Out of Office' on our emails when engaging in work travel, but don't forget all your other digital touchpoints!
- LibCal Appointment Scheduler - If you use LibCal's appointment scheduling tool for handling your one-on-one consultation appointments, don't forget to set those conference dates as unbookable. You don't want a patron booking an appointment when you're not there! The easiest way is to set up two-way syncing with your calendaring tool and then add those dates as 'Out of Office' to your personal calendar. The two-way sync with LibCal will pick up those 'Out of Office' calendar dates and make you unbookable in the appointment scheduler.
We hope to see you at the ALA Annual Conference (Booth #1525) in Chicago later this month, but if not, don't worry - we're going to be live-streaming presentations from our booth to our Facebook page all weekend long. Stay tuned to this blog in the coming weeks as we'll be announcing our schedule!
And if there is one tip that you take away from this blog post, it should be #1 - if you see Springy Talia on your flight, run.