Conference shopping is the idea of looking for a professional (or other) conference to suit a particular need rather than attending a conference because work is attending or it is your local conference.
You might have a new and innovative idea you want to share with a new audience, you might be applying for a grant with very specific requirement, or you might be travelling and just want to see what’s happening in that area. Whether you want to attend or present, finding out about new conferences can be a worthwhile experience.
Think of it is doing a bit of strategic browsing
What are the benefits?
- You can find an audience to fit your message rather than trying to squeeze your idea into a conference format
- Find out about new conferences
- Hear different points of view
- Different swag! – because let’s be honest….we all like a bit of swag
- Maybe even write off part of your vacation as a tax deduction
How do you do it?
Once you decide why you want to attend a conference, it’s time to start doing your homework. Look for those conferences that not only fit your need but also that fit within your organisation’s strategy. Does your library focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, or innovative technology, or services to people with a disability? Look for those opportunities when you are doing your research. Then, go back to the old ‘what’s in it for me’ question but think about if from your manager’s perspective. Give your manager the tools to sell it to their manager as you most likely will be making a case for something outside of the box. Basically make them an offer they cannot refuse.
A few resources to get you started on your shopping:
Library conferences (some were mentioned in a previous ILN blog post)
Other conferences and resources:
- International Library Related Conferences (by James Thull)
- Conal conference alert
- Publishing- for example the International Conference Books, Publishing & Libraries
- Technology- for example the International Conference on Digital Information and Communication Technology and its Applications
- Education- for example the conferences from the Association of Computing in Education
-Amy Barker- ILN Program Coordinator