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JHW 10022014 
LIS Conference Advising Session 
Benefits of attending a professional conference or meeting? 
 Grow your pr...
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Advice on an attending an LIS conference


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On Oct. 2, 2014, I spoke to a group of library and information science graduate students at Syracuse University about attending conferences and encouraging them to do so. This is the handout that I used.

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Advice on an attending an LIS conference

  1. 1. JHW 10022014 LIS Conference Advising Session Benefits of attending a professional conference or meeting?  Grow your professional network  Make new friends and colleagues  Expand your knowledge base  Expand your resources  Find potential employers  Learn what skills employers are seeking  Share what you know The risks?  Realizing that the profession is more diverse than you think  Learning that your knowledge in certain areas is better than some practitioners  Seeing jobs you want to apply for, but you don’t yet have the correct qualifications How to select the conference or event?  Who is offering it?  What are the topics or sessions?  Who is going? (Speakers? Attendees?)  Where is it being held?  What is the overall cost? How to select sessions?  Look for hot topics  Expand your knowledge-base  Check for influential/interesting speakers  Go the keynote(s)  Attend the business meeting Your budget: Budget Item Cost # of Days Total Conference/Meeting Registration N/A Travel (flight, train, bus, taxi, mileage) Housing (hotel, motel, hostel) Meals Incidentals (laundry, phone) Total To Do’s:  Talk to people who have attended that event and ask for tips.  Before you arrive, look at the conf. program and note several sessions in the same time slot of interest.  Look for generic blog postings containing tips for first-time conference attendees.  Take time for yourself. It is okay to rest, since the conference-day is a long one.  Dress professionally, yet also comfortably. Comfortable shoes.  Behave professionally. Follow the conference’s codes of conduct and report those that don’t.  Talk to participants that you don’t know. Don’t hang around with your existing clique.  Look for someone to share a room with. It lowers your cost and might create a new long-term friend.  Check for low cost eateries. (Yelp can be very helpful.) Look for a grocery store. Bring food.  Check to see if carpooling or shared travel arrangements could lower your cost.  In a strange city or at night, walk with others, and don’t look like a tourist. There is safety in numbers.  Create and maintain a LinkedIn profile.  Review your social media sites. Do they need any makeovers?  Have business cards. Besides name and contact info, consider LinkedIn URL or Twitter name.  Practice saying what you want people to know about you and your professional aspirations.