I have always enjoyed attending conferences. Even when I used to be shyer than what I now am, I would still get inspired and find a few people to connect with at each event and meet great people while learning about work-related topics. Last year was my first time presenting. I spoke about library programming at a state conference (Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference). The group of 40 in the audience were great. They participated and contributed ideas during and after the speech and asked a lot of great questions. The only thing I would do differently next time is to add even more engagment into the presentation. I would probably aim to have more of a discussion rather than a “this is what I did, this is what worked, this is how you should do it… ” I have a feeling I will have the opportunity to present this topic again in the future, so I will mix it up a bit then.
I am helping to plan Staff Day 2012 at my library right now. This is really structured like a mini-conference with different tracks designed to appeal to all in the organization. The goal is to inspire and have staff think about topics related to our newly released strategic plan. I think these are great goals, and I am interested to see how the various topic presentations come off. I am in the organizing rather than presenting role this time, which is a whole new perspective. I hope to assist presenters in a number of ways as they craft their presentations over the next six weeks. I have a very good feeling that everyone will do great and this will be the best staff day, ever!