Top tips for ILI delegates

Attending ILI? Top tips for delegates

Long-time delegate, speaker and member of ILI's conference advisory board, Alison McNab provided these top tips for ILI's 2017 delegates, but they apply to all attendees every year, especially if you're new to ILI. Have a quick read of these helpful hints for getting the best out of your ILI experience ...

Alison McNabPrepare for the conference
Before you arrive, consider which sessions you wish to attend and make a note of them.  You will receive a copy of the final programme when you arrive; this will be particularly helpful for indicating which room each session will be held in and also any last-minute changes to the speaking programme.

Decoding the programme:  There are three tracks each day: A, B, and C. In addition to the keynote and plenary sessions, there are six talks in each track on Tuesday and four on Wednesday.  Each session is coded according to the track, day of the conference, and the order of the talks. For example, A101 is the first talk in track A on the Tuesday and B204 is the final session in track B on the Wednesday.  Each track has a theme; please feel free to move between tracks but please try not to do so when a speaker is presenting.

There is also an additional track called ILI Extra offering small workshops that provide an alternative to the main three tracks.  You can read about these on the programme and sign up for them on site at the conference reception area; no need to pre-register before you arrive at ILI.

If you have business cards, do bring them: they are useful for both exchanging contact details with other delegates and entering competitions run by sponsors.  If you don’t have any, consider ordering some from the many online companies that offer them (or make your own).  Don’t forget to include your social media account details and do check for spelling mistakes before pressing send on your order!

During the conference

  • Use of social media: (#ILI18) If you haven’t got round to using Twitter before, this may be the ideal opportunity!  In addition to delegates who attend in person, many others follow the Twitterstream during and after the conference.  Here are some suggestions on how to use Twitter when attending a conference
  • Taking notes: Think about how you would like to record your thoughts from ILI 2018.  Will you use paper or a digital device or app (or a combination of these)?  Maybe you already use GoogleDocs, Evernote or an alternative? If you choose to blog during or after ILI, do share that with others using the conference hashtag #ILI18.
  • Take a break: If your head is spinning with lots of ideas or new resources to explore, consider sitting out one talk in order to process what you have heard.  Although you may feel they are all too interesting to miss!
  • Talking with speakers and established LIS professionals: The advice in “How to talk to famous professors” is aimed at early career researchers but it provides good suggestions for anyone new to LIS conferences

Other things you might need

  • Your lunch, hot and cold drinks, and snacks in the tea and coffee breaks are all included in the delegate fee.  You may wish to bring a water bottle so you can stay hydrated in sessions. 
  • If you have a power pack for your laptop / tablet / phone, do bring it.  The venue has a limited number of power points in the conference rooms.
  • Tissues and cough sweets might be helpful in case you come down with a “London lurgy”.
  • Comfortable shoes for all the walking and standing involved at conference!  Though if you opt for style over comfort, do show them off with a #shoetweet
  • If you plan to do any late-night shopping in London, you’ll need a carrier bag (UK shops charge 5p for carrier bags).  However, you might find some sponsors have them on their stands.
  • An umbrella – this is the UK in October after all!

After the conference

  • Do reflect on what you heard, what you learned, who you met, and what you plan to implement or change when you get back to work. 
  • Seek an opportunity to feed back to colleagues – perhaps through a blog post or over coffee. 
  • Monitor the #ILI18 Twitter feed for a couple of weeks as there will be continued activity afterwards (although not at the same volume as during the conference). 
  • Finally, consider whether you could submit a paper for ILI 2018 ... We’d love to see you there!


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