About fionawatkins

Currently working as a librarian in Northampton, however my view here are my own not of or for the institution I work at. Other than libraries and loving books, I also enjoy cross stitch and swimming, and have just completed a post graduate certificate for teaching in higher education. Some, all or none of these things may feature in this blog!

More feedback – qualitative comments

Nick has already posted about feedback from the conference, and I’m here to add some more on that topic.  Now I for one love seeing statistics such as those Nick mentioned. Seeing that the majority of respondents enjoyed the conference, felt that the range of presentations was good and that they would attend future events, gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside – it means we did okay for our first conference!  However the other part of my brain says “that’s all well and good but what does it really mean?”  So I’ve chosen to look at the comments and qualitative feedback we got from the respondents and, having not been able to attend the conference myself, I’ve also solicited comments from colleagues who did attend, which I’ll try and factor into this post a little as well.

Comments from feedback forms

Please click on image to enlarge.
Image created using ABCya.com

As you can see from the word cloud above, most of the comments received were very positive and included words like interesting and inspirational.  However rather than simply telling you all the positives and what we, apparently, got right I’m going to highlight some of the more constructive comments and leave them here for posterity. The reason for this is partly so that we can learn from the areas needing improvement for future conferences, but we’re choosing to share it with everyone via the blog so that other people can learn as well!

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Twitter and the LLS conference

As the conference administrator, and also the most regular Twitter user in the department (as far as I’m aware) I volunteered to be responsible for setting up a Twitter account (@LLSresearchconf) I also have been the person Tweeting from this account, although Twitter logothe lovely Nick managed to get the blog posts automatically Tweeting for us!  For the day of the conference however I’ve handed over the tweeting controls to someone else as I’m unfortunately not going to be able to attend the conference.

As part of the promotion strategy for the conference I felt it important to include the links with professional networks on Twitter, which is used by a fairly large group of library and information science professionals as well as several academics from the University of Northampton.  As well as setting up the Twitter feed, I choose the Twitter hashtag #LLSconf12.  This gives a way of following the conference without attending, assuming people are Tweeting about it of course!

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Making the bookings process work

I mentioned in my previous post that I’d be putting up some details about the booking process and why we or rather I, as the conference administrator, made the decisions I did….so here goes!

Bookings table display

Photo: The Next Web via Flickr

When starting to think about the conference and my role as administrator I soon realised that although I can be spectacularly organised I didn’t want to trust something this important not to mention large-scale to my memory and my email inbox.  For past events I’ve been involved in the administrator has handled all the bookings individually through email receipt of booking forms, however I knew that this wouldn’t work for me for several reasons.  The most important of these being that the work for the conference is taking place alongside my normal day job, so I couldn’t devote the time necessary to deal with every single booking individually.  I was also aware that I had several days out of the office planned and didn’t want people to have to wait too long to be registered for the conference, or indeed to have to deal with too many extra emails upon my return! Continue reading

The life and times of a conference administrator

The LLS conference is now just over a week away and as I’m sure you can imagine behind the scenes we’re working really hard to make sure it’s a really great event.

Before I start talking about the main reason for this post – which is the administration side of things I wanted to give a brief overview of what made me want to be part of the organising committee.

I had two reasons, firstly like the others I believe that not only is it important for us as a department to be taking part in research projects I also feel it is essential that we let other people know what we’re doing and this conference gives us a great opportunity to do just that.  Secondly, having been part of a larger committee the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals’ University College and Research Group for the East Midlands (CILIP’s UCRGEM) enabled me to get involved in organising events.  This involvement has allowed me to gain an understanding of what’s involved and to realise where my personal and professional skills can fit in.

Name badges

Photo: MrTruffle via Flickr

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