In April I was lucky enough to be win one of the ten Bursaries for the ARA conference in Brighton 29-31 August 2012.
This will be my first conference, and with about a week ago I thought I should get around to write a blog post about my thoughts on attending the conference.
I hope to write short blog posts during the conference as well as attempt to live tweet some of the talks. To that end this blog post is a bit of an experiment as I am figuring out how the WordPress app on my iPad works so I can use it at the conference. As I usually rely heavily on spell and grammar checks in Word before I post anything I beg your forgiveness for any mistakes you might come across.
So, thoughts on the conference…
Mostly I am looking forward to it. I enjoy meeting other archivists/records managers and it is alway interesting to hear what others do and how they do it. I am always looking for ideas on how we can improve what we do at work, and I think sharing experiences is a good way to find new inspiration.
However, I am also a little hesitant about attending the conference. While I already know some of the other bursary winners, a couple of us are travelling to Brighton together, I am never particularly relaxed in large groups or crowds. Most of the time will be occupied by listening to talks by interesting people, but I feel a little nervous about the “social” times. I do not wish to be clinging to the people I know, but I fear I might not feel confident enough to go meet new people. If you do see me stand quietly observing in a corner do come say hello!
Another thing I am a little unsure about is the
morbid natural interest in where I work and what is going on there (and has been going on there the past yer or so). While I recognise that the position I find myself in at work is not very usual for an archivist, I do feel that what everyone else are doing in their archive is a lot more interesting than what I have to deal with. Combine that with the fact that I legally cannot say much about what is going on it make it rather tiring to meet new people as there is a set pattern to how first conversations usually go. I almost hope the name badges does not have place of work on them, though that is probably wishing for too much. So if you do happen to meet me, please do not be offended if I steer conversation away from what I do.
Lastly, there are all the questions I am sure all first time conference delegates have. Questions such as “what the heck does one wear to the gala dinner” (seriously, what does one wear to the gala dinner?), “is anyone else bringing their trainers for a run on the beach Thursday morning?”, “how many pens/pencils do I need to bring?” (I doubt I can type fast enough on the iPad to take notes on it). Any advice gratefully received. 🙂
I fear all the above makes me sound rather antisocial, which I am not. It is just that I find the thought of so many archivists/records managers/conservators in one place rather intimidating.
It will be fine I am sure!
See you in Brighton next week.