Conferences are brilliant aren't they? You get to take a day (or more!) away from the office. You get to meet, chat and network with new people and hear about the latest developments and practices in your field. You get to learn about what people in other libraries and other sectors are doing, and share your own experiences with them. If you're particularly lucky, the lunchtime buffet will include those little chicken satay sticks; and maybe some posh tortilla wrap things; and for afters a mahoosive fruit platter, which everybody ignores in favour of the mini muffins. And you might get some freebies: a pen, for example, or a triangular highlighter, or those weird little tins of mints that I'm sure nobody ever actually eats. Yes, who can honestly say that they don't love a good conference?
*raises hand sheepishly*
I do occasionally attend events and conferences, but probably not as many as I should and I do find them somewhat challenging. Here are the reasons and, because I don't want to be all Captain Bringdown, in each case I'm going to consider whether there are any tools, practices and information I've picked up during cpd23 that could help me to get more out of events in the future.