Last night, I participated in the Society of American Archivists’ (SAA) Students and New Archives Professionals’ (SNAP) Twitter Chat regarding the upcoming SAA conference. This was my first Twitter Chat. It was a learning experience. For example, a few times I forgot to use the hash tag, but at the end it all worked out. Below is some additional advice from the chat regarding attending the conference.
Some of the advice given:
1. Make time for unscheduled things, such as lunch with friends, hallway conversations, or even a nap. Yes, I even have a nap scheduled.
2. Go to one session that does not relate to your current job, classes, or internships. One session that I am going to that does not relate to my current job is Session 601 Cross Pollination: Genealogy in Public Library Special Collections. Plus Emily Ward, who I went to graduate school with, is presenting at this session.
3. Go to the SNAP meeting or Diversity Committee. If it is listed on the program and not marked as closed, you can go.
- One thing I learned from last night’s Twitter chat is that I could actually go to a committee meeting. For example, I can go to the SAA Council Meeting or 2017 Program Committee if I chose to.
4. Get out of your comfort zone by attending a session you would not normally go to or by being more sociable.
5. Do not over extend yourself.
6. Maximize opportunities for learning and inspiration.
7. It is ok to be overwhelmed. That is a normal feeling.
8. Go to one of the SNAP Buddy Lunches. It’s a great way to meet people.
9. Go to the regional meetings because the people you meet there will also be attending the national conferences. In other words, you will see familiar faces at the national conference because you went to the regional conferences.
10. In order to break the ice when talking to someone, compliment their shoes, bag, their session presentation, or just ask them what session they are going to.
11. Do realize that some people are busy or may not be able to talk. So ask for their business card and email them after the conference.
12. Stay flexible. The plan will not play out like you drew it up. Something I learned while traveling to Italia.
- While in Venezia, Italia (Venice, Italy), I went to lunch at a restaurant. I went to pay for my meal and pulled out my wallet. The plan was to use the credit card that had no foreign transaction fee, but it was not in my wallet. So, I had to use the other credit card. Since I no longer had the credit card with no foraging transaction fee, I called home and told my mom to cancel the credit card. She said to go back to the hotel room and see if the credit card was in my hotel room. The credit card was not in the room. So I called home and had the credit card cancelled. I did not panic because I had my other credit card as well as my EUROS and my passport. I was still set for fun in Venezia and fun I would have. I went on about my day with not a worry in the world. That night I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night. I looked at my hotel room and said to myself, “It is a mess, you should clean it up.” So I cleaned my hotel room up. I went to pick up a shirt that was in the comer of the room and do you know what was in that shirt? The credit card that I was looking for at lunch. By time I found it, the card was already canceled. I did not worry about the credit card because I knew I had the other credit card as well as my EUROS. So when something goes wrong in Atlanta, do not worry. Go about your day and enjoy the rest of your time at the conference. If I had got upset about the credit card, I would not have enjoyed my time in Venezia nor would I have fallen in love with the city.
Please provide any advice on attending conferences. It does not need to be advice on attending SAA.
While at SAA, I will try to post as much as I can. I may have to wait until I get back. Who knows? Well I do know one thing. I am hungry and need to put food and water in my belly. If I do not eat, I will not be able to finish the day’s work.
Written By: Blake Relle “The Rook Archivist”