Spectrum & Diversity Scholars Community

Spectrum Institute - What to Wear 

Jun 12, 2012 07:38 AM

Attire for the Spectrum Institute

Dress for the Institute is comfortable business casual attire - we have long days and the meeting rooms can be chilly so I encourage layers. You are really welcome to wear what you feel most comfortable in, just note what you're going to feel most comfortable in amidst a room of future employers and colleagues. Be sure to pack at least two professional outfits - one for your opening session on Thursday, one for Sunday's Spectrum donor luncheon and the Association Options Fair.  The opening session is more festive less business, but dress in a manner that you'll feel confident mingling with leaders in the profession. Bring comfortable dress shoes and an extra pair to slip into should you develop blisters.

Note that your airline may have new baggage restrictions and fees for checked luggage. I encourage you to pack conservatively to avoid any concerns at the airport. For those of you with extended stays, there is laundry service in the hotel if you wish to use it and there may very well be a laundromat somewhere nearby. Please feel free to add conference packing tips in the comments should you have any. Consider packing pieces that can be re-worn and mixed and matched with items that take up less space to conserve suitcase space. Lightweight options that don't wrinkle are also helpful, but our hotel will have an ironing board/iron in the room as well as hairdryers.

Attire for Annual Conference

In general same advice as for the Institute sessions: layers, comfortable shoes and bringing a back-up pair of shoes that won't hit your sore spots in the same place. Conference just allows you to be slightly more anonymous and you won't be pushed as aggresively into networking situations.  We have a real array of why attendees might be at conference and how they dress often reflects their reasons for being there. Exhibitors are often the most professionally or corporate dressed; ALA members serving in leadership roles or on committees might opt for more professional business casual as they will be interacting with colleagues and other leaders often; general attendees visiting programs and the exhibits primarily may choose to be more casual. Special events like literary awards banquets may require dressier attire.


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