NMRT (New Members Round Table)

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The mission of the New Members Round Table (NMRT) is to help those who have been association members less than ten years become actively involved in the association and the profession.

Learn more about NMRT on the ALA website.

Making the most of your conference: my notes from NMRT Conference 101

  • 1.  Making the most of your conference: my notes from NMRT Conference 101

    Posted Aug 03, 2009 01:19 PM

    I was asked to speak at the NMRT Conference 101 at Annual 2009 about  navigating Annual and the exhibits.  Here are some of the things I spoke about or meant to mention:

    • It's all about weight and pacing
    • Weight
      • Rip exhibit map out of "Into the Stacks" to carry with you
      • Individual hotel plans on p.52- of the program guide
      • Rip each day's program list out of the program guide to carry with you
      • Check Cognotes every morning, but don't necessarily keep it
      • Ask exhibitors to ship catalogs to you instead of carrying them
      • Remember that "Free" isn't free - you will have to carry your freebies, then pack or ship them
      • Use the post office on the exhibits floor to ship things home (everyone can get one free poster tube)
      • No wheeled carriers are allowed in the exhibit hall
    • Pacing
      • You can't see or do it all - don't push yourself too hard
      • The real conference is in the halls - stop to talk to other session attendees, ask questions, don't feel like you always have to rush to the next official session
      • Don't be afraid to make decisions on what to attend based on hotel proximity. Some sessions may just be too far apart.
    • Other Tips
      • Check "Into the Stacks" for prize drawings, etc.
      • Be prepared for air conditioning - a pashmini shawl is compact, light, and perfect for varying temperatures
      • Carry food and water with you - and share with others!
      • When going out to a restaurant or other venue, know the address and take a map with you. It's not foolproof, but it will help keep you from getting lost or confusing the cab driver.
      • Wear your badge at the conference, but not out on the street.  We're easy marks!
    • Getting Involved
      • Check out Booth 3034, the Membership Pavilion. They're hosting lots of 20 minute "About ALA" programs, including Exhibits 101.
      • Attend committee meetings before joining a committee to see if it's a good fit
      • Remember that committee composition is always changing, so don't let one person keep you from volunteering
      • Give out your business card, and make a note on the back the context of the meeting or what you're requesting, e.g. "Met at NMRT Meet & Greet" or "Looking for a committee appointment."  Do this with cards other people give you, too.
      • Check out people's badge tags to identify people from groups you're interested in or other people you'd like to meet (ALA Council members, for example)
      • Attend the NMRT and other Executive Board Meetings