Top Tips for All Pasadena Conference Goers!

This post coming to you courtesy of Nancy Norris, Pasadena 2013 Publicity Chair.

Welcome First Timers and Veterans!

Before the Conference:

  • When booking your flight, consider leaving on Monday or even Tuesday. The conference hotel room blocks cover Monday night. On Sunday night, the Convocation will take place from 7:00-8:30 in the beautiful Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The event will feature keynote speaker Piotr Adamczyk from Google Cultural Institute and ARLIS/NA award winners will be announced. After the ceremony, there will be a reception with sweets and savories. If you stay over, you can take advantage of the tours and workshops on Monday!
  • Register at the Early-bird rate for maximum savings. If you register by April 3, you can save $100.00! Student rates are the same.
  • Register for a tour or a workshop (or both!). These are great opportunities to see local sites and institutions or expand your professional skills. They are also an excellent way to meet fellow conference attendees. You never know who might sit next to you in the classroom or on the bus or Metro!
  • Considering sharing a room at one of the conference hotels. If you are already have a room or if you are need to find a room, send an email to ARLIS-L(the society’s listserv) or try Twitter hashtag #arlis2013roomies. Sharing a room can help when you are traveling on a budget! The conference hotels are the Sheraton Pasadena and the Hilton Pasadena.
  • Sign up for a Conference Guide. The Conference Networking Program provides conference newbies with a more experienced ARLIS/NA member to show you the ropes and introduce you to new colleagues. Submit the registration form by April 15: Conference Networking Questions? Contact Maggie Portis,
  • Take a look at the online conference program. You can pre-plan what sessions and events you want to attend and personalize your Schedule. Sign in and let your friends and colleagues know you are interested in a particular event.
  • Bring business cards. If your institution or school doesn’t provide them for you, make your own using any word-processing software and perforated paper. Or use one of the many websites like that offer design and printing.
  • Pack comfy shoes. There are many great destinations, such as museums and restaurants, within walking distance of the Convention Center.
  • Plan your thirty-second elevator introduction. In other words, be able to summarize who you are and what you do professionally in half a minute. Need tips on your elevator speech? Click here.
  • If you’re coming to the conference on a job search, bring resumes and pin one on Registration/Hospitality desk bulletin board.
  • Do you have a burning question about the conference or Pasadena? Send us a message on Facebook or Tweet us. We are happy to help to provide an answer, we’re librarians after all!

During the Conference:

  • Tweet using #arlis2013! If you’re enjoying a particular session or event, let other people know about it. Even if you don’t have an account, you can still read Twitter and pick up some great conference tips in real time.
  • Dress in layers. Be prepared for warm days and cool nights. Also conference room temperatures can vary.
  • Have healthy snacks and keep a refillable water bottle on hand. Across the street from the Convention Center is Gelson’s supermarket. They have grab and go lunch options, snacks, regular grocery store items plus a café. The Convention Center has water coolers.
  • Arrive with plenty of time on the first day to pick up your Registration Bag with Conference Program, name badge, and more. The Registration and Hospitality desk opens on Thursday at 7:00am. Check the online program for all the Registration and Hospitality desk hours. Be sure to take a look at the conference program, which will contain area maps and general information. Also, be sure to look in your bag for other “goodies” including our stellar Restaurant Guide.
  • Session-hop. You don’t have to stay for the full length of a session. The speakers and their presentation titles in the conference program are listed in the order in which they will be presented. If you calculate about twenty minutes a talk, you can estimate when to head to another panel. Keep in mind, if you want to “session hop” please try to grab a seat near a door so you can easily slip in and out without disturbing others.
  • You can use your laptop or smart phone during a session. Typing notes during a talk is okay; so is tweeting. Just be mindful of your neighbors and respectful of the speakers. And don’t forget to silence your devices!
  • Ask a question. Moderators usually reserve time at the end of the session for audience questions. Write down your question in advance, and make sure that it’s a question related to the discussion. Don’t forget to state your name and your institutional affiliation, so that people might remember you. Feel free to offer one of your business cards. If you’d like to respond to the presentations with your own comments, talk to a speaker afterward and get his or her email.
  • Get involved in the profession. All the meetings at the conference are open to all attendees. If you are curious about a Committee, Division, Division, Special Interest Group, Chapter, go to the meeting and check it out! Introduce yourself to leaders or representatives afterward to see how you can become more involved or just be bold and speak up when opportunities to volunteer are mentioned! To learn more about the organization of ARLIS/NA take a look at the website: ARLIS/NA.
  • Partner with friends or colleagues to cover sessions happening at the same time. It’s not possible to do everything, so decide in advance who will attend each session and take notes. You could then meet after the sessions, or wait until you get home to regroup and discuss and share with your local Chapters.
  • Don’t spend all your time only with your friends. You’re at the conference to network, so leave your comfort zone and set a goal to meet at least two new people every day.
  • Visit the Exhibitors Hall. Exhibitors are the life-blood of our conference and it’s important to visit as many as you can. It’s costly to exhibit at a conference, especially for small and specialized presses. Our exhibitors are excited about attending our conferences and many are also ARLIS/NA members and have been loyal since the earliest days of the Society. They will want to know what your institution is, so make sure your badge is visible. Exhibitors take pains to display their products and services.
  • Don’t be shy about browsing, even leafing through interesting titles. If you feel uncomfortable because you can’t make purchases for your institution, just be upfront about that. They’ll understand. But do tell them you are looking for your own pleasure or edification. Smile and be friendly even if you can’t stop at every table. Finally, in the last hours of the exhibits, some vendors will discount certain titles even more than the generous conference rate, so you might score a bargain for your personal collection.

After the Conference:

  • Follow up with your new contacts. Send an email to those you’ve networked with, to follow up on a question or discussion, or just to say “It was a pleasure meeting you.”
  • Complete the post conference survey. A conference survey will be sent out on ARLIS-L by the next conference planning committee. Your feedback is important to ARLIS/NA so we can continue to plan stellar conferences!
  • Submit a proposal for the next conference. The next conference planning committee will put out a call for proposals for the Washington D.C. conference in 2014. Watch ARLIS-L for details!

We look forward to meeting all the First Time Conference Attendees in Pasadena!


One Comment on “Top Tips for All Pasadena Conference Goers!”

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