Monday, 20 June 2011

Post 12, Choosing a conference committee, part 2

Yesterday I finished my post with the bombshell Jenelle dropped on me, she was moving overseas and would have to withdraw from NLS4. As I said earlier, Jenelle was the ideal choice for Website Coordinator and had also been to NLS1 and NLS2 (NLS2006 had not happened yet) so had lots of insights to share.

Jenelle's withdrawal left a hole in the committee, as I really didn't know anyone else with the skills sets she possessed. Although the need to fill the gap was not critical at this stage, I did need to have something in place fairly soon. I had my lightbulb moment writing a youth strategy (of all things!). I had not long returned from Aurora and met Jill Stephens there. I should say 're-met' Jill :) Jill and I had worked on aliaVIC together a couple of years back and we then lost contact when she resigned from the committee. I offered Jill a place on the NLS4 organising committee and we didn't look back :) She had many great ideas (remember, Web 2 had not quite taken hold back then) and established a wiki for the committee to collaborate in, as well as setting up RSS feeds on the site. Importantly, Jill had the committee take ownership of the website, so no one felt as though they were operating in a vacuum.

Another important part to any NLS, established from previous NLS', is the social program. This was an area that I didn't have a lot of experience in, so needed someone who would be able to pick up the ball and run with it. No better candidate than Gemma! Gemma's excitement when I asked if she was interested still makes me laugh! The first thing I asked her to do was get some preliminary costings for the cocktail party and lunches for the conference to prepare for our initial budget to the ALIA Board. She had figures to me by the end of the week and made her famous (within the committee) comment "Who would have thought food would cost so much???" She was right, catering is one of the biggest expenses with any event.

Tomorrow I'll talk about the Academic program :)


snail said...

Excellent! It is turning into a series :-) I think this is a fabulous insight to the "behind the scenes" of running a conference. Lots of kudos to the folk who end up convening these things like yourself. A two year conference committee is an interesting beastie to be sure :-)

Tania said...

Wasn't meant to be a series, but was turning into one heck of a long post! Committee lasts longer than 2 years, remember there is the before and after as well! Lots of fun though.

Hoi said...

This is a great read!!!!! I am part of the committee for NLS5 and I can relate to your posts a lot. I heard many great things about the NLS4 and would really hope it will be a success for NLS5 too!

Jenelle said...

I was so sad (and still am) that I never got to see or be part of NLS in Melbourne. :( Following it from afar just is not the same. :(

I was explaining NLS to one of my colleagues who is still at library school. She was so enthusiastic for something like it here. Up for NLS 1.0 NYC Tania? LOL ;)

Tania said...

You will have lots of fun Hoi :) the lead up to the conference is SO exciting!

Jenelle, you still gave great input - you were part of the committee for ages, remember :) How aboutyou start it off and we co-convene, lol :-)