Um. Stuff happened today. Brain death is setting in, so it’s hard for me to remember exactly what.
First there was the part where I went to sleep around 2:30 this morning, after a raucous and extremely entertaining group jaunt out to the Brickskellar in DC to sample the world’s beers. It was… well, it was more fun than I can describe effectively, so I’m just not going to try. Or maybe I will. Much like the LSW presentation, I just don’t think you can capture the “why this matters” of these experiences in a flip paragraph — it’s a layered, faceted, interestingly squishy thing. Mostly, I believe that last night’s Twittering, phototaking, laughing, storytelling, and communal beer selection turns a group of strangers, acquaintances, and occasional professional colleagues into a group of friends, the sort who can call on each other later in the year to come when they need help, a favor, a smile on a bad day, advice on a problem, or whatever might prompt us to contact each other. And that’s something that goes far, far beyond a table full of Blithering Idiots.
On the other hand, I spent my morning in the exhibit hall, talking with vendors. Proquest, EBSCO, and ExLibris are no-brainers, given that they’re three of our major vendors, but I was also trying to track down information on Safari and DeepWeb. They were all quite nice and effective as sales folk, and though I won’t name names I will say that one of those five had a representative who looked at my badge and said, “Lots of ribbons. You must be important.” I? Am not impressed by clumsy attempts at flattery. FYI.
And the Pecha Kucha session was the most awesome thing I’ve seen at a conference in a long time — the humor, energy, and sheer conciseness of the presentations made them both engaging and useful. Go ahead, distill your pet idea into 6 minutes of high-energy presentation. See how YOU do! I’m extremely impressed with all six presenters, and hope to see this trend continue at future ITI conferences.
The SWIFT debrief session was… interesting. I’ll let the people who’ve already started that conversational ball rolling finish the conversation, but I will say that I think we all learned some lessons about project management and beta-test roll-out.
And now I’m headed to the lobby for one last (SHORTER!) evening of socializing before wrapping things up tomorrow.