I’m back to reality from my 4 days of being insanely busy with the ALA Midwinter Meeting. OK, so technically I didn’t actually go anywhere since it was here in Philly, but I wasn’t any less busy. If anything (or if even possible), I was more busy than previous Meetings.
Having a conference or large professional meeting in your home city is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, you don’t have to deal with the stress of travel. All your friends get to see where you live, including the ones that would never be able to visit you otherwise. And I did see friends. It was wonderful to see them all, but as with every conference/meeting, we did not have enough time together as we all had lots to do. Also on the plus side you know where you’re going. There’s nothing worse than trying to find the hotel where you’re next meeting is and ending up completely lost. Or getting lost trying to find your hotel at night after dinner. It was nice to know where I was and where I was going for once.
But on the flip side, having a conference/meeting in your home city is extra work. People ask you for directions. Or where to eat dinner. I haven’t been out to eat much, so I had to ask several colleagues and friends to help me compile a list of suggestions. You’re asked to do extra local arrangements stuff for groups. And you still have to deal with all the normal home stuff. The dog still needs to go out and other home chores still have to happen. Just because you have a conference doesn’t mean your regular life stops when it’s local (when you travel you can escape the day to day stuff). You have to worry about public transit schedules both to get to meetings in the mornings and to make sure you don’t miss the last bus or the last train home. I actually know people that still elect to stay in one of the conference hotels when their city is hosting just so they don’t have to worry about such things. And I seriously considered putting the dog in a kennel for the weekend. Lucky for me, I have awesome friends that were staying with me so we could tag-team the dog care. My friends ROCK.
This was a successful Midwinter for me. Things went smoothly. I saw lots of friends. My ALA committee completed it’s work and goals. We worked hard and we’ve worked for months but it all paid off when we accomplished what we set out to do. The workshop I presented was well received and I got lots of positive feedback. My other meetings went smoothly and things are moving forward. I made new connections with colleagues. A dinner I planned for one of my groups ended up being very tasty, lots of fun, and everyone that attended enjoyed themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it’s over, but overall everything went very very well.
Now it’s back to the grind. I have follow up work to do. So while the official event is over, the related work is just getting started. And I need to pick back up some of the work stuff I put on hold for the Meeting. The next few days are going to be just as busy until I get on top of things again.