With just under two weeks to go until close of bookings, and two months until the ASW itself, the business of the conference committee is gathering pace and, as Chair of the Conference Committee, I thought I would give you a taste of the work that goes on in the background to organise an Annual Study Weekend!
By the way, if you haven’t yet booked your place there is still time – go to https://iaml-uk-irl.org/events/iaml-uk-irl-annual-study-weekend-2019-leicester - it would be great to see you there!
Here is some feedback from last year to whet your appetite:
“Another excellent ASW - well run, good programme, excellent networking. Well done!”
“It was my first study weekend and I hope to be able to attend more in the future. I felt very welcomed and really enjoyed everything.”
“Many thanks for another splendid ASW! Once again, I found the mix of presentations kept everyone really engaged. I also found them really interesting and they broadened my knowledge
Well, we had our final conference committee meeting before the ASW just a few days ago (14th Feb) and will meet next in Leicester, ready to welcome delegates to the 2019 Annual Study Weekend.
We are moving towards the culmination of more than 18 months work in organising the conference - the 2019 venue at College Court Leicester was first visited by a couple of committee members as long ago as August 2017 and a provisional booking was made on the venue a couple of months later for the 2019 ASW.
Programme and presentation planning starts formally in the May conference meeting - 11 months before the ASW takes place. We consider topics suggested by delegates in the previous ASW feedback survey, keep an eye on any presentations or topics covered at other conferences – particularly “Big IAML” - which might suit the ASW, invite offers of presentations by posting a call for papers to the IAML (UK & Irl) list, identify current trends and challenges in the work environment and have a general brainstorming sessions at the may committee meeting.
From all this the programme with speakers is usually drafted by about 6 months before the ASW itself and we begin gathering full presentation abstracts, speaker biographies and photos for the ASW programme.
Also, in the late summer the conference committee undertakes a full site visit to the venue to check out how the conference facilities can be used to accommodate the ASW format, discuss dinner menus and bar arrangements, transport options and look over the residential accommodation.
Bookings usually open at the beginning of December and close at the end of February. After this there is a flurry of activity in notifying the conference venue of delegate names, dietary needs and access requirements. Delegates themselves will be sent information about travel arrangements etc for the ASW. Invoices are sent out and payments start coming in. The conference committee usually has the tricky task of choosing dinner menus and wines for the evening receptions.
The remaining programme content is also finalised including the popular QuickFire topics – where delegates have the choice of a number of short, topical presentations and discussions – and input into the News and Update sessions is also invited.
Conference committee members will arrive early on the first day of the ASW to make sure the conference room is arranged to suit us, do any final “stuffing” of conference packs, and generally get everything ready to welcome delegates and prepare the registration process to welcome YOU all to the 2019 ASW.
I hope this short blog demonstrates that the 48 hours of the ASW itself really is the culmination of considerable work by the Conference Committee (my thanks to everyone) – but it is all worthwhile to see delegates benefitting from a great opportunity to focus on issues relating to the management of music resources in libraries.
Chair, IAML (UK & Irl) Conference Committee