Ruth Jenkins, SLA Europe ECCA 2012 winner, was sponsored by Perfect Information to attend their 10th conference at the Aviator Hotel in Hampshire, and kindly shares her experiences with us.
The programme for the Perfect Information conference included the best set of sessions I’ve ever experienced. I took something away from every one I attended, and have come back enthused and inspired. The delegates were welcoming, and the aviation-themed venue was stunning.
I was kindly sponsored to attend PIC by Perfect Information, who I would like to thank for the great opportunity to be at this exciting and stimulating conference.
The first day comprised an opening drinks reception in the evening, with a presentation from Allan Foster on the Business Information Survey highlighting some key changes that are affecting our services. There were a few familiar faces from SLA Europe at PIC, and it was great to catch up over the evening.
Greg Simidian, CEO of Perfect Information, opened with thanking vendors, sponsors and attendees. Very memorably, he got us all to sing happy birthday to Iain Simpson (consultant with Norton Rose LLP), who was co-chairing the conference with Stephen Phillips (Morgan Stanley, and SLA Europe president).
I took something of value from every session I attended. Navigating your career, by Malcolm Bryant, Managing Director & Head of Corporate Services for EMEA & Asia, Morgan Stanley, was the first session of the day. As someone relatively new to the profession, I got a lot out of Malcolm’s advice for taking charge of your career development. Content in their Pockets: What users want, what publishers produce and how information managers deliver, from Robin Neidorf, Director of Research at FreePint, reported some very interesting findings from FreePint’s recent research into mobile delivery of information services. Jennifer Summers’, Director ONEIS, presentation Re. Purpose: Traditional skills, new opportunities was engaging and inspiring. She spoke about the transferable skills of library and information professionals, and the new areas and opportunities for which we are ideally suited.
Next were break-out sessions on ‘Internal alliances’. I attended The Special Relationship: working effectively with IT, which was a fun, interactive, and informative discussion, centred on a game of ‘University IT Challenge’. The session was led by Jennifer Summers (Director, ONEIS) and Ben Summers (Director, ONEIS), who ably bridged LIS and IT concerns and perspectives. The second break-out session I attended was Identity, Insights, Everywhere – power your professional brand, delivered by Colin Frankland, Talent Relationships Manager with Talent Solutions LinkedIn. We were walked through some of the more useful and exciting features of LinkedIn, and Colin had some great advice on making the most of your LinkedIn profile to take control of your professional identity.
Taking a break to combat my information overload (having been furiously taking notes on everything), I retired to my hotel room, to find a goody-bag waiting of wonderful gifts provided by Bureau van Dijk. The invitation to the PI Conference 10th ‘birthday party’ was a plane ticket – fitting with the hotel’s ubiquitous aviation theme. The birthday party was great fun – dinner interspersed with a quiz and pass-the-parcel!
Friday began with a panel Session on Enabling access to ‘perfect information’ in an imperfect world with Robin Niedorf, Rob Martin (Director of Federated Search, Thompson Reuters Solcara), Jenifer Howie (Director of Knowledge Sevrices, Mischon de Reya), and Iain Simpson. We also heard from Linda Cockburn, facilitator and coach, on The art of engagement: effective presentations. Linda’s presentation was full of best practice and great advice.
For me, the main messages of the conference were that despite difficult economic times, library and information professionals are continuing to innovate, exploit new opportunities, and add value to their organisations. I was left feeling excited and proud to be part of such a profession.