Jane Dysart writes a great post about the difficulties of scheduling and planning a conference in response to Walt Crawford’s criticism of CIL occurring at the same time as PLA. Hey, I surely don’t envy the job she has. I’m finding it stressful enough just to coordinate the people who are presenting for HigherEd BlogCon. And I had a hard enough time planning a wedding for 25 people! Just imagine planning the equivalent of a three-day wedding for more than 2,000 people. Most of the logistical problems with CIL (too few bathrooms, lack of wireless, too small concourse) were due to the limitations of the space at the Hilton. Hopefully next year the Hyatt will have some free wireless, more bathrooms and fountain drinks that cost less than $3.00.
ITI knows how to do a conference right. They constantly show their presenters that they are valued, they know how to schmooze the bloggers, they know how to get people into the exhibits (with receptions and CyberTours), and they treat their attendees well by having free receptions, breakfast, and a neverending supply of cold water. Can you imagine ALA doing any of that? To me, it really is a model for how a conference should be run.