A New and Improved Conference in 2013

This Plan is Our Plan:
Connect, Collaborate and Strategize for a Better SLA Annual Conference

Plans for SLA 2013 in San Diego are shaping up. The 2013 event reflects exciting new features that YOU, the members of SLA, have called for in recent surveys, discussions on the leadership list, recommendations to the 2011 CE task force, and conference attendee feedback.  The San Diego conference will be more focused, more flexible, and support more collaboration among units.

What’s new and different for 2013?

  • Fewer but better CE sessions.  Continuing education will be offered on a single day (Saturday), and ALL CE programming will be Division-based and vetted according to SLA Professional Development standards.  Divisions decide for themselves how much to charge for their CE sessions within a wider range of cost options.  Association-sponsored professional development courses have moved online as to not compete with division offerings at conference.  

Think quality, not quantity:  These courses will provide focused learning opportunities that will have     a true impact on practical skills, knowledge development, and career advancement.  Our goal is for educational content to be of immediate, problem-solving relevance, with actionable takeaways.

  • Conference will start and end a bit earlier.  Opening events a full day early will allow us to close the conference Tuesday evening, thus potentially saving the Association money on convention center rental costs and saving you the cost of a hotel night and an additional day out of the office. 

The schedule does reduce the total number of programming slots by one, but divisions are already getting creative in response:  they’re collaborating more and experimenting with new ways to produce events, such as holding an annual business meeting and educational programming online, outside of conference.

  • Four 120-minute time slots provide opportunities to dig deeper into the most relevant topics and offer more advanced programming.  Divisions have been asking for greater flexibility for in-depth programming – you have been heard!
  • Leadership development training is integrated and expanded.  The pre-conference Leadership Development Institute has been replaced by broader leadership development programming during the conference, and all interested members are invited to attend.
  • The Awards event will be held on Sunday, encouraging broad participation in a re-conceptualized program.
  • Tours move to Wednesday.  We’ll still have the great tours you won’t want to miss, or you can just stay over to enjoy San Diego

Focus on Relevance

Relevant and engaging program content is at the heart of a successful SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO.  To build the strongest possible program, the Annual Conference Advisory Council, in conjunction with SLA staff, will review all requests for programs.  We expect to decrease the number of under-attended sessions, encourage collaboration among units, and ensure that we are providing our members with opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge, hone expertise, advance and expand their careers, contribute to the success of their organizations, and become leaders of the profession.

Looking into the Future Together – We’re FUTURE READY

This plan is well-aligned with your SLA Board’s strategic vision.   We all recognize that the annual conference is SLA’s biggest membership benefit, as well as our largest source of income.  

Our commitment in response to your feedback is to increase collaboration across SLA’s divisions in pursuit of more focused, refined content. The result?  Planners’ collective professional experience and institutional knowledge will ensure conference programming is relevant to your needs, providing a range of options from the highly specific to the broadly accessible.

Together, we can make our shared experience in 2013 the best SLA Annual Conference yet!

See you in San Diego!

Ann Koopman
Division Cabinet Chair-Elect
Board Liaison to the 2013 Annual Conference Advisory Council


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2 responses to “A New and Improved Conference in 2013”

  1. Harry F. Brooks IV says:

    Plz think of all the members who could not attend at home and overseas:
    #1 provide as many webinars or digital “blasts” of key speakers or at least of all the SLA organizational meetings;
    #2 afterward post on the SLA website as many of the digitized speakers and panels as well as their handouts/powerpoints as possible;
    #3 allow us at home to input questions beforehand that might be posed during the Q

  2. […] Having had the honor to serve as chair for the 2013 Annual Conference Advisory Council, I know how much work has gone into making sure that this year’s conference meets members’ expectations. Feedback from post-conference surveys and a task force evaluation of CE sessions were factored into the decision to try a few new things this year.  (See “A New and Improved Conference in 2013”.) […]

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