The bits of magic in between

My 3 days at the ACURIL Conference in Jamaica held a few quiet surprises like no conference has for me. There is, of course, the location itself—not the run-of-the-mill convention center we usually spend days in during such events. The level of interest, stories and shared learning between the presenters and attendees was really apparent.

Being in a concentrated environment like a conference can be intense, tiring, intriguing, and ultimately like compressing a year of conversations, thoughts, and learning into a few days. And then there is that little bit of magic in between the presentations and forums that impresses itself on us in unexpected ways. The conversations and personal calls-to-action are very often the deepest reward of the experience—like little bits of magic that spark or flit minds for days. These are what keep us returning, (even though there is the lure of Power Point marathons and the feverish searches to find a good wireless connections). 

Sitting here in the airport waiting for my flight back to Charlotte, I feel the resonant glow of the simple—yet propelling—magic of human interaction, connection—a little bit of Jamaican magic I’m taking home with me.

Now, how can we weave the spark and promise of these little bits of magic into those next presentation proposals?



People Want Experiences

It’s my second day in beautiful Jamaica! Had a wonderful presentation experience this morning with a ballroom full of dedicated and ready-to-innovate library professionals.  After my presentation, I had many good talks with members of the conference. What I realize again and again is that ultimately what everyone is wanting (and needing) is to have a memorable experience–whether user, staff, administrator or simply on-looker. How to create an experience? Start by telling a story. A strong and meaningful story. Your story. The story of your community or the group you want to reach. Tell your story in the way that will reach your intended audience. Pictures and images (shall I say “realia”) can help in the telling immensely!

By the way: these giant chess pieces (in the picture above) are on the grounds of the Rose Hall Resort where the conference is taking place. Simply seeing them sitting there under and tent as the thunder rang in the sky and the ocean lapped near me made me feel as if I were in a type of nouveau fairytale. Ah, story a story begins to develop…