Thursday, 21 June 2012

Event Organisation

This month, I dipped my toe in the water of event organisation. This is the first time I’ve been involved in any events since I moved jobs last year. In the school library (where I worked previously), I often organised events in the library such as books fairs, author visits, quizzes for visiting primary schools, or I’d take a bus load of students out to events. In my current job of Systems Librarian, events aren’t particularly part of my daily remit, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to do something I’m not generally involved with anymore.

The first event was a CILIP West Midlands branch visit to Sandwell Community History and Archives Service (CHAS). I did not conduct the tour, but helped with the logistics of the day. I represented the committee by greeting attendees and thanking our hosts afterwards. It was a relatively small scale visit with 8 attendees and 2 hosts, but the venue was fairly intimate in size so the group worked quite nicely. It’s been a while since I’d done anything like this so I was a little nervous, and was relieved when I found an attendee willing to write a piece about the visit for the branch newsletter (initially when I’d asked nobody volunteered). From the point of view of being a local resident, I found the behind the scenes tour very interesting, especially when we were able to see areas and artefacts which members of the public are not allowed access to.

The second event was a copyright workshop held in the college in which I work. The head librarian invited a member of the CLA education team to give a workshop on copyright for colleges, and I assisted with the logistics of it by organising refreshments and the room layout. I also made sure attendees knew where to go at the end of the workshop and filled in feedback forms. There were 19 people in attendance at the event with a lively question and answer session drawing it to a close.

Do I miss being in a position to fully organise events? If I’m being completely honest, I guess I do miss the buzz a little, but my daily job is so busy I haven’t given it any thought until now. There’s a definite sense of achievement after a successful event in knowing you had a small hand in it behind the scenes. I wonder if all event organisers get nervous beforehand, as I always have done? If I decide that event organisation is something I’d like to do more of, I know the opportunity is there to help out with CILIP WM committee.

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