So you’ve got your registration sussed, travel arrangements have been made, you’ve got somewhere to stay and you’ve run your eye over the programme so you’ve got an idea about what sessions you might like to go to.  But if you’re from out of town and aren’t familiar with Christchurch how are you going to find your way around?

We don’t want lost librarians wandering aimlessly about the inner city making it look all untidy so we humbly present for your perusal a one-stop shop of maps so you’ll be able to navigate your way around the place.

Our Google map features all sorts of handy info, like the locations of ATMs, hotels and coffee spots as well as SOL Square.  Full map available here.

Once you’re in the Convention Centre you might want to know what’s what in which case you’ll want to check out their floorplan so you’ll be able to negotiate the crowds and beeline it for the loos when you need to (click on the little red bubbles on the floorplan to see video of the interior).

If those walking times between your accommodation and the Convention Centre are a little longer than you’d like then you may wish to take advantage of the central city’s free shuttle bus.  They’re yellow and they come along every 15 minutes or so and are a godsend at the end of a long day.

More Christchurch maps are available here and if there’s anything you’d like added to the Google map (nearest place to buy a cardy, bun-crafting hairdressers, optometrists selling chains for your glasses etc.) then leave us a comment and we’ll pop it on the map for you.

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presenting at Conference can be this easy!

Presenting at Conference can be this easy!

So you submitted an abstract

Then your abstract was accepted – HUZZAHH!!!

Your session is listed in the Conference Programme

And you’ve booked your flights and accommodation in Christchurch.

But the last few nights have been horrible.  You’ve tossed and turned, driven away your partner, counted all of the rivots in the ceiling, and sweated through your favourite pyjamas.

You tried to attend a Conference Presentation Session but they were always the same night as your Star Trek marathons, or the local “stitch and bitch”, and it was just too dark or too hot to get off the couch… 

Now EEEEKKK!!! Conference is only a few days away.

What will you say?  How will you say it?

What if the delegates all get bored to sleep by your powerpoint?

Before you find yourself rocking under the table, here’s something that may help.

Moira Fraser and Paddy Plunket ran a series of workshops during May that focused on how to deliver great presentations.  Their top tips are:

  • Always focus on telling your audience something that will be important or interesting to them. 
  • Start by telling your audience WHY you think what you have to say will be  important or interesting to them.  This is a useful statement to work out in advance because it helps you stay focussed on your “value proposition”.  Audience members that know why a presentation is useful will pay attention to it differently and remember it better. An example of this kind of statement is “I hope that by the end of my presentation you will have a good understanding of some of the things to do, and some of the things to avoid, when starting up a new service for elderly users”, or “this will give you a framework for designing an information literacy programme in any kind of library or information service”.
  • Audiences remember better the more involved they are in the presentation.  In the hierarchy of involvement listening is near the bottom!  Quizzes, practical exercises and discussions require the kind of involvement that helps people to remember.
  • Your voice and your body are the most important and sophisticated delivery technology available to you.  Work on delivering your presentation in a confident and engaging tone and with strong body language.

Aoraki held a session in April during which Sally Thompson and Aurelia Arona (amongst others) spoke generally about doing a presentation and what to put on your powerpoint.  Their powerpoints are available online on the Conference Slideshare and contain many good ideas. 

But if you’re still chewing on your computer keyboard, there may still be time to register for the LIANZA Ikaroa presentation skills session.  It’s being held next Tuesday (29 September) at Massey University.  See their page on the LIANZA website for more information and to register online.

If all else fails, don’t forget, the delegates are interested in hearing what you have to say, and they are not there to give you a hard time.  They will forgive you your stumbles, and the odd powerpoint slide.  And there’s always light at the end of the gin bottle…

Do you have any other good ideas?  Post them here and we can share them.

Still trying to find somewhere to stay for conference?  Perhaps the friends you were relying on are full up with their adult children boomeranging home or maybe you just haven’t got round to it yet.  Despair not, you can find amazing bargains on some last minute hotel booking web sites.

Expedia.co.nz and wotif.com are two worth trying. At the time of writing both sites had plenty of reasonably priced central city accommodation for conference week. On Expedia you can check traveller reviews where available and both have map links so you find out how close they are to the Convention Centre. Tripadvisor.com is another that has particularly good traveller reviews and all have online booking.

Trying to reduce your environmental footprint at conference?  We’ll be publishing a few tips over the next while, but one way is to choose places to stay that have sustainable environmental practices (and we’re not just talking about not changing your towels once a day.)

Qualmark have introduced an enviromark standard which assesses tourism ventures on energy efficiency, waste management and water conservation and the Crowne Plaza, one of the hotels on the accommodation list, has qualified for a bronze award.  For a full list of other Christchurch accommodation with Qualmark Enviro ratings, see the Qualmark website , or  if B&Bs are your thing, the Organic Explorer directory lists a few Christchurch B&Bs under its Canterbury section.