Those IT Folks Sure Can Party!

Tuesday night was the IT division dance party, co-sponsored with the Leadership and Management Division and the Physics – Astronomy – Mathematics Division. I only just realized what I was missing in 2006 when I discovered the party near the end of the night in Baltimore. This is the dance party of the conference, especially this year since Thomson was not. These folks put on a great party with lots of good music. I got a pedometer for my birthday because I was curious just how much I walked on an average work day. The answer, by the way, is that I am pretty inactive, sitting in front of my computer all day.

Conferences, of course, are different, and I was easily reaching the recommended daily step count of 10,000 (this is quite a bit, more than you would think – for me, it is about 3 miles). I showed up to the dance party hovering around the 10,000 mark, but when I left, I was close to 18,000. I definitely had my boogie shoes on! I actually spent quite a bit of time dancing with my Westlaw Librarian Relations rep. He’s got some fast and fancy footwork!

I also met a librarian from the EPA who had been at the Public Policy Update earlier in the day (this will be re-capped in a separate post). She complimented me on the questions I had asked, and seemed to truly think they were good questions that needed asking. She was very nice and likes to dance, too, so we spent quite a bit of time dancing together. Glad to say I’ve already added her to my LinkedIn account.

I left the dance party just before it ended at midnight. When I got to my hotel, I walked past a woman I had met on Sunday. She is very nice and a lot of fun (she did karaoke, too), but, unlike me, she likes the beer. She appears to be quite the partier, although it might just come out once a year at the conference (one woman on the dance floor exclaimed that she was a mom and never got out, so she was spending the whole night on the dance floor).

Anyway, she had obviously had A LOT to drink and was sitting outside of the hotel with some guy I didn’t know. I walked passed into the hotel, had a second thought, and doubled-back. I was a little uncertain because I didn’t want to offend anyone, but I said “I’m sorry, but I just have to ask. [Woman’s name], do you know this guy?” And she slurred, yes, this is so-and-so, and then proceeded to tell me a long unfunny drunken joke. During the telling, she called the guy by his last name, like if someone from work just called me Barker in a familiar way, so I was pretty sure he wasn’t just some random guy who was trying to take advantage. I really didn’t want to come across as a prude or anything – I could care less if they hooked up for the night. I just wanted to be sure she was going to get back to her hotel okay and the guy wasn’t a creep. I would have wanted someone to do the same for me in that situation because sometimes you end up with a creepy guy tagging along that you have a hard time ditching.

That’s about it for the parties of which I partook at the conference. There was an all conference reception after the closing session, but so many people leave on Wednesday that there were probably only 200 or so people there, and I didn’t know many of them. And again with the beer and wine only.

So, there you have it. 4 nights and 6 parties, and I made a good contact at each one. I actually ran out of business cards this year, which was a shame and a little embarrassing. Usually, I bring a ton and have most of them left at the end of the conference. This year I didn’t bring as many and ran out. I think the more of these you go to, the more comfortable you are with the whole process and the more cards you need. All in all, I had a great time!