Marie Grace Cannon and Ruth Jenkins, delegates who were sponsored to attend the 2013 Perfect Information Conference in May of last year, tell us what was unique about the conference and why you should consider applying for the PI and SLA Europe Professional Development Award 2014 and attending the Perfect Information Conference 2014.

Ruth Jenkins: The programme for the Perfect Information Conference included the best set of sessions I’ve ever experienced. I took something away from every one I attended, and returned enthused and inspired. The sessions were varied in their content, but all relevant to today’s information professional. We had advice on planning your career development, heard about changes in user expectations of mobile content, and even some top presentation tips. The PI Conference was a wealth of knowledge. As a new professional, I learned a lot about networking, adding value, and industry hot topics; all applicable to a wide range of information settings. The conference was a wonderful opportunity to interact with colleagues of all levels and experience, and the delegates were welcoming.

PIC 2013For me, the main messages of the conference were that despite difficult economic times, library and information professionals are continuing to innovate, exploit new opportunities, and add value to their organisations. I was left feeling excited and proud to be part of such a profession. The speakers were passionate about their subjects, and that really came across throughout the conference.

Marie Grace Cannon: Along with Ruth Jenkins, I was very kindly sponsored to attend the Perfect Information Conference 2013, which was one of the best, and certainly the most unique, conferences I have attended.

Compared to previous conferences I have attended such as the SLA and BIALL annual conferences, the Perfect Information Conference is a lot more intimate,with approximately 90 delegates from primarily the legal and financial sectors. The majority of the delegates (possibly all) stayed at the Aviator Hotel, where the conference was hosted, and this meant there were numerous and constant networking opportunities. I found myself meeting people in the formal networking sessions, then constantly bumping in to the same people at breakfast and lunch and throughout the day. This meant that you had the opportunity to really get to know fellow delegates and develop meaningful relationships.

I also found that many of the delegates were very experienced professionals in senior roles, such as information managers, directors or heads of service; and so I found the networking to be particularly beneficial to me as a new professional. All of the delegates I met were very knowledgeable experts at what they do, and so I learnt about their roles and how their library services differed from my own, but importantly I was often able to find out about their extensive and varied career paths and gain advice for my own career.

I immensely enjoyed the whole Perfect Information Conference experience; from the constant networking opportunities to the sessions themselves, and I can honestly say that the quality of the sessions were truly outstanding. I was able to report a wealth of knowledge back to my team, particularly on mobile strategies and federated searching. I would just like to thank Perfect Information for hosting such an excellent conference, and I would highly recommend applying for the PI and SLA Europe Professional Development Award 2014 for the opportunity to attend PIC2014!

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