This group is designed to facilitate discussion around the decision facing the Music Library Association and the Theatre Library Association regarding whether to have a face-to-face or virtual conference in 2021.

Interacting with vendors

4 replies, 5 voices Last updated by  Karen Berry 1 month, 4 weeks ago
  • Author
  • #31415

    Susannah Cleveland

    How might we create spaces that substitute for or improve upon the traditional face-to-face experience with exhibitors?

  • #31438

    Treshani Perera

    Depending on platform used for virtual meeting, breakout rooms might be a good venue for interactions with vendors. Ideally, conference attendees would have the choice to pick which vendors they want to interact with, but this could be a random assignment as well.

    I also think that short vendor presentations (pre-recorded videos) could be made available before the conference, so that attendees can make individual appointments during/after the conference.

  • #31439

    James L. Zychowicz

    In addition to breakout rooms or other virtual space that could be part of MLA’s meeting platform, services also exist that create virtual exhibit halls. The latter firms resemble in some ways the convention services firms that MLA knows from the ways it shapes physical meeting spaces. It may be useful to explore the virtual exhibit hall services to arrive at a checklist of elements to offer exhibitors.  At the same time, it may be useful for MLA members to indicate to the task force the kinds of information and interactions they want to have, to see if those can be addressed.

  • #31989

    Nara Newcomer

    The ability to make appointments and to try out electronic resources (maybe short trial period logins, like some vendors already distributed in the past) are important. Also useful would be time window (s) with an open room (like Zoom, but whatever platform) where I could drop in for discussion with vendors but also having colleagues in the room – to hear from my colleagues their questions and how they are using the products.

  • #37624

    Karen Berry

    I attended NASIG a few months ago, and their approach was to let vendors present in a lightning round session.  I appreciated this approach, as I personally don’t really have the institutional means to have worthwhile one-on-one engagement with vendors,  but still benefit a lot from being able to see what the latest products and trends are.  I think that this could be a great opportunity in addition to what everyone else has suggested above.

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