Conference reflections

June 11, 2007

For my sins I am heavily involved in organising the OpenLearn 2007 conference (October 29-31st). I should admit that I do not have a lot of conference organisation experience myself but have help on hand to cover some of that. What makes this extra challenging is that the conference has some distinctive aspects: it is not seeking to charge fees, it is looking for research angles on an emerging area, and there is a great deal of local interest (which I don’t want to discourage but I do want to balance). An early decision was to hold the conference in a commercial conference venue near the Open University rather than in the OU itself. I was having a few qualms about this as it means we really need to get our numbers right, so went across to have a look again a few days ago. The centre is just across the road and does offer lovely facilities – nice big rooms, constant coffee bar, and for all delegates access to an on-site gym with swimming pool. The accommodation on site for those who wish to stay also means that we should really be able to get together without the distraction of transporting people around. So I am now convinced that it will be a great experience for those who come, though we won’t have an elastic capacity to handle late bookers.

The initial paper deadline has also just passed and that is another relief – I know from experience that people do not give you things much before a deadline, but it was great to go from a handful of papers to enough to run the conference as the deadline passed. I did ok an extension (to 25th June) as we know there are a few stragglers and to remain open to them we should remain open to everyone (so if you are reading this before then thinking about sending in a short paper you can do so – definitely the way to guarantee first options on places when booking opens.)


2 Responses to “Conference reflections”

  1. Hey, I noticed in your link to the conference, you have a comma after www instead of a period. So the link doesn’t work. 🙂

  2. Patrick Says:

    Hi Marion,
    Thank you very much! Now fixed.

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