Conference Life Well-Lived: A Great Development Opportunity

Anna Richards, DMU

For Anna, being a conference planning team member, was an eye opening and rich learning journey

When the call went out for people to join the Mercian Collaboration Conference Group I felt a mixture of uncertainty and excitement at the thought of trying something new. I’d never helped organise a conference before which felt like a daunting and potentially difficult task. In the end though, the challenge of trying something new drew me in and I signed up.

I’m so glad I did! Everyone involved is very talented, friendly and helpful, which made the process much less difficult and overwhelming than I worried it would be! We all pooled ideas and resources, but also took responsibility for certain roles and this meant I could play to my strengths. We also learned from each other’s experiences too.

In the end, all our hard work paid off and the day was a great success. We had speakers from across the region sharing best practice and innovation on a range of topics and had delegates from nearly every institution in the Mercian Collaboration. As is often the case at conferences, I couldn’t attend all the parallel sessions I would have liked to, turns out this even more of a problem when you’re helping organise. However, from what I saw and heard, I really believe the conference showcased the great talent and innovation existing within Mercian Collaboration libraries.

I’m so glad I took up the opportunity to join the conference committee, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone considering standing for a role. It was a very rewarding experience and a great opportunity to work with colleagues across the region. I know I’m going to miss working with everyone on the team, and wish them every success for #Mercian18!

Anna Richards, DMU

For more information about joining the Conference Group, contact Emma Walton ( or Gaz J Johnson (