Saturday, June 23, 2007

Exhibits at ALA & SLA

What's the difference between the exhibits at the American Library Association (ALA) and the Special Libraries Association (SLA) annual conferences?

A lot of them are the same companies. One difference is that the women reps at SLA this year in Denver were hotter than the women at the ALA booths in Washington, DC. At SLA, I'd rate the woman at about 7.5. From what I've seen at ALA so far, I can only award a rating of 6.5.

But the really big difference, which I'm sure people who have been to both have noticed, is that there is no free food at the ALA exhibits! You have to pay for everything, and the food offered for sale at the Washington DC Convention Center is grotesquely overpriced. At SLA, you could eat all day long in the exhibits. Free food and drink everywhere! But today at ALA--nothing!

Is the free food coming? Maybe it will arrive Sunday--or Monday at the latest? What are exhibits worth without free lunch or free desserts or free drinks like I got at SLA?

I haven't been to the ALA conference in several years. Is this the way it always is? No food? You have to buy that expensive garbage they sell there? I take this to mean the vendors don't feel they need to offer free food at ALA. They've got the librarians on a leash. No point in spending money when you don't need to. ALA, the bigger conference of the two, seems more of a prole event, while SLA caters to a more refined audience.