Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Bond villains, why tea is the answer to most things and spreadsheets galore - it's Interlend 2013!

I'd like to start my post in the style of all good Bond villains - T(ea) minus 8 days and counting (see what I did there?)

Yes it's not long now until Interlend 2013 and with that in mind it's a good time to talk about tea, and why it is the answer to most things. Reading Mark's post FIL Interlend 2013 Conference - I'm here now what do I do? and those of my other fellow FIL bloggers has reminded me what's most valuable about attending conferences and events - meeting people in the tea breaks and finding out what they're doing! So many of the useful ideas I have brought back from events like this are from having a chat with a fellow interlender about what projects they're working on at the moment - it really broadens my horizons and I always get useful tips that I can use when I get back to work.

My first Interlend conference was 2012 in Worcester, and have to say for any first timers out there don't worry - FIL folk are really welcoming and the conference was full of practical stuff about the day to day things we all deal with. It was really easy to ask questions and chat to people, so I can highly recommend;
  1. Being nosy, and asking people what they are up to in their organisations (all in the name of CPD obviously)
  2. Ask a question (especially if you think it might be a stupid question, I can guarantee at least one other person in the room will be thinking exactly the same thing) and
  3. When you return to work full of ideas but get a reality check with the daily grind, don't feel bad when you don't implement everything you learned immediately
This last one is really tricky - it's great when you attend conferences and get enthused with ideas you can try out but it's easy to get despondent when you get back to work and it seems so hard to implement any of your ideas due to financial / staffing / day to day stuff. What I did last year was pick one small thing out of my list of ideas to start after the conference - doing this made it feel achievable and it really did make a difference so it was a positive step.

After Interlend 2012 I was so enthused I joined the committee and took on the role of membership secretary. As membership secretary I look after new members who are joining FIL and take bookings for our events. So far it's been a really interesting and valuable thing - with the rest of the committee I help to plan events of interest to our lovely members and it helps keep me abreast of new ideas and issues in interlending. Looking after the bookings has given me a chance to try out new tools, like the Google form we used for Interlend bookings this year so our delegates could book online (which produces the most satisfying spreadsheet!) I had always found previous FIL events so useful and it feels good now to be giving something back and helping to organise current events, even though that means I sometimes seem to spend a lot of time looking at multiple spreadsheets...

With the bookings all sorted now, I'm looking forward to attending Interlend and meeting up with the membership (over a nice cuppa of course.)

Natalie Guest
FIL membership secretary

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