Non-traditional conferences

Don’t get me wrong. I love library conferences. I’ve attended SLA every year for the past 10 years and I’m registered for SLA 2011. I attended the much smaller APLIC conference when I worked in demography. Last year I attended PaLA for the first time and had a blast.

But, sometimes we need to take a break from talking to each other and go to some different conferences. I came across two blog posts on this subject this week:

On Library Attack, Kendra Levine writes about going to conferences in her subject area – to learn about what is going on in the research community, and to make new partnerships for herself and the librarian community. She points out that no one will see librarians as an important part of the research community if we don’t see ourselves that way.

On 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, a group of writers talk about their favorite “non-traditional” conferences. While this post isn’t specifically related to libraries, it makes the point that there are lots of different kinds of conferences out there.

In my new job at a non-profit, there are few relevant academic conferences and there is less money for travel and professional development, but I’ve still been able to get to relevant events. I’ve been to stamp shows – where I’m mostly working at a booth, but I host a meeting for other librarians and try to get to as many seminars as I can. I’ve also been to a symposium that includes both academics and hobbyists (a really interesting mix).

What non-traditional conferences do you attend – non-library conferences, or non-traditional library conferences?