First time at the ARMA Annual Conference? Having attended ARMA Annual Conferences, on and off, for many years, Richard Bond, Head of Research Administration at the University of the West of England offers the following advice for newcomers on what to bring with you and what to take away to make the most of the ARMA Conference 2016.

What to bring:

  • A friendly smile – the most valuable part of the Conference is the opportunity to meet lots of interesting and helpful people, so be friendly and approachable.
  • A blank notebook/tablet/laptop– for environmental reasons, ARMA no longer provide notebooks but you’ll definitely need something for the copious notes taken from numerous presentations which may seem unforgettable at the time but sadly are less so by the time you get back to the office.
  • Business cards/LinkedIn details (or whatever the latest appropriate social medium is!) – for all those useful contacts you’re going make, and hopefully keep.
  • An open mind – you may be encouraged to look at things differently so come prepared to think ‘outside the box’!


What to take away:

  • A full notebook/tablet/laptop – packed with lots of information, contacts and great ideas you’ve gleaned, including some ideas you may have even have had yourself in those occasional but important moments of reflection.
  • Good intentions – no doubt you’ll have lots of these but try and focus on a small number of do-able actions that will make a real difference in your role.
  • A sense of community – so, you are no longer alone but actually part of a large community of like-minded people, in the UK and across the world, who share many of the same interests and challenges.
  • Happy memories of the gala dinner, and probably slightly more blurry ones of dancing into the early hours…