One of the things about conferences that you can never plan for is the serendipitous moments that are often far more valuable than the planned sessions on your schedule. Today I walked out of the Will Shortz keynote speech planning to kill time for awhile and noticed a sign for the Learning Round Table's Training Showcase. I don't know if this event was on the schedule or not, but if it was I missed it. However, as someone who does a lot of staff training, particularly lately, the title caught my eye so I wandered over, planning to just do a quick walk around the tables and then go on my way.
Instead of my drive-by browsing, I got what was definitely the most useful thing I did all day. I talked to several of the people staffing the tables (a mix of publishers, other librarians, and consultant types) and got a great example of a program that I might try a version of at work, some information about a possible professional development opportunity for myself, and an interesting chat with a publisher setting some books I might recommend to my boss that we buy. Then to top it all off, I won a door prize as well. I'm even thinking of joining the Learning Round Table as a result of the event.
This was also delightful proof that sometimes it pays to be lazy, because my original plan was scrapped mostly because it required a walk to another building, while this event was right where I happened to be anyway. If I had stuck to my pre-set schedule I would never have found this hidden gem of an offering, and would have considered it a mostly wasted day.