Leaking Information No One Ever Tells You about Attending an IATEFL Conference

Here is some insider information from someone who is having a GREAT time but has learned some things I’m sure no one thought to tell you before attending a  HUGE international IATEFL Conference in Britain.

Photo by Omri Epstein

Number One:

Computer bags with wheels don’t do well on cobble stones. Nor on mock cobble stones. Quite a few of the sidewalks too.

Number Two:

The hiding place of the water cooler is in the book fair. A quick run down the elevator is the fastest way to fill up your water bottle and be back in the lecture area in time for the next talk.

Number Three:

People in Liverpool are incredibly friendly and patient with Bozos who don’t know what is what when it come to British coins.

Number Four:

Don’t arrange to meet someone by the reception desk at lunch time and THEN go off to find lunch. When there are 2,500 people at one conference, all the eateries at the venue and beside it, literally run out of food. If you want to eat without going too far you have to be off like a shot.

Number Five:

It’s the WONDERFUL company that counts, not the food! It seems to be “Sandwich Heaven” around here. At this rate I’m beginning to look forward to cooking again…

Number Six:

No need to abstain from using your laptop before your presentation for fear of not having “juice”. Turns out the “Quiet Room” for presenters is absolute VIP treatment – from tea and coffee to electricity and even assistance for those who need it! oh, and did I mention cookies?

Number Seven:

Keyboards are different. Surprising. As so many people are logging onto the wifi it crashes so it’s really helpful to use the computer area. The symbols such as @ and quotation marks are in completely different places. Since my computer most certainly was manufactured abroad, I didn’t expect that.

Number Eight

When there is so much going on, so many people to talk to and so much new information (the days are really long),  it IS actually quite refreshing to sit and drink quietly alone for a while. I believe in tea, by the way.

The most important thing is to ENJOY ENJOY and ENJOY!


4 thoughts on “Leaking Information No One Ever Tells You about Attending an IATEFL Conference”

  1. Loved this reflection, Naomi! Reminds me of my IATEFL trip to Brighton. Coming from Canada I was clueless about everything from currency, to tipping, to crossing the street! Say hi to everyone from me!

  2. I’m so jealous. I grew up in England. I live by “start with coffee, but don’t forget to switch to tea.” I should be there witth all hat ggood company. Enjoy, and please share some of your talk with us when you have a chance. Sandy did a great summary, but you need to fill in the gaps… pretty please?

  3. Thanks for this lovely insight into your experience there. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.


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