A Special Welcome to First Time Participants at iPRES 2023


Welcome to iPRES! Whether you’re a seasoned conference-goer or attending your first-ever iPRES conference, this page is your compass to make the most of your iPRES experience. Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need to feel confident, connected, and engaged throughout the conference.

Table of Contents

Activities for First Time Participants

These activities are meant to help participants meet new people and learn more about the conference.

Daily Morning Rundown

(available for both in-person and virtual attendees): Join us in the morning before/after the keynote talk to hear about activities aimed at first time participants and sessions that are especially beneficial to attend if you are newer to the field of digital preservation. 

Social Dinners

These dinners will be spaces where you can meet and chat with others in various restaurants around Champaign-Urbana. The groups will be maxed out at 10 people. Attendees will be responsible for paying for their own dinner. These dinners will take place Thursday evening.

Bingo Card

(in-person and virtual): Have fun playing bingo with our common digital preservation phrases! Listen throughout the conference for these phrases and when you have a Bingo (5 in a row) bring it to the Daily Morning Rundown for a small prize.

Virtual Get Together!

(online only): We will also have a virtual break available to chat with others and share your thoughts on the conference. Date and Time to be announced.

Conference Navigator: Resources for a Successful Conference

Understanding the Program

  • Workshops and Tutorials: These will be sessions that give you hands-on experience with different tools and methods. Keep an eye on the website for registration for these. 
  • Papers and Panels: There will be full sessions for long papers, sessions with two or more short papers (great for covering several, often related topics from different angles), and engaging panel discussions.
  • Posters: The Poster session is where researchers and practitioners from all stages of their career can present their work in a concise format.
  • Lightening talks: Are brief talks on a subject and are a great way to learn about multiple topics in a short period of time. 
  • Bake Off: The Bake off is an opportunity for developers, coders, and solution providers a chance to showcase their products and tools to solve digital preservation problems and receive feedback from others. 
  • Site visits: On Thursday, there will be virtual site visits where you can learn more about colleague’s set ups. On Saturday in Chicago there will be in-person site visits where you can visit colleagues’ spaces.

Networking Tips

  • Make sure you plan ahead for which sessions are most interesting/relevant to you. These are good places to meet others with similar interests. 
  • Prepare your 30 second “elevator pitch” before the meeting. This is a quick introduction of who you are, the organization you work for, and what you do. 
  • Be prepared with conversation starters. Some suggestions include, What are you hoping to get out of attending iPRES? Is there a session you have really enjoyed? I liked [keynote speaker’s] talk. What did you think of it? Are you also going to Chicago this weekend? 
  • If you are able to, attend some social events. The Daily Morning Rundown will be a good, quick way to connect with others. “Birds of a Feather” sessions will also be useful for meeting people with similar interests and job duties. 
  • If you arrive to a session early, you can introduce yourself to someone sitting near you (or in the chat function for remote participants) and talk about what you are hoping to learn from this session or something you learned from a previous session. 
  • Bring business cards to hand out to people you want to connect with after the conference. Follow up with others after the conference with an email or LinkedIn invite with something you remember from the conversation with them and suggest whatever follow-up is appropriate (phone call, coffee/lunch, or a “let’s keep in touch”). 
  • It is also good to take breaks if you need some alone time! There will be plenty of opportunities to meet others and you do not have to go to all of them.

Jargon Buster

The digital preservation community is filled with good resources. If you hear a term you don’t know, one resource we find useful is the Digital Preservation Handbook by the Digital Preservation Coalition.

Venue Essentials

 Stay tuned for the map’s release and make planning your conference experience a breeze.

Staying connected

The conference venue will have free Wi-Fi available. There is free guest Wi-Fi in University of Illinois buildings. Many of the cafes and restaurants also have free Wi-Fi and you can find locations on this map.

Local Insights

Location Specific Tips

  • The weather in Champaign-Urbana during September is generally around 70°F/21°C to 80°F/26°C and generally sunny. We will update this closer to the conference with any other predictions. 
  • You can find information about getting to and from Champaign-Urbana on the Travel Info webpage. This page also contains information on the bus system you can use to get around the city. You can use cash, coins, or the Token Transit app for bus rides. 
  • There is also information on getting to Chicago for the optional Chicago portion of the visit on the Chicago Travel Information webpage.
  • Food and Drinks: Houlihan’s Restaurant and Bar is located in the conference center. You can find more information about local food places on the Experience Champaign Urbana website: https://www.experiencecu.org/things-to-do/food-and-drink Please make sure the address is in Champaign or Urbana as other locations can be a half hour away from the conference. 
    • Tipping: It is customary to tip when you go to a restaurant where you sit down and the wait staff takes your order and food. For good service most people tip 18 – 20% of the bill before tax. For restaurants where you order at the counter, you can choose to tip or not. 
    • The majority of restaurants, food trucks, and stores accept credit and debit cards as well as cash.
    • Pygmalion Festival will be happening in downtown Urbana on Thursday evening so there may be more traffic, longer waits for restaurants, and more expensive ride shares. 
  • Suggestions for packing: 
    • What should you wear at the conference? There is no set dress code for the conference, but a suggestion if you have never been to a conference is to wear what you would to work and what you feel most comfortable in. Also make sure you wear comfortable shoes as you will be on your feet a bit. The conference center can sometimes be chilly so having layers like a sweater would be a good idea to pack. The weather should be comfortable enough to wear short-sleeves or dresses and skirts but also not too hot so you could be comfortable in jeans or pants. For the formal reception, feel free to dress up or wear what is comfortable for you for an evening out. 
    • Book/Kindle/Laptop/Handheld gaming device/knitting/workout clothes- The conference is packed with things to do, but sometimes it is good and necessary to unwind. Pack something that is smaller and easier to enjoy that lets you rest and recharge. 
    • A U.S. power adapter for international participants will be useful for you to bring. 
    • Business cards – don’t forget those business cards for networking!