LILAC – a first-timer’s perspective

Or.  What to wear and will anyone talk to me?


I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t spend a huge amount of time deciding what to pack for LILAC 2018.  I’ve never been to anything other than a one day conference and it’s years since I’ve been away from home for work.  Pah!  You’re never too old to try summut new.  What did I do?

Feet First

Comfort won out on the whole smart versus sensible debate.  Even if your journey to and from conference doesn’t involve pelting up, and then very rapidly back down, multiple sets of station steps to change platforms all whilst wielding a weighty bit of wheeled luggage – you’ll thank me for making a similarly pragmatic choice.  There was a lot of walking at LILAC.  Walking between sessions.  Walking to and from your chosen crash pad. Walking to and from various nighttime venues and so on…  I’ll have you know that I amassed some 49,292 steps over the three days.  Can you beat that?  I don’t know why I even asked, I know that you can!


This one is totally up to you. The organising committee were all decked out in LILAC logo’d tees and sweatshirts which set an informal and approachable tone to the whole affair.  Those who presented/ran workshops tended towards the statement dress/jacket/shirt-sometimes-tie end of the sartorial spectrum.  Most other folks opted for smart casual.  And of course, let’s not forget that sporting lilac clothing, accessories, hair and nails is part of the bonding experience and is well rewarded.

Evening Events

Some folks changed into something smarter for the Networking Evening.  I opted to stay in my day clothes, although I did leave my orange coat at the cloakroom.


For the Conference Dinner everyone was in something a little more dressy.  Not full-length taffeta gown and tux, but a smattering of bare shoulders and the shirts were smart.

Will Anyone Talk To Me?

Yes, they totally will.  I travelled alone and I wasn’t meeting anyone from my own organisation at Conference.  However, if you are an old bird in a very bright orange coat…  Folks will spot you at New Street, welcome you into the Premier Inn Posse and make sure that you don’t walk home from the Conference Dinner alone.  Thank you Premier Inn Posse.

If you’d like to be formally taken under a wing there was a buddy system in place.  I’d recommend this if you aren’t coming with anyone from your own workplace, or if you don’t know if anyone else you know will be there, or if you just want a friendly face at break time.

Next Time

I’d like a delegate list.  Maybe there was one and I’ve failed to find it.  If there was one/will be one in the future I would have happily have used it, both ahead of, and after the conference.  Beforehand I’d have happily nobbled former colleagues for a pre-conference conflab, I might even have tried to co-ordinate my accommodation choice.  Post conference it would be useful to follow up contacts.  Sometimes all you catch is a first name and an institution.  For instance. I’m Penny from Brookes.  The Old Bird In The Orange Coat.


Creator of the Crocheted Copyright Symbol.


I’m very pleased to have met you and I really enjoyed my first LILAC.


That’s all for today.  Do please share your top tips for first timers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s