At the end of the first day of the SPARC Digital Repository conference, attendees gathered for the innovation fair compete with entertainment provided in-house. The reception began with a chance for people to look at posters set up around the room with information about creative programs sponsored by various institutions.
Then, 20 brave souls lined up to have their turn at the microphone to share everything there was to know about their poster projected on the big screen.
The kicker: The time limit was just two minutes—and not a second more. Indeed, a buzzer cut off the speaker—sometimes mid-sentence—to stick to the tight format. When there was a momentary buzzer failure, the timer gave a verbal: “beep, beep, beep,” much to the delight of the audience.
Some speakers moseyed up to chat a bit about their slide, only to realize when their time was up before they were halfway done. Others dove right in and plowed through without a breath as if they were getting every word into a quick radio commercial. Some were well rehearsed – even memorizing their pitch – and were visibly pleased when they concluded their talk just as the buzzer went off, punching their arms into the air in victory.
The power-packed session left the audience with a wealth of new ideas from how to market their repositories on Twitter, better track deposits, and build partnerships to enhance collections. For those that beat the clock and managed to convey their spiel, they were rewarded was hearty applause and a few “whoo-hoos” of admiration and support.