On the Road
A monthly look at upcoming ITI conferences
By Nancy Garman
Planning is already underway
for Information Today, Inc.'s (ITI) fall conferences: Internet Librarian and
KMWorld & Intranets. Internet Librarian will be held Nov. 35 in Monterey,
Calif. Please consider joining us as a speaker by submitting a proposal for
a presentation (http://www.infotoday.com/il2003).
We're also putting the finishing touches on the KMWorld & Intranets programs
this month. In an upcoming column, I'll tell you more about how the program-planning
process works. Hint: It's a jigsaw puzzle of gigantic proportions.
Now it's April and springtime in New York. That means it's time to think
seriously about registering for InfoToday 2003, which will be held May 68.
The discount ends April 11.
Why InfoToday? What makes it different from other industry conferences? An
important question, especially since InfoToday will be held just a few weeks
earlier than SLA's Annual Conference (which is also in New York this year).
This column includes my insider's top-10 reasons why InfoToday is worth the
money and why it makes sense to attend the event even if you also plan to go
to SLA in June.
The New, Improved InfoToday
If you haven't been to InfoToday (the old National Online Meeting) in the
last few years, take a close look at the "new and improved" conference as it
has evolved under the direction of Dick Kaser, ITI's vice president of content.
The National Online Meeting used to be packed with dry papers on narrow topics,
and the program often played second fiddle to the wheeling, dealing, and meetings
going on in the exhibit hall, coffee shop, and elsewhere. Now, after 2 years
of careful development, InfoToday stands on its own as a practical, focused
conference for info pros, librarians, and library managers.
The Top-10 Reasons to Attend InfoToday
1. Three conferences in one eventInfoToday comprises three
conferences: National Online, KnowledgeNets, and E-Libraries. You'd have to
travel to several separate events to get the depth and variety you'll find
at InfoToday. Expert searcher and ONLINE editor Marydee Ojala organizes
National Online, Jane Dysart heads up KnowledgeNets, and Pamela Cibbarelli
and Deb Wiley co-chair E-Libraries. You can attend the conference that meets
your needs or create a personalized conference agenda by buying a Gold or Platinum
Pass that lets you attend sessions at all three events.
2. Focus, cohesion, organizationThe organized and collaborative
program-planning effort delivers six conference tracks that offer an integrated
learning experience. InfoToday is not a smorgasbordit provides a carefully
thought-out program in which sessions, tracks, and topics complement each other
and are designed to build a comprehensive agenda.
3. Digital LibrariesAn entire 3-day track of E-Libraries
concentrates on everything you need to know about digital libraries, including
collections, design, taxonomies, digital rights issues, and management. If
you're working on a digital library project or are about to get started on
one, don't miss this track.
4. KnowledgeNetsIf you can't get to KMWorld in the fall
or need to know more about knowledge management strategies, tools, and practices
now, the KnowledgeNets conference is right for you. Dysart has scheduled a
subset of the excellent speakers who are featured at KMWorld. Get up to speed
quickly on KM in two tracks and 3 intense days at KnowledgeNets.
5. World-class search expertsHear the world's top search
experts at National Online and get current with the latest tools and skills
you need to maintain your edge as a professional online searcher. Ojala understands
what searchers need to know and has rounded up a top-notch group of experienced
speakers to cover search tools and resources. National Online offers 3 days
of intensive sessions on practical online searching tips and techniques.
6. Pricing and valueThe registration fee for InfoToday
(or for any one of the three conferences) is more than SLA's, especially if
you're an SLA member. However, add in the cost for specially ticketed SLA events
and then take a look at InfoToday's Platinum Pass. It includes 2 full days
of workshops in addition to a pass that lets you attend any track at any of
the three InfoToday conferences. And don't forget the free "Breakfast with
the Brass" CEO panel; other free breakfasts, breaks, and receptions; plus the
half-day Content Management Symposium. What a deal.
7. Location, location, locationThe InfoToday events and
exhibit hall are conveniently located at the New York Hilton. You could spend
a lot of time, money, and shoe leather traipsing around New York to the three
SLA conference venues, or you can find everything you need and want neatly
packaged in one place at InfoToday.
8. The Content Management SymposiumHas the job of content
manager become one of your changing roles or new assignments? This special
half-day forum crosses all three conferences and gives InfoToday attendees
a quick, in-depth grounding in content management tools and strategies for
libraries and related organizations. You'll return to your library prepared
to step up to the plate in this important area.
9. Pre- and post-conference seminarsChoose from 21 pre-
and post-conference workshops, including three full-day seminars scheduled
for May 5: Searcher Academy; KM Concepts, Methods & Practice; and Library
Automation from A to Z. As a bonus, these intensive, small-group tutorials
(which are bundled with lunch) provide opportunities to network with colleagues
who have similar interests.
10. Practical, take-home, use-now informationInfoToday
2003 is designed for the working librarian or information professional. New
trends and technology sessions are good mind-stretchers, and the event's networking,
receptions, and tours are lots of fun. But in this budget-driven economy, you
need to justify your conference expenditures by picking up practical tips and
information. We guarantee that you'll leave InfoToday with ideas you can put
to work immediately in your organization.
you can see, there are plenty of reasons to attend InfoToday 2003. Track me
down at the conference and tell me why you decided to go. Or if you don't attend,
send me an e-mail and tell me why. We're always looking for ways to improve
our conference programs. Let me know what you think.
Garman is Information Today, Inc.'s director of conference
program planning. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.