On the Road: The Fall and Beyond
By Nancy Garman
Is your mailbox overflowing with
conference programs and reminders? I'm not surprised, since Information Today,
Inc. has five conferences on its fall conference schedule. Check the calendar
on this page for details about what's coming when and where, and make plans
now to register for the conference that best meets your needs.
WebSearch University is back in Washington, D.C., for a return engagement
in late September, followed by Internet Librarian International in mid-October
in London. KMWorld & Intranets 2004 co-locates with Streaming Media West
for a mega-event in Santa Clara, Calif., from Oct. 26 to 28, followed by Internet
Librarian in Monterey, Calif., from Nov. 15 to 17.
What's the Big Idea?
In a keynote speech at Buying & Selling eContent 2003, Larry Prusak,
widely considered the father of knowledge management, suggested that KM has
become so integrated into the fabric of how many companies do business that
it risks fading into oblivion as a stand-alone discipline or specialty. His
remarks, drawn from his recent book, What's the Big Idea?, were in the
context of how to know when and how to adopt a new idea aggressively and how
to harness the power of new ideas.
Knowledge management is a concept that has morphed and grown as organizations
recognize that knowledge is one of their greatest assets and that managing
it effectively is crucial to their success. Adopting the idea of KM also can
be a good career move for savvy info pros seeking to propel their careers in
At KMWorld & Intranets 2004, the combination of workshops, informative
conference sessions given by KM practitioners and consultants, special events,
vendor panels, briefings, and customer case studies makes the conference a
powerful learning tool for knowledge managers and information professionals.
Customize Your Curriculum
The Platinum Pass for KMWorld & Intranets is a best buy. Going platinum
lets you move freely among three tracks of the KMWorld conference, a special
Content Management track, and two Intranets tracks. Platinum perks also include
the chance to create your own conference focus by attending two half-day, pre-conference
workshops for a 4-day, total-immersion experience.
Hearing Dave Snowden and Steve Denning conduct their full-day master class
in organizational storytelling is worth the price of the conference alone.
Or, choose from half-day workshops such as Boosting Knowledge Worker Productivity,
Problem Solving (who doesn't have problems?), Intranet Standards & Best
Practice, Blogging for Knowledge Exchange, High-Performance KM for Advanced
Practitioners, Web Content Management, Taxonomy Development & Usage, or
others. Lunch is served to workshop attendees, which provides a great chance
to follow up on questions and find out more about who's doing what.
Social Networking Live!
Kick off your conference activities on Monday night after the workshops by
attending one of two special events, or you can room-hop to both of them after
dropping by the cash bar.
The Web Slam: Show Me YoursAnd I'll Show You Mine! is a lively session
giving you the chance to see behind the firewall and learn about what's happening
inside other people's intranets. This evening session was standing room only
last year and originated at one of the first Intranets conferences from a message
board posting by someone who wanted to trade ideas. Elton Billings from Remedy
Corp. moderates the praise, awe, and benchmarking commentary. He's looking
for volunteers who want to share their intranets. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
to get involved.
KM Stories @ the Pub brings together experts and novices, conference attendees,
and speakers for a session of Jumpstart Storytelling exercises that promise
to be fun and instructive. Seth Kahan has done Jumpstart Storytelling in organizations
around the world, and you'll take away a template to put this idea to work
in your own organization.
Continue your social networking at KMWorld & Intranets on Wednesday evening
at the Communities of Interest discussion groups. Grab a drink or a soda at
a cash bar, and join a stimulating discussion on one of the topics that surfaced
during the first 2 days of the conference. It's often the people you meet and
the casual exchanges with speakers that turn a good conference into a great
Snowden, Morville, and More
Dave Snowden, director of the Cynefin Center for Complexity, launches the
formal program for the KMWorld conference, while Peter Morville, the well-known
guru of information architecture, keynotes the Intranets conference and special
Content Management track. In keeping with Prusak's assertion that KM is becoming
mainstream, Snowden sees KM as leading a new organic approach to organizational
design, with the potential to become a key part of a company's strategic agenda.
Morville emphasizes the need to deliver an effective user experience, which
must be achieved by striking the right balance between content management and
Snowden and Morville are well-known names in the industry, guaranteed to
offer knowledgeable information and food for thought in pleasing and cogent
presentationsa good way to begin a conference. When it comes to keynotes,
there's a downside to buying a Platinum Pass since you'll have to make a decision
about where you'll be at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. But hey, what a choice to have!
The Wednesday and Thursday keynotes are staggered, so Gold and Platinum Pass
holders can catch those they want to hear. Eric Shaffer on Ubiquitous Usability
and the Leaders in KM CEO round table led by John Strackhouse headline Wednesday's
activities. Carla O'Dell, APQC's CEO, leads off Thursday's KM conference, while
French Caldwell, vice president of research at Gartner, wraps up KMWorld & Intranets
2004 in a closing plenary session with his timely keynote on social knowledge
Sessions of Special Interest
The 3 days and six tracks at KMWorld & Intranets are filled with good
sessions and top-notch speakers. Your primary challenge will be deciding which
sessions to attend and which you'll have to miss. Read on for some highlights
of special interest.
A mini-Gartner symposium is offered in Track C of the Thursday KMWorld conference,
in which Gartner Group analysts (Mike Anderson, Betsey Burton, and Simon Haywood)
will present three sessions on aligning KM to businesses. If you've always
wanted access to Gartner thinking and analysis, this 1-day symposium offers
a unique opportunity. Closing keynote speaker French Caldwell, also from Gartner,
is a perfect wrap-up for this special track.
Search remains hot, hot, hot, and several Intranets sessions build on the
interest and success of ITI's Enterprise Search Summit last May. On Wednesday,
in Track F, the topic for the day is Information Discovery & Search. You'll
also find a number of search-related topics in Tuesday's Track F on Information
Architecture. Look for search to pop up in other Intranets sessions and in
the Content Management track. Also check out a session on unstructured data,
which will showcase various vendor solutions to this thorny search and content
On Tuesday, the Collaboration Tools track (Track B) in KMWorld promises to
be popular, given the current interest in applying social networking and collaboration
tools to business needs. Sessions on Weblogs, wikis, virtual working, and collaborating
with teams headline this track. The practice of KM is all about collaboration,
so watch for the many sessions on teamwork and best practices in the KMWorld
tracks and sessions.
While you are deciding which fall conference to attend, conference organizers
at ITI are busy working on plans for our spring events. Jane Dysart is planning
a super 20th anniversary program for Computers in Libraries (March 1618).
If you hurry, you still might be able to submit a proposal at the Web site,
although the official deadline is past.
Plans are also underway for return engagements in New York in May for WebSearch
University, Enterprise Search Summit, and Streaming Media East. Buying & Selling
eContent in Scottsdale, Ariz., the place to see and be seen among industry
executives, is also on tap for early April.
Watch this space for more exciting announcements coming soon. In the meantime,
I look forward to seeing you at a conference this falland hearing your
ideas, comments, and suggestions for future conference programs.
Garman is Information Today, Inc.'s director of conference
program planning. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.