On the Road
A monthly look at upcoming ITI conferences
By Nancy Garman
Lights, camera, action. It's
showtime! Well, not quite yet, but plans are already in the works for
the launch of a brand-new information industry conference and trade show in
May 2005. The new event will replace the venerable InfoToday/National Online
Meeting that has meant "May in New York" to the U.S. online industry and a
broad-based library audience for the past 25 years.
The December 2003 announcement by Information Today, Inc. was interpreted
by some industry observers as bringing down the curtain on a fading show. The
reality is that May 2005 has the potential to be just as exciting as May 1980,
when the first National Online Meeting took place. Inside ITI, we see a unique
chance to reinvent this show and structure a pace-setting event that will be
relevant for 21st-century information professionals and knowledge workers in
libraries and elsewhere.
After 25 years, now is a good time to take a fresh look at the information
industry and evaluate its changespast, present, and future. This spring,
ITI will be doing just that as we consider what the new trade show and conference
should look like and who its constituency will be.
Libraries and librarians have changed since 1980. Our missions have evolved,
our tools and resources have undergone sweeping changes, and the advent of
the Internet has caused a dramatic transformation across the entire information
industry. A conference for the "new online" industry must reflect these fundamental
changes and lead the way into the futureboth in format and substance.
It must meet the needs of the info pro and library community and at the same
time embrace knowledge consumers in other professional and commercial environments.
You can help shape this new event. E-mail me at email@example.com to
share your suggestions and ideas. Let me know especially if you'd like to participate
in one of the small-group brainstorming sessions we'll hold this spring. Some
will be virtual meetings; others will be held at locations around the country.
We're eager to hear from librarians, info pros, and the vendor community about
how to make this an important and successful landmark event.
Enterprise Search Summit
In the meantime, you can learn how to implement search behind your firewall
at Enterprise Search Summit, which will be held May 1112, 2004, at the
New York Hilton. The solution may be as straightforward as buying the Google
Search Appliance and plugging in the hardware or as complex as developing a
carefully structured taxonomy, applying metadata to all your content, and deploying
an industrial-strength search engine that can search all types of structured
and unstructured data in hundreds of thousands of files. The importance of
search is often overlooked in the rush to implement a content management systemuntil
someone realizes that findability is the key to unlocking all that elegantly
Enterprise Search Summit is a new 2-day conference that's focused on the
nuts and bolts of how to plan for, choose, and deploy an internal search capability.
Its tightly structured curriculum offers a concentrated learning opportunity
in which information managers and IT professionals can understand the strategies
and get the know-how to make internal content not only searchable but findable.
Expert instructors and industry analysts will cover the building blocks of
search, including metadata, taxonomies, and classification; the complexities
of searching both structured and unstructured content; and how to determine
which features are essential and which search solutions are best-suited to
different kinds of situations. In addition, enterprise information managers
will present case studies to illustrate successful examples of enterprise search
Modeled on the same instructional and tutorial format as the popular WebSearch
University, Enterprise Search Summit will offer a similar total-immersion experience.
Many conferences have sessions or even tracks on enterprise search, but Enterprise
Search Summit is where professionals who need to know how to choose and implement
internal search solutions can "go to school." They'll take away fundamental
and advanced knowledge, skills, and strategies to apply in their own organizations.
Call for Speakers
The call for speakers for KMWorld and Intranets 2004 is posted at the conference
(http://www.kmworld-intranets.com). Think about what you've been working
on this year and consider proposing a case study or presentation on KM strategies,
business processes, intranets and portals, content management, or collaboration
and learning within organizations. This year's conference theme emphasizes
that knowledge management is about applying strategies and tools for performance
improvement and bottom-line results.
Spring Conference Calendar
Now is the time to check your schedule and decide which conferences you'll
attend this spring. Review the calendar on the left for dates. Here's a quick
list to help you decide:
Computers in Libraries: Feb. 12 is the early-bird price
break and group registration deadline.
Internet@Schools East: This meeting, which is
running in conjunction with Computers in Libraries, features a newly revamped,
practical, how-to agenda.
Buying & Selling eContent: Closing keynote speaker
Allen Weiner, a research analyst from Gartner G2 who will be talking about "perfectly portable content," is
the latest addition to this conference's agenda.
WebSearch University: This event, which will be held in
New York for the first time, will showcase new faculty members Tara Calishain
and Genie Tyburski as well as perennial favorites Greg Notess, Mary Ellen Bates,
Ran Hock, and Marydee Ojala.
Streaming Media East: With 2 days of sessions plus a full
exhibit hall, this conference has a buzz that's reminiscent of the early days
of the online industry. It's worth looking into if you're working with digital
audio or video content.
Enterprise Search Summit: Search is hot and is a crucial
of the puzzle for how to manage
enterprise content, which is often part of the expanding mission for info pros.
The wide range of conferences produced by ITI means there's something for
everyone, so pick the event that best meets your needs and register now. I
also look forward to hearing your ideas for remaking InfoToday/National Online
Meeting into a vibrant new event for May 2005.
Garman is Information Today, Inc.'s director of conference
program planning. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.