Flying back on Thursday evening I pondered the sessions I’d attended, the things I’d learned and the lessons and ideas I was taking home with me and one thing was missing. A central theme.
Now, admittedly by accident, the 2009 conference appeared to be centred around “conversation”. Whether it was a direct with the users, our part in the wider conversation happening in the emerging space of social media, or in rethinking the traditional role in terms of how users were expecting to access information.
I’d love to say that content strategy was the major theme but it didn’t seem to be, although I did attend two excellent presentations on that topic (thank you Roger and David), and as ever at this conference there were many presentations aimed at ideas and theories than tool based demonstrations. Well, that’s the impression I got from the sessions I attended.
And that’s one reason I like this conference. If you want, you can immerse yourself in some “BIG TOPIC” thinking, or learn more about a particular application you already use. Add in the conversations with fellow professionals, and the chance to talk directly to most of the main vendors in our industry, and there really is no good reason why you WOULDN’T want to attend the conference.
I especially like the fact that this year the format was a little different (nice idea on the “on the hour” starting times!) and that it has retained it’s friendly and open feeling. It’s not a dreary, dull, formal industry event, it’s a vibrant, energetic, well organised and thought provoking few days.
There was even a magician!
It’s hard to say what my main take home lesson was, other than that our profession continues to straddle many disciplines and that if you want to get to the cutting edge in terms of both technology and thought, then there are many many ways you can do so.
It’s a great conference, and it was interesting to see a higher number of people commenting about it on Twitter this year.
I’m still writing up my notes from my presentation, but should have them ready soon. I will post them along with a copy of the slides for those that are interested. I’ll also cover off a question that was asked at the end that I didn’t answer very well at the time but which I have a more considered response to now.
See you all next year, right?