When I attend a conference, I look forward to three things:
- To learn from peers and experts
- To network with people who share similar interests
- To meet new people, hear about new products and have some pleasant surprises
I just came back from SLA2009 in Washinton DC and here are some pleasant surprises:
- The keynote. I have heard a lot of great key notes. When I heard Colin Powell was delivering the keynote, I was not sure what to expect. This one was such a fantastic experience and I cover it a bit here.
- The amazingly interactive breakfast session on the future of KM. People discussed what worked, what did not, challenges in bringing KM into an enterprise.
- Conversations in the exhibit hall are some of the most informal learning experiences in any conference. I met some really cool and helpful people and had some great conversations.
- One of the biggest surprises was a little unnoticed unconference track running in parallel. I really enjoyed participating and interacting with a small group of very open minded forward thinkers.
- Lunch time conversations were another big bonus. I was lucky to bump into a software developer from New York Times at my lunch table. NYT does some cool work on data visualization. So we both spent some time talking tech.
Even though I attended only a part of the conference, it exceeded my expectations. I was glad to be part of this historical event (Centennial celebration of SLA).