SLA2009: The Expected and the UnExpected

When I attend a conference, I look forward to three things:

  1. To learn from peers and experts
  2. To network with people who share similar interests
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. The amazingly interactive breakfast session on the future of KM. People discussed what worked, what did not, challenges in bringing KM into an enterprise.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).