Last week’s LavaCon conference in Portland, OR was the highest attended ever. And with good reason; the program was very compelling. Regardless of session focuses (web copy, chatbots, virtual reality, and more), nearly every session echoed the same themes: change is constant, collaboration is critical, find your tribe.
LavaCon opened with a series of keynote presentations that—looking back—set the tone for the conference. Content strategy is ever-evolving; take risks, embrace change.
Following the keynotes, attendees were encouraged to “find your tribe” during a speed networking event. This unique approach to kicking off three days of learning helped everyone break the ice and begin getting to know each other. We met a wide variety of people, from those just getting started with making content improvements to those who have accomplished impressive content strategy implementations.
The sessions throughout the week were eye-opening to just how varied the scope of content strategy has become. Automation, structured authoring, content customization, localization, and business alignment were all common subjects. Scriptorium presented on two topics:
- Think global, act global, go global—how to develop a localization strategy that aligns with your business strategy (view slides)
- Faster Content, Better Healthcare: Improving Cancer Diagnostics with Electronic Delivery—a collaborative presentation with the American College of Surgeons about how the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Cancer Staging Manual evolved from a printed book to an electronic resource with API connectivity to patient record systems (read the case study)
No LavaCon would be complete without a bit of fun. We were treated to a Chinese dragon parade through the streets of Portland to a karaoke party, and of course there was an overabundance of amazing food (except for the chocolate truffles, which were devoured within minutes).
Our take-aways? Content strategy, cross-collaboration, and content automation are now basic business needs. Companies are realizing that the content development and publishing practices of yesterday cannot sustain current and future content needs. Social user experiences and other nice-to-have offerings are now the norm, and companies are already eyeing artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
Connected content is here, and innovation is vital. And perhaps most important: you cannot succeed alone. You must find your tribe—within and outside of your organization—and work together.
Did you attend LavaCon? Did you find your tribe?