National Online Meeting Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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National Online Meeting Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The National Online Meeting (NOM) took up residence May 9th through 11th at the Sheraton Centre in New York, amidst the nastiest weather the city has seen in a long time. But not even torrential rains could dampen the spirit of this year's conference, the 10th anniversary of what has come to be known as "the largest" meeting of the online industry in North America. Well over 4,000 attendees, umbrellas in hand, converged on the conference to attend the wide array of sessions, product reviews, and exhibits.

This year, however, the meeting had more to offer than in any previous year; it is no longer just a "coming together" of the online industry. A conference called "Integrated Online Library Systems" (IOLS) was merged with the 1989 NOM. In explaining the merging of the two conferences, Thomas Hogan, meeting organizer and president of Learned Information, said, "We felt that as the worlds of online searching and library systems began to converge, especially when you consider online public access catalogs, having these two meetings side-by-side made a lot of sense."

Back by popular demand was the CDROM Gallery, introduced for the first time at the 1988 National Online Meeting. This other "arm" of the conference is a separate exhibit, showcasing the products of the optical publishing industry.

Each year, the meeting expands, offering more exhibits, more sessions covering new and emerging technologies, and more product reviews. Hogan said, "One of the most gratifying aspects of this year's meeting was the fact that over half of the attendees had never been to a National Online Meeting before. This certainly must bode well for the information field in general. I believe it signifies a broadening of the base of users and producers."

"Frankly, we weren't sure how our attendance would hold up this year with the SLA conference being in New York in 1989 as well. It's difficult to know how many more would have come if it weren't for SLA, but we were pleased that our attendance held its own. We even had a modest increase over 1988."

As in previous years, the conference was preceded and followed by Satellite Events which took place on May 8th and 12th. This year's topics included Electronic Publishing, Evaluation of Information Services, Marketing Library Services, Database Implementation, Systems Analysis Technologies, European Company Information Online, The CD-ROM Challenge, an Information Broker's Seminar, and Hypertext Tools and Advanced Applications. …