Magazine article Information Today

Off to London Town

Magazine article Information Today

Off to London Town

Article excerpt

Online Information 2005 will convene in London's Olympia Grand Hall from Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 as the pinnacle of the busy conference season. The event is the place to "see and be seen," with more than 10,000 people expected to attend. Most major industry players in online content and information management solutions are represented in the exhibit hall, on the program, and as delegates.

Now in its 30th year, Online Information has a technical program that will be ushered in with keynote speaker David Weinberger, co-author of the international bestseller The Cluetrain Manifesto and fellow at the Berkmen Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. His address, titled "The New Shape of Knowledge--Everything Is Miscellaneous," will focus on "how technology is driving broad and deep changes to the basics of business and information."

The program will be divided into three tracks. Each will have its own keynote speak-Donald who will focus on specific topics. Here's what you can expect:

* Michael Gorman, ALA president, will speak on the challenge of digitization.

* Bob Boiko, writer and previous Online Information keynote speaker, will discuss information management.

* Jimmy Wales, president of the Wikimedia Foundation and founder of Wikipedia.org, will focus on wikis and their future in the Web community.

* Xiaodong Qiao, deputy director of Wanfangdata Co. (a leading STM information provider in China), will talk about the online industry in China.

* Stephen Arnold, author, speaker, and consultant, will present a forward-looking view of Google and enterprise search in 2006.

Other subjects on the technical program include desktop search tools, information discovery, the future of libraries, content management, publishing models, taxonomies, enterprise searching, and digital rights management. All these relevant topics are at the forefront of the information industry today.

With free admission, an exhibit hall that highlights more than 250 companies is a major attraction in itself. Many companies construct large attention-getting stands (some even have two levels). The stands not only feature the company's products and services, but they also attract attendees with an assortment of giveaways as well as food and drink.

VNU Exhibitions Europe, this year's conference organizer, has extended exhibit hours until 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 to allow extra time for conference attendees to visit the exhibits without conflict. Conference delegates will also be able to redeem special discount coupons and enter their name into a drawing for five iPod Shuffles. Several companies will be exhibiting for the first time, including Google, D&B, ICC Information, Microsoft, and Vivisimo. Even exhibit-only attendees will be able to choose from more than 100 free seminars in the hall. To get maximum value and enjoyment from the exhibit, your best bet is to go early in the day before the aisles get too crowded. (Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.)

Since Online Information is quite international, the conference's tradition of conducting international forums in non-English languages will again be on the agenda. This year, forums in Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish, and German are scheduled. (There will also be a Nordic forum, but it will be conducted in English.) "Overseas" delegates will also find a new addition to the conference: an international networking lounge. (Since this conference is held in the U. …

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