Chicago played host to this year’s CIDM Content Management Strategies Conference, and by attending and presenting, this was a week of firsts for me. It was my first ever visit to the Windy City, my first time at the CIDM CMS Conference, and my first time presenting at a non-aerospace conference.
Any anxiety I had about presenting to a new audience dissipated in the keynote presentation on the first session of the first morning when John Hall of Influence and Co (@tweetJohnHall) addressed a number of topics that were covered in talk. At least I was talking the same language. His plea to break down the organizational silos that prevent effective content authoring and cultural barriers that limit collaboration between content stakeholders were well received by an attentive audience who had a wide background of industries and disciplines. Content authors, strategists, and technologists who were representing marketing, sales, learning, and technical content in all manner of industries were in attendance.
The conference was split into four tracks, covering Information Design & Development, Technical Solutions, Management, and Emerging Technologies. My talk on “Next Generation Training” was slated for the first session on day two in the Information Design and Development track. I was up against a technical presentation on DITA 1.3, so I was able to pick up a number of delegates who were seeking a subject that was a little less dry.
My numbers were further boosted when inquisitive passers were forced into popping in when they heard my introductory music: the theme from the original series of Star Trek. Yep, my presentation title was carried on with my slide deck theme.
My talk addressed the design and development challenges for training content authors and pointed out the similarities with the challenges posed with technical content development and lessons learned from content lifecycle management.
Judging by the approving nods of delegates and subsequent review of live tweeting, my explanation of content lifecycle management was well received. It seems there was general agreement that our mantra that high quality content relies on a lifecycle that includes the creation, delivery, consumption, and optimization.
— Bert Willems (@devatwork) April 21, 2015
It seems from conversation with my fellow delegates, there is no silver bullet for the perfect content management strategy. Instead, content gurus rely on a growing armory of tools, techniques and best practices and a large contingent of the industry was in Chicago this week to hone their skills and learn from their peers.
I’m glad to have been able to share some of our experiences and ideas with regards to training content design and development, and I certainly learned a lot.