sweatshirts Another Intelligent Content Conference is now safely ensconced in the record books. I’ve been to a lot of trade shows in my time (too many, really), and I have to say that I think this year’s ICC was among the very best conferences I’ve ever attended.

Why? Well, there are a number of reasons:

  • The mix of people. 

This year’s ICC brought together people from four different, but inter-related disciplines: technical communication, content marketing, content strategy, and localization. We even saw cross-over between disciplines. Techcomm people learning about content marketing. Content marketing people learning about structured authoring. Everyone learning about localization. Refreshing!

  • The information in the sessions.

The sessions I attended were loaded with detailed, useful information. You know when you go to a conference and you sit through session after session thinking, “Um, yah. We know that. Tell us something new, different, and interesting…”? I didn’t get that feeling at this conference. I learned about all kinds of things, such as content management at the 2014 Sochi Olympics (OMG how do they really do all that??), the ins and outs of metadata (DETAILED), content strategy at the National Institute for Cancer Research, and more.

  • The keynote was refreshing.

I admit it. I’m a Joe Pulizzi fan. I love hearing him speak, and reading his books and articles. His keynote brought together the different disciplines in an interesting, customer-focused way. He is always entertaining and loaded with good information which he shares freely. We all walked away knowing two things: 1) You need to sell intelligent content based on sales, savings, or sunshine and 2) The key to a successful keynote is to set low expectations.

  • So many interviews.

There were so many opportunities to be interviewed – I did three. We had Ray Gallon and Tom Johnson doing their own grass-roots videos, the folks at busivid doing interviews at their booth, and the ICC traditional videographer set up in the ballroom and roaming around the hallways. I can’t wait to see what is produced by all of these people.

  • The closing session – like none other.

If you were there for the closing session, I probably don’t need to say another word. If you weren’t there for the closing session, I am SO sorry you missed it. This year’s closing session was absolutely hysterical. I haven’t laughed so hard in years. It is impossible for me to explain what happened. Any description, other than seeing it for yourself, would be inadequate to describe it. Let’s just hope that Scott and Ann post it on the ICC website as soon as possible. Get tissues ready because you are going to laugh until you cry.

I would be completely remiss if I didn’t publicly thank Scott Abel and Ann Rockley for providing a platform for me to discuss Translators Without Borders and the amazing work we are doing. My talk was at 5:15PM on the first day, when most people were beat dead tired and looking forward to the networking cocktail party. Yet, so many people attended to learn more about WikiProject Medicine. Thank you, Scott and Ann for the platform and for your generous donation once again this year.

I’m going to close by posting some photos that we took of a few Content Superheroes. Disclaimer: I really do stink at taking pictures. Really. So, some of these are blurry. Some have terrible contrast. I’m good at words, not pictures. But here they are for you to enjoy. See you next year!

Val Swisher
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