I have been fortunate enough to have gone to the Henry Stewart DAM Conference numerous times. I felt it would be beneficial to share my experiences as I go to the DAM New York Conference on June 1 and June 2, 2009.
How big is it?
New York DAM Conference is often the largest and longest Digital Asset Management Conference of the year. The New York DAM Conference is held over two days (instead of just one day as it is held in a few other major cities each year). While economic market conditions can affect the number of attendees, it often has higher attendance than other cities. More people equals more speakers, more panel discussions, more case studies, more presentations and more people from all industries who share the interest of finding out more about Digital Asset Management. However, a lower attendance makes it easier to network with those who do attend the conference.
What is unique about the Henry Stewart DAM Conference is that it is just focused on many aspects of DAM (instead of just mentioning DAM in a few sessions as many other venues do each year). Most importantly, this conference focuses on the DAM user perspective. There is sometimes exciting DAM news too (really). The DAM Conference is not vendor specific (but rather sponsored by several vendors and third party organizations).
What is there to do at a DAM conference?
There is so much to learn about DAM and so many questions. Some DAM newcomers may know what they don’t know about DAM, but ‘they often don’t know what they don’t know’. That is okay too. Even if you aren’t sure what questions to ask (which is sometimes a common challenge for newcomers to DAM) because you can learn about that too and then you can start asking the right questions for your business needs.
While you can not learn all about DAM in two days, you can however get a much better understanding from all the user perspectives and experts you will hear from. You often get to hear the good, the bad and sometimes even the ugly, but true stories of how real organizations implement and use a DAM. You may hear many success stories and best practices people have encountered. You will also learn from others’ previous mistakes which people often freely share so others may avoid those pitfalls. Want to hear more? Ask. DO network with people you see there as much as possible, but attend all the track sessions which have the most relevance to:
- What you do professionally (is there someone speaking in the same industry you work in?)
- The level of experience you have with DAM (Are you a DAM newcomer? Experienced DAM user returning for enrichment? Are you presenting your experiences at the conference?)
- Challenges you want to tackle (what are your goals at this conference aside from getting free meals?)
How open is it?
You will find there is a fair amount of open candor during the conference (unless you are speaking to direct competitor who may be more reserved) and you will notice most people will openly speak with you. Many people are willing to freely give you guidance regardless of whatever phase you happen to be in with the implementation of your DAM (even if you don’t know what your first phase or next phase should be).
I try to engage with many whom I see and meet. Most speakers are often available for questions after their presentation and often even after they step down from the podium to talk more about any topics you wish to discuss offline. I have continued professional relationships with people I have met at DAM conferences using Linkedin which has a large footprint from the DAM community. Contact information is easily traded between everyone since this is a big networking event for professionals.
How do I plan ahead?
There are so many good presentations going on at the same time, it is often hard to decide which to attend. You could go with other people from your organization who can attend one track of presentations as you attend other track, then share what you’ve learned. Luckily, the event planners publish a schedule with descriptions in advance OR this can be planned even the day of the event within a few minutes. I often skim through each track schedule and prioritize which presentations are most important based on my professional interests since I personally attend the conference alone. Another big benefit of the conference is that even if you miss a presentation for whatever reason, the powerpoint slides are posted on a password protected website and they are often automatically made available a few days after the conference ends to attendees, so you don’t even need to ask each speaker for the slides for future reference.
Is there other media available from the conference?
Unfortunately, there are no audio nor video recordings available from the DAM conference presentations. No podcasts are available before, during nor after the conference unlike some venues which promote their upcoming sessions with this type of media. I would hope this could happen in the future.
If you plan to attend the DAM New York conference
I will be:
- Presenting a case study on the role of the Digital Asset Manager
- Participating in a panel discussion on DAM Procurement
- Attending both days of the DAM New York Conference
- Blogging on both days on the DAM New York Conference
- Tweeting during the DAM New York Conference using #damny as the hash tag which you can search for and follow
I look forward to meeting you if you attend the DAM New York Conference this year. If you can’t make it to the conference, feel free to send me comments anytime.