SLA 2013 Annual Conference Converts Challenge into Opportunity

SLA Press Contact:
John Walsh

SLA 2013 Annual Conference Converts Challenge into Opportunity

Alexandria, Virginia, 20 June 2013“What will distinguish companies of the future won’t be changes in technology, but changes in mentality.”

This insight by SLA 2013 Annual Conference keynote speaker Mike Walsh set the tone for three days of fast-paced learning, networking, and business focused on a key initiative: converting new challenges presented by information, digital, and technological revolutions into immediate and long-lasting opportunities.

“It’s an exciting time for information professionals and the information industry,” said SLA member Dennie Heye, the knowledge and information manager for a Fortune 500 energy company, during a conference roundtable session. “Are things changing? Yes—but for the better. Instead of worrying [about technology], we should celebrate, tinker, release new formats, and throw ideas to the wind. Let’s make products and services that inspire experimentation, and let’s push the information industry forward rather than be dragged along.”

The SLA 2013 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO attracted 2,808 information professionals and representatives of SLA’s industry partners to San Diego during June 9 – 11. Of these, 1,589 were Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO attendees, and 288 were INFO-EXPO only registrants. One hundred ninety-four companies filled the exhibit hall (INFO-EXPO), launching and demonstrating their latest products, technologies, and services while engaging in productive conversations with their users, buyers, and prospective customers.

“SLA’s Board of Directors, staff and hundreds of volunteers began preparing for this conference 18 months ago,” said Janice Lachance, SLA’s Chief Executive Officer. “The results were evolution, leverage, and development: evolution of the business opportunities which came to fruition in the form of lasting partnerships made in our INFO-EXPO, as well as of the forward-looking mindsets of our attendees; leverage of our members’ existing skills to convert new challenges into new opportunities; and the intensive development of fresh skills that uniquely position our profession to succeed and excel as the world of information evolves.”

Conference sessions shared insights and ideas with groups of up to 300 attendees. The popular 60 Sites in 60 Minutes offered an action-packed glimpse of under-utilized Websites related to learning, reference, technology, news, travel, and much more (view the slides on slideshare). Another highly-attended session, Organizing Knowledge, examined how taxonomies underpin new and important applications of knowledge management such as data warehousing, content management systemization, and search.

Go Beyond Google: Gathering Competitive Intelligence presented actionable ways to use advanced searching skills to follow the “digital exhaust” that companies leave on the Web. This allows firms to obtain a more complete picture of their competitive landscape.

Several conference partners went beyond exhibiting in the INFO-EXPO hall, supporting the information industry by providing various networking opportunities, tech tools, and learning opportunities to SLA 2013 attendees.

Platinum Partner (top-level support of the SLA Annual Conference and of SLA)


Gold Partners:

Dow Jones & Company (Factiva)
The New York Times
Bloomberg Law-Bloomberg BNA

Silver Sponsors:

NewsEdge, a service of Acquire Media
TRAK Records & Library
Wolters Kluwer | Ovid
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
Financial Times
BMJ Group
Taylor & Francis

Leading publications within the industry also teamed up with SLA as 2013 Media Partners.

Information Today, Inc.
Research Information
Mlex, Market Intelligence
Oxford Economics

To support job-seeking professionals in an era of record-high unemployment rates, SLA partnered with TRAK Records & Library for the second consecutive year to provide career workshops and seminars, including: Preparing for an Interview; Managing Your Job Search Process; and Your Resúmé as a Marketing Tool: Make it Count!

As part of a new initiative to continue improving the SLA Annual Conference model, members of the recently appointed Conference Re-Envisioning Task Force, in conjunction with the 2013 Feedback Pack (composed of 10 conference attendees who are in their first 5 years of their information careers), solicited in-person reactions from attendees and exhibitors. Their comments will be compiled into a report for use in planning the 2014 Annual Conference and beyond.

About SLA
The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit international organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves 9,000 members in 75 countries in the information profession, including corporate, academic and government information specialists. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy and networking initiatives. For more information, visit

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