A couple of recent search conferences have caused me to think carefully about what makes a successful event for search managers. At both the Findwise Findability Day in Copenhagen and at the Smarta Sök event in Stockholm it was very clear that the delegates were especially interested in gaining experience from case studies. Although there are many technical innovations in search, for most organisations the objective is to find out how to provide employees with a better search experience with the minimum about of near term investment. When I sat down with the Information Today conference team a few weeks ago to talk about the 2015 Enterprise Search Europe conference we decided to fill it to the brim with case studies. The outline programme gives us space for at least 15 case studies over two days, together with three short round-table sessions that will run in parallel with the presentations. The theme is ‘Delivering Search Excellence’ both from the content of the papers and the conference event overall.
This year the conference has been moved from the Spring to the Autumn and is co-located with Internet Librarian International at the conference centre in Olympia in West London so there will be quite a buzz around the venue. There will be a social event on the evening of Tuesday 20 October.
The call for papers is now open, and I’d encourage anyone with a case study to consider presenting it as a paper. It doesn’t matter at all if the case study is work in progress. Search implementation and enhancement should never be a project but a continuous process, and there will be lessons to be learned even from the initial stages of an implementation. Remember that you will be speaking to an audience of very understanding delegates who will be able to benefit from whatever experience you have to offer. We would like the case studies to be about real organisations, rather than ‘a global manufacturing company’. The company context is very important in understanding the value of search and also the implementation and management challenges.
The papers will be short – just 25 minutes with a 5 minute Q&A and we will be arranging the venue so that you will be able to continue to talk to the speakers at the end of each session. I should also add that the term ‘enterprise search’ also applies to corporate web site search, and there are often lessons to be gained from how search has been managed in a public-facing site. We would also be interest in papers from organisations that are using the search features of intranet software packages.
You may recall the words of David Bowman in the book of the film 2001 – a Space Odyssey to the effect that the monolith was full of stars. We want delegates to ESE2015 to remark that it is full of case studies!
Chair, ESE 2015