BIALL Conference highlights

The BIALL Conference is over for another year and I have to say this years was one of the best I've ever attended. There were a number of great sessions and two fantastic events where delegates could network with colleagues old and new.

For me the most memorable session was Nick Davies session on how to deliver engaing training. The mere fact that Nick stood on stage for an hour with no slides makes him a legend and that was before he even started talking. What he delivered was a whistle stop tour of techniques we can employ when deliver training to make people pay attention. Of the techniques he suggested the ones that really struck me were around using PowerPoint. Nick suggested that we should avoid using PowerPoint as a drunk might use a lampost and to stop vomitting up our knowledge on to PowerPoint slides. People attending training are there to hear you speak not look at PowerPoint slides. Nick also suggested that using stories can help you connect with your audience and that humour and spontaneity although difficult to do can be useful tools in a presenters arsenal. Nick also suggested watching 2 videos of Sir Ken Robinson speaking. Ken is a "creativity expert" who talks about how we're educating people out of being creative. I've embedded one of the videos I watched below and have to say he is a very funny and inspiring speaker and loved some of his stories, especially the story about wristwatches!

Another interesting session was that delivered by Fiona Fogden. Fiona talked about how Baker Tilly were using Linex Legal and Thomson Reuters newsoom to manage their current awareness content including content from Twitter and other social media sites. This was a fascinating look at how these two tools were being used to streamline the delivery of current awareness to fee-earners.

I also attended a session by Barry Vickery of 7Side on finding International Company Information, which was both insightful and funny because as Chair I'd given Barry strict instructions not to "sell" the 7Side product. A session by Jackie Fishleigh on "SharePoint and the Naked Law Librarian" didn't include any naked Law Librarians, which I think is probably a good thing. However it did seem to prove that SharePoint is being used by more and more law firms and that Law Librarians are well placed to be involved in the managment of SharePoint projects, either from a technical perspective or content management perspective.

However the session everyone was really looking forward to was the one delivered by Michael Maher and Kate Stanfield entitled "The Integreon model one year on". This was a follow up to the session Michael delivered at the BIALL Conference in Brighton. I found the session useful although having worked at CMS Cameron McKenna and still having friends there I was "semi-aware" of what had taken place in terms of the outsourcing of Business Services including Knowledge & Information Services to Integreon. Unfortunately much like last year there wasn't a huge amount of time left for questions, although the Chair of the session did let the session run over slightly. Reading Nicola Franklin's post about the BIALL Conference is does sound like there were other questions people would have liked to have asked, which I'm sure Kate and Michael would have been happy to have answered.

The formal business of the Conference was conducted very well by both David Wills (BIALL President) and the rest of the Conference Committee and they are to be applauded for providing delegates with a number of though provoking sessions and entertaining networking events. Roll on Belfast 2012.