As we prepare to pack our bags and board a jet plane for Toronto, I wanted to send you my best wishes for a wonderful trip and ask you to be prepared for an amazing ALA Annual Conference experience. Be prepared for compelling content that goes beyond learning.
“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” -Anthony J. D’Angelo
As you get ready to fly out to Toronto, take these thoughts and tools with you…
Conference Schedule: The first day of the 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Toronto has been shifted from Monday to Tuesday. Check it out at http://www.alanet.org/conf/2014/fees.html#/conf/2014/daag.asp. Then be prepared to be inspired with our Keynote Session on Tuesday morning that will feature Captain Mark Kelly, a retired combat pilot and former Commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords.
ALA Conference Web App: The Conference App is in a NEW location this year, so don’t use the 2013 Annual Conference App site! Access the new ALA Annual Conference Mobile Web App to help you customize and optimize your schedule. Visit alanet.org/confapp, and create a new account. To get the app up and running, we have developed a quick start guide for your convenience. Smaller and older devices with less memory may have longer load times. After you create your account, you can begin to plan your schedule, check out exhibitors and schedule your tour time for ReDesign-Law: The Legal Office of the Future and more – all at your fingertips.
Tech Docs: Need tech help with the App? We’ve got you covered. Thanks to the generosity of our ALA volunteers, we will have approximately 65 Tech Docs on site in Toronto in the Hive, at the Toronto Hospitality Booth and walking the halls to help anyone who has questions about the Annual Conference App. These Tech Doc volunteers can be identified by the red arm band they will be wearing.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Tubman
Networking: Build upon the strength of your ALA relationships and friendships starting with the Welcome Reception on Monday evening. Enjoy the inaugural IDEA and Association Awards event and the Grand Finale: VIP Treatment will be an incredible night with dinner, a fabulous concert by REO Speedwagon and afterglow dessert and dance party. If you think about it, pack a red or white shirt/blouse for the concert. Some of us on the Committee thought it would be cool to be seen from the stage in these Canadian colors.
The Legal Marketplace: We will welcome approximately 200 of the industry’s very best business partners under the new banner “The Legal Marketplace.” Learn about the latest products and services that may help you and your firm. Connect with experts at the Hub, learn the latest tech at the Hive, and refresh your mind, body and portable devices in the Recharge Lounge.
CLM Clout: NEW! All CLMs will enjoy exclusive benefits such as breakfast Tuesday morning with keynote speakers Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords as well as a private CLM Lounge.
“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela
The Legal Office of the Future: Re-Design Legal – Innovation Lab: Take a guided tour of your future office of 2035 through this amazing one-time event, presented by ALA in partnership with Gensler. Schedule your appointment for a tour directly on the App. See groundbreaking technology and trends FIRST with ALA and Gensler!
First ever Hive- Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Be sure to start off in the Social Media Hive on Monday with Mary Abraham, a lawyer and leader in social and legal knowledge management. This learning opportunity will be in addition to multiple Hive events scheduled throughout the conference. There will also be a few laptops available on tables in the Hive if you need to take care of something that has come up back at the office.
“If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion.” -Mia Hamm
Experience Toronto and Surrounding areas: Your family will be able to experience Toronto and enjoy the Memorial Day holiday while you are attending professional development sessions and you can join them on the back end. Ripley’s NEW Aquarium of Canada is a few steps from the conference centre and is expected to be amazing.
Tours – Gather your colleagues, and take a peek at what is available in and around Toronto and what the surrounding area has to offer! Please also check out the following group tour opportunities.
How to Pack: Be sure to check the local weather, and as with all ALA conferences, we will be in business casual dress. No jeans, shorts or flip-flops please.
Please Remember the Important Cell Phone and Other Devices Reminder:
Data and Roaming: Remember to update your cell phone and data plan for international service to minimize your international cell phone charges. For more information on this subject, see the blog posting about this at http://2014alaconference.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/cell-phone-data-charges-tips-to-minimize-your-international-cell-phone-charges/
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” -Alan Kay
I have been looking forward to this week for the last 16 months. Not only to see all of you, but to showcase many of the components of ALA’s new strategic plan. I have a feeling that you will enjoy this annual conference experience as we explore the opportunities to lead our firms and businesses into the future…and, of course, have some good old fashioned fun in the process!
Mark Bridgeman, CLM, is the Chair of the 2014 Annual Conference Committee. He has also served as the Region 3 Projects Officer, was on the 2011 Annual Conference Committee and spent three years on the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Bridgeman has been a regular speaker and presenter at ALA events since 2003, including the 2008 and 2009 ALA Annual Conference & Exposition. In 2010, he received ALA’s Outstanding Association Volunteer Award. He has recently served on the Annual Educational Conference Planning Committees for both the Greater Chicago and Wisconsin Chapters. He has served in various Board positions for the Greater Chicago Chapter and in several Vice President positions for the Wisconsin Chapter, as President, President-Elect and Director of Membership of the Orange County Chapter and is ALA Director-At-Large-Elect for 2014-2017.