Chairman's Highlights - Martin White takes a closer look at this year's programme

4 April 2013

Martin WhiteEnterprise Search Europe is the only event in Europe that takes a business impact view of enterprise search, and the programme aims to provide delegates with all the inspiration, information and contacts they need to start work on business planning for search.

Planning for Enterprise Search Europe 2013 began in September last year.  The Conference Committee started out with a long list of possible topics and it took a couple of rounds of discussion to come to a consensus that the major themes for this year would include big data, search in SharePoint 2013, user interface design and open-source search. Once the themes are established and the Call for Papers has gone out, there is always an anxious time in case we do not get enough quality papers for our themes, and we are also concerned that a new hot topic appears that at that stage would be a challenge to add to the programme.

Pre-conference Workshops

This year for the first time we are offering four pre-conference workshops that link directly to the main programme. Each is run by an experienced practitioner:

  • Tony Russell-Rose (together with Tyler Tate) has written the definitive book on the design of the search experience.
  • Charlie Hull and his team at Flax have a wide range of projects that will form the basis of his workshop on open source implementation.
  • Raytion has likewise been involved in a number of SharePoint 2013 implementations
  • Matt Aslett (451 Group) is widely recognised as an authority on the evolution of big data solutions.

Keynote Session

Although search conferences inevitably have a technology focus the keynote from Ed Dale (Ernst and Young) is about how to get the best out of your search application by listening to the feedback from users and building up a highly experienced search team. Many people want their search application to ‘be like Google’ and that is what Ed has been able to achieve without using Google.

Some Programme Highlights

Someone once commented to me that the mark of a good conference is the combined expertise of the opening and closing speakers. As our closing speaker, Lynda Moulton brings 30 years of experience in the software industry specializing in text management and information retrieval, including 20-years as founder/owner of a software development company. 

In between Wednesday at 9.30 and Thursday at 3.30 we have a superb line-up of speakers, all of them experienced in making search work. For example Kristian Norling will be reporting on the outcomes of the second year of the Findwise Findability survey but his background is as an enterprise search manager in Sweden. Other speakers include two of the global leaders in search user experience, Tyler Tate and Joe Lamantia; Stephen Arnold on Big Data vs Enterprise Search; and Kara Pernice of Nielsen Norman Group on intranet search usability.

Networking Opportunities

If you have been to previous Enterprise Search Europe conferences you will know that the two conference rooms and the exhibition are all close together so there is plenty of opportunity to tap into the knowledge of delegates, speakers and exhibitors. I can be 100% confident that whatever your search challenge you will find an answer at this year’s event.

Read the whole programme here

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