As organizations are trying to calculate their return on investment (ROI) for various aspects of their business, making knowledge available to people so that they can do their jobs well is the best employee ROI an organization can make. One of the most efficient and cost-effective ways of accomplishing this objective is to send data and knowledge-workers to a conference where they can be immersed in data strategies, workshops and tutorials, seminars and presentations by experts in their fields, vendor exhibits and special interest group meetings with other people who have the same objectives. Yes, I'm talking about the annual DAMA International (DAMA-I) Symposium and Wilshire Metadata Conference held May 2-6 in Los Angeles, California.

As the newly appointed Vice President of Conference Services, I looked at the value provided by this year's conference and found that DAMA-I's goal of focusing on the asset value of information in the enterprise was fulfilled by the depth and breadth of the conference offerings. The entire series of information management activities was covered, including: principles, policies, measurements, methods, tools, techniques, roles and responsibilities, and certifications.

One of the most important aspects in planning a conference is to provide a mix of technical experts and company practitioners. Starting on Sunday with Night School and continuing the following four days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the seven tracks of tutorials, seminars, presentations and keynotes provided lively discussions and practical ideas for attendees. My personal favorites were the more than 40 presentations by various business data managers who have implemented best practices, new methods, improved technologies and have great ideas to further their organizations' strategic goals.

The exhibit hall provided the venue for data professionals to get hands-on solutions for their enterprise initiatives from 40 exhibitors of products and services.

Next year, the DAMA-I Symposium and Wilshire Metadata Conference will be held May 22-26 at the Renaissance Resort at Sea World Orlando. It's not too early to make plans for 2005. DAMA's partnership with Wilshire Conferences continues to provide the most relevant material from both subject-matter experts and full-time data practitioners to an ever-growing audience. Do you have a topic you would like to present at the 2005 conference? Look for a "Call for Papers" from DAMA and Wilshire requesting speaking proposals.

DAMA-I also sponsors the DAMA European Conference, which will be in London from November 1-3, 2004. Held in association with the Information Quality (IQ) Conference and the Meta Data Europe Conference, it will include more than 50 sessions, tutorials and case studies presented by experts from Europe and the United States in areas such as global data management, enterprise reuse and current technologies.

I welcome suggestions on the types of presentations that will increase your ability to provide the best ROI for your organization and enhance your personal and professional skills. Please contact me at with your ideas.


Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)
Canberra, Australia
Central Florida
Central Pennsylvania
Dallas/Fort Worth
Denver (Rocky Mountain)
Heart of Texas Chapter ("HoT Chapter")

Kansas City
London, UK
Los Angeles
Melbourne, Australia
New Jersey
New York
Ohio (Central Ohio)
Ohio (Southwest)
Philadelphia/Delaware Valley
Pittsburgh (IRMAP)

Rochester/Upstate New York
Sacramento Valley
San Francisco Bay Area
Seattle (DRMA)
South Africa
St. Louis
Sydney, Australia
Toronto, Canada (Information Resource Management Association of Canada)
Washington, DC. (National Capitol Region)

This is the list of DAMA international chapters. For details, visit our Web site:
Can't find a chapter near you? See our Web site for information about our Member-at-Large program and forming chapters.

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