I got back Wednesday evening from another wonderful conference. The STC Summit was held in a great location - downtown Philadelphia, where Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are only a short (okay, several blocks) walk away and where you can avoid heat/rain/traffic, if desired, by using direct skybridge access from the Marriott into the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
What did I learn? Lots:
* "Les Miserables" at the Walnut Street Theater (the oldest continually operating theater in the U.S., turning 200 years old in 2009) is an amazing show. I'd never seen the musical, but I'm really glad I saw this production Tuesday night. Sure, I'm sorry to miss the awards banquet, but even Chicago being named a Community of Distinction couldn't drag me away from enjoying this show with a co-worker.
* You can easily gain weight if you spend too much time at the Reading Terminal Market. In a half-hour period, I bought a generously sized two-scoop ice cream cone (which I had to eat immediately, of course), a "blondie" (chocolate chip bar), and a chocolate-covered strawberry...and there were plenty of other items to tempt me.
* Eating breakfast at a conference hotel can be convenient and tasty, but not necessarily cheap. $19 for a full breakfast buffet is a bit steep. Perhaps future conference hosts should provide a full list of places nearby that are open for breakfast?
* The governor of Pennsylvania has enough time on his schedule to visit the opening night ribbon-cutting for the exhibition area. Maybe he can set a precedent...and we can get celebrities/politicians at each of the future conferences? Like somebody from CNN or The Weather Channel in Atlanta?
* Scott Abel, the Content Wrangler, gave an entertaining and informative session about ways to "Stop Wasting Time." Next chance I get, I'm definitely checking out IWantSandy.com and Jott. For those who weren't at the session, rest assured that both are legitimate popular tools that "provide convenience and service," according to Scott. (IWantSandy has nothing to do with Olivia Newton-John's character from "Grease," apparently.)
* Ann Rockley knows content management, inside and out. I got a lot of good information from her "Building Your Content Management Skills" session and the vendors session she moderated. I look forward to getting more detailed information from her book, "Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy."
* People from all over are struggling with some of the same questions we all face. The SIG lunch for Technical Editing was especially helpful as some of us raised questions/concerns we were facing and other tablemates came up with ideas that might help.
I doubt that I'll be able to go to consecutive Summits, so I don't think I'll be in Atlanta, but I'm glad I got to attend the Philly session.