The Top Records Management Conferences to Attend in 2018

George Despres

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Records management conferences provide RIM and IG professionals with a wealth of information to shore up (and expand) their core knowledge. These events offer opportunities to catch up on the latest offerings and trends, network with fellow information professionals and translate the conference experience back into the workplace. Here’s a brief look at some of the larger, ongoing events in 2018.

AIIM, April 10th-13th, San Antonio, TX

Originally the National Micrographics Association and later named the Association for Information and Image Management, AIIM emphasizes information as an asset, with a focus on “the intersection of people, processes and information.”

The 2018 conference is expected to attract more than 600 international participants and includes general sessions, round tables and case studies from RIM and IG thought leaders. In addition to pre-conference programs, conference sessions will cover NARA’s RIM modernization efforts, eDiscovery, the GDPR and tips for engaging the C-Suite in cybersecurity concerns, among other topics.

AIIM maintains a Certified Information Professional (CIP) designation, with training materials and an exam for grounding IG pros. CIPs take advantage of this conference to convene and network, and the CIP exam is offered prior to the general sessions. The conference offers separate tracks for CIPs, for Fellows and for first-timers, as well as an awards ceremony.

MER, May 7th-9th, Chicago, IL

The National Conference on Managing Electronic Records (MER), organized by Cohasset Associates, is a “limited-attendance conference addressing the operational, technical and legal issues associated with managing the complete life cycle of electronic records.” The MER emphasizes an applied, “how-to” approach to electronic records stewardship and control.

Held annually in Chicago, MER will offer “pre-con” sessions on preparing for the Certified Records Manager (CRM) exam, IG in the cloud, change management and other professional development topics. Conference sessions include several “in the trenches” case studies from the field as well as topics such as cybersecurity in the age of espionage, privacy considerations for IoT technology and eradicating shared drives. MER also includes a vendor exhibit floor, where IG pros can get a closer look at electronic records solutions.

InfoGovCon18, September, Providence, RI

The 2018 installment will mark the five-year anniversary of the InfoGov Conference, provided by the Information Coalition. InfoGovCon embraces a broad set of information disciplines and participants under the IG umbrella. While attended by hundreds of IG and RIM professionals, InfoGov provides a more intimate conference experience than some of the larger events, with intensive networking opportunities.

Sessions consist of keynotes, individual presentations and panel discussions. Round table Q&A sessions each afternoon provide attendees with an opportunity to engage presenters and panelists with questions and further discussion. Awards based on attendee voting (including Best InfoGov Company) are presented, as well. Expect 2018 program details to follow on the InfoGovCon site.

ARMA Live!, October 22nd-24th, Anaheim, CA

The largest of the professional records management associations, ARMA has long offered perhaps the largest of the records management conferences — ARMA Live! — attended by IG professionals from many verticals. ARMA regularly hosts globally-renowned keynote speakers, with regular sessions on a broad range of IG disciplines. ARMA noted that over the next several years, it intends to convert its program to more of an “experiential learning event” with fewer lecture-based sessions.

ARMA Live! also hosts an extensive vendor exhibit floor, with one-on-one or workshop demos of leading-edge IG component solutions. Expect 2018 program details to follow on the ARMA Live! website. In the meantime, IG pros should remember that ARMA has 120 chapters holding monthly events with reasonable attendance fees.

Other noteworthy RIM conferences include E-Discovery, Records & Information Management Conference & Expo, the Information & Records Management Society Conference (UK) as well as the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) conference.

The scope of information professionals’ work is much broader and much more complex than it was in the days of the office file clerk. The range of this subject matter fills many fine records management conferences. The IG and RIM pro has several excellent conference choices for enhancing their craft and networking within this vast set of disciplines.

Ideally, one would attend them all, but resource and time constraints make this impossible for most. That said, so many great conference choices is a good “problem” to have.

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