The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference: Creating Content Experience Ecosystems | October 21-24, 2018 | New Orleans, LA


Conference Schedule

View the Schedule at a Glance and Preliminary Program in PDF, or scroll down for the complete program in HTML.



Check out the stellar program we have for New Orleans, then register today to take advantage of early registration discounts.

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Sunday: Pre-conference Workshops


In this session attendees will learn:

  • Improve discoverability of content, enable reuse.
  • Assign value to content assets with a content valuation process.
  • Engineer intelligent content, content reuse and streamline content publishing.
  • The concept of the standard Master Content Model (MCM).

I’ll share real-life examples of how I’ve optimized content for translation at Mastercard, organized around 5 themes:

  • Clarity
  • Structure
  • Format
  • Audience
  • Localization Strategy

We’ll do hands-on exercises with actual technical content and attendees can even bring something they’re currently working on to workshop with the group.

Let’s delve into the details of creating a wide-reaching content strategy that builds from various aspects of the content ecosystem. We factor in the role of marketing, R&D, sales, user documentation etc and how these moving content parts co-exist to address various needs and audiences.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • What are the underlying fundamental ways of being that, if fully engaged in, can ensure your team’s success?
  • The power of vulnerability.
  • How to use fear, hesitation, and lack of self-confidence to your advantage.
  • The key to effective introspection, and how fundamentally different it is from worrying.
  • The basic principles that can provide you guidance in difficult situations.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • Overview of Machine Learning concepts
  • ML process and cycle – Choosing an ML framework and DL model – Data collection, preprocessing, and transformation
  • Dialog flow and finding the right tone of voice
  • Building a simple chatbot
  • Getting Started with ML at your company


Join Andrea for a half-day, experiential tour of several techniques used in Design Thinking. Using one or more sample problems, workshop participants will work together to develop solutions following a Design Thinking framework. Because we’ll be face-to-face, we’ll go low-tech and focus on the framework and techniques using flip-chart paper and stickie notes. Andrea will also discuss how to get the most from the process across geographically distributed teams using online tools.


How to adapt UX and IxD practices to identify the audiences for their content, understand users’ content needs and preferences, and develop and validate customer-centric content and content delivery channels, including:

  • How to recognize both the value and the limitations of second-hand user feedback (from internal partners, for instance) and uncontextualized quantitative data
  • How to develop a program to continuously collect and analyze content feedback and metrics
  • How to use Lean UX and Design Thinking approaches to develop and rapidly test content innovations

In this session, you will learn:

  • What a Unified Portal is, and what makes them work
  • Core business drivers, ROI, and competitive advantages
  • How a Unified Content Portal breaks down content silos – using hands-on exercises and workshopping
  • Real world examples of Unified Portals in action, and why a diverse range of organizations are adopting them
  • Best practices for attaining buy-in from key stakeholders, and how to set yourself up for success


Join us at the Adobe Tech Comm Tools certificate workshop at LavaCon 2018 on the 21st of October! The event is specifically designed to give you an opportunity to meet and learn from renowned technical communication experts, get hands-on with the latest release of Adobe’s Tech Comm tools, and connect with peers.

Register for Free


Location:    Mag’s 940
940 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans

Sponsored by Saiff Solutions.

Location:    Mag’s 940
940 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans

Sponsored by Saiff Solutions.


Join us as Jack welcomes you to the start of the 2018 LavaCon Conference.

Jack Molisani, Executive Director of the LavaCon Conference

A content zombie apocalypse is upon us!  An onslaught of new mobile devices, platforms, and screen sizes, hordes of them descending every day. We’re outmatched. There aren’t enough designers and developers to battle every platform. There aren’t enough editors and writers to populate every screen size.

Surviving the content zombie apocalypse is possible. In this talk, Karen will explain how.

Hilary Marsh, the President and Chief Strategist of Content Company, will discuss a new way of thinking about content that will help Content Strategists bring people together to make better content and more effective results.

Our profession is on the precipice of something very new and very disruptive. What does the next step really mean for us? Will we adapt or will it spur on another new industry of content professional? How will we produce content for a new medium and still keep the lights on with continued needs for traditional channels of delivery?

Adopt too slowly and you’ll miss the wave. Adopt to quickly and you run the risk of the wave dashing onto the sand. In this session, Rob Hanna will explore how to ride the crest of the new content wave.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to manage influencer content distribution schedules for social media and live events.
  • What collaborations with brands and content creators can do to build your communities.
  • The potential usages of geo-targeted social media to engage customers with your content using live events.
  • Leveraging video technologies on YouTube and Instagram to drive traffic and sales to your core products and services.
  • Strategies for developing content creation through customer engagement.


In this session attendees will learn:

  • To define a balanced set of metrics that provide a complete picture of a content experience ecosystem while creating the right environment and behaviors to reach the goals.
  • To define the critical success factors of a content experience ecosystem. o. To track leading and lagging KPIs within each critical factor.
  • To ensure measurements reinforce the expected outcome.
  • To define success in both quantitative and qualitative terms.

Real-world examples are used to provide a checklist of requirements that can help companies decide what’s initially important and how the solution might evolve over time.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • What features are important in choosing a solution
  • What end users expect from a content delivery solution

The convergence of Marcomm and Techcomm is a new reality driven by the needs of the evolving customer experience. But how do you prepare for that and leverage your content assets to deliver the greatest value?

This session will discuss how to apply Content Engineering techniques to enable Content-as-a-Service pipelines that unlock the potential of content assets across the enterprise, no matter where they were created, or in which system they are stored in.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • Strategies for balancing business goals with user experience
  • Best practices for developing the strategy and content for your conversations
  • Ways to adapt your voice and tone to this new communication channel
  • Tips for setting expectations with humans who think your bot can do everything
  • Approaches for those interactions that don’t go as planned

In this session we will examine love and hate from both perspectives:

  • We’ll talk about the benefits of the XML architecture that is coming to your enterprise.
  • We will talk about efficiencies of information reuse and single source publishing at the enterprise level.
  • We’ll discuss the needs of information consumers who want just enough of the right information, at the right time, on their device of choice, in their language of choice.
  • We’ll see if the love your organization will have for better content for your information consumers and saving money can avert the DITA Zombie Apocalypse.


Luncheon Buffet
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Fresh Baby Spinach Salad w/

Roasted Red Peppers, Feta Cheese & Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette

Bacon Jack Chicken Breast

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast, Caramelized Onions,
Chopped Bacon, Pepper Jack Cheese and Herb Cream Sauce

Blackened Catfish

Blackened Catfish, Smoked Shrimp Court Bouillon

Bronzed Pork Loin

Bronzed Pork Loin, Cane Syrup Jus, Sweet Potato Casserole

Cajun Rice Dressing
Roasted Corn Macque Choux
Praline Bread Pudding
Assorted King Cakes

Menu’s will be announced at a later date.


You have the technology and the people, but do you have the best content? This session will highlight four collaborative content strategies that you can implement across your organization to create high-quality content at a more efficient and cost-effective rate.

You’ll learn what it takes to implement these strategies and gain insight into how real companies have improved customer satisfaction and increased revenue through a collaborative content strategy.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • How to avoid common pitfalls of CMS projects?
  • Why just selecting the right CMS isn’t enough?
  • Key work streams and skill sets needed to succeed?
  • What a Project Managers say is critical to every implementation plan?

In this session attendees will learn:

  • The roles content plays in design systems (editorial style guide, voice and tone guidelines, information architecture, taxonomy, and others)
  • Building and sharing design systems and standards for global content creators
  • Documenting interaction, visual, and other design decisions with content o. Using content to inform and support the design systems’ users

Analysts predict that chatbots will be your customers’ preferred interface. How can you transition from carefully staged demos to real-life customers?

In this session attendees will learn:

  • How rules-based chatbots work and why those simple demos are so impressive
  • Why chatbots so often fail as soon as they enter the real world
  • Why current technologies are inadequate and give unsatisfactory experiences
  • The difficulties in fueling a chatbot with text-based content
  • Technological approaches which will permit you to go to the next level with a chatbot that can take you to a higher degree of functionality

In this session attendees will learn:

  • Why customers want more interactive content
  • How to reuse content to build memorable experiences
  • How to turn boring old content into something new and exciting
  • Why different teams across a huge company are creating content together


In this session, we will examine trends toward dissolving that fragmentation and merging all of your product knowledge into a unified digital experience. We will present a case study for how adopting digital experiences for product knowledge measurably improved customer support at Riverbed.

One of the promises made to companies moving to DITA was the portability of content and flexibility in the approach to future system choices. Years after deploying solutions, many companies are still struggling to make their investment work the way they want and deliver the benefits promised.

Other more mature industries have a more pragmatic approach to core systems with regular reviews and the ability to embrace change, what can we learn from this?

Changing your CCMS needn’t be the herculean task you fear and may help you actually achieve the functionality you have always been promised. Bluestream have taken companies on this journey and developed a comprehensive methodology to ease the path.

If you want to learn the process for successfully implementing content solutions, then join Amber Swope as she leads you through her methodology for empowered and successful content. The methodology includes:

  • Business – Define success for the project based upon the content strategy, customers goals, and business requirements, including quantifiable metrics.
  • Information Architecture – Interpret the success requirements into the architecture for the content, including the appropriate content model, metadata application, and reused strategy.
  • Technology – Identify the technology requirements and strategy for supporting all of the key activities in the content development workflow.
  • Process – Lay the foundation for long term success by defining guidance, developing and delivering training, and building a governance strategy.

Are your writers spending hours copying SME content, cleaning the content, and adding XML markup? SMEs are contributing information in many formats. Writers copy and paste content from many sources. Do you need your SMEs to add comments or changes directly to the XML source content and see comments from other reviewers simultaneously? Are your writers spend hours compiling comments and changes from reviewers and automatically incorporate into the content?

Join Vasont Systems as we explore options to address these concerns and look for ways to optimize the content development process.

Join this session to hear about the lessons learned from establishing and implementing a unified UX and content strategy to product pages at SAP, the world’s largest provider of enterprise application software serving more than 365,000 customers in 180 countries. Explore results with before-and-after comparison and get actionable tips you can consider and implement in your organization.

  • What’s the role of UX and content strategy in the digital customer experience for products?
  • How to translate customer insights and business goals into compelling product pages with relevant and consistent content through an integrated UX approach?
  • How to reflect constantly changing customer preferences and business transformation in your content?
  • Collaboration, change management, enablement: why and how? Best practices for bringing a front-end content strategy spanning marcomm and techcomm to life.


The presentation discusses the shift from “technical information is a backwater department that costs us money” to “technical information is a critical aspect of our customer experience effort” and the implications of that paradigm shift.

“People buy experiences, not products,” Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO, said recently at the Adobe Summit 2018. Almost every bigger company has recognized that it is in the customer experience business. Understanding the customer journey and the brand interactions across channels and platforms and their impact on the customer experience is crucial for creating a unified CX strategy.

But it’s a complex system coming with a lot of challenges: Multiple brand touchpoints have a cumulative impact on the customer experience. Inconsistent content experiences throughout the customer journey create a fuzzy brand experience. Marketing and technical communication content silos and a cluttered IT landscape create disconnected content worlds in voice and tone, visual consistency, and unified accessibility. Understanding that technical communication plays an essential role in the customer experience is crucial for creating high-quality brand experiences.

In this keynote, Stefan Gentz, Adobe Worldwide Technical Communication Evangelist, will dive with you into the world of customer experience strategy and how to blend technical communication seamlessly into the digital experience world of today’s customers.



Welcome to the LavaCon Storytelling Open Mic. Think along the lines of The Moth, and StoryCorps.

Five minutes. One live microphone. Your stories.

Here’s how it works: You show up and listen to great stories. If you wish to tell a story, arrive early and add your name to the Storytelling Open Mic sign-up sheet.

The only ground rules: your story must be true, it must be about you, and it can’t be a plug for anything. We get to as many as we can before the end of the evening.

Past tales have included: Marriage proposals, admissions of guilt, faces fallen flat upon and great triumphs of will. The whole of human experience.

Join us. We want to hear your stories.


Tuesday's Schedule

Continental Breakfast
Freshly Baked Morning Pastries
with Fruit Preserves and Butter
Fruit Yogurt Parfaits with Granola and Fresh Berries
Selection of Assorted Whole Fruit

Hot Item:

Assorted Individual Crepe Quiche:
Loaded Vegetarian (Onions, Pepper s, Tomato, Mushroom,

Spinach & Boursin Cheese)
Smoked Salmon, Fresh Dill and Cream Cheese
Quiche Lorraine (Bacon and Swiss)

Just Now Brewed Regular and Decaffeinated Coffee and
a Selection of Black, Herbal and Specialty Teas
Orange , Apple and Cranberry Juice


“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

In this session, Jim Edmunds will explore how fear of failure and institutional resistance to change dooms many enterprise content projects and perpetuates strategies built to fail. Find out not just what you can learn from the mistakes of others, but also how it happens that in the process of making mistakes we often discover our best ideas.

As we begin to coordinate content across the enterprise, we need to re-examine our content infrastructure. Will we have a single, unified workflow for everyone creating customer-facing content? If not, what is the minimum viable infrastructure needed to make enterprise content a reality?

  • How many resources should we invest in an extensive search mechanism when more and more of our content is being accessed through Google search?
  • What is the ROI and how much should we invest in search for our internal folks accessing content that is locked down from the public and Google?
  • How do we provide personalized content that services each customer’s environment?

We are at a critical moment in history, with knowledge bursting at the seams of our organizations. Many of us still struggle to manage numerous modes of omnichannel content engagement: published, interactive, and automated. The solution requires vision to move towards a new order of content intelligence encompassing our organization’s entire knowledge graph. It requires spanning silos, especially between marcomm and techcomm.

Join Cruce Saunders as he explores the new content stack, and how to future proof content assets to meet the demands of ever-evolving customer experiences.



In this session attendees will learn:

  • The minimum metrics you should be measuring on your content
  • The difference between leading and lagging indicators
  • How to make an executive-level business case for content production
  • How to link tech docs to marketing and sales automation
  • How to merge traditional tech pubs documentation with more fluid support content

In this session attendees will learn:

  • Why one of the major challenges of the information age is that we don’t know what we don’t know and how it may affect the user experience
  • How a knowledge map can address this challenge and help us provide users with precise, relevant, and complete information that addresses their needs
  • What a knowledge map is and how it differs from metadata
  • How a knowledge map can be integrated into structured content and content delivery channels, such as chatbots
  • What business value a knowledge map creates and how you can utilize the knowledge map that currently exists in your company

In this session, Amitoj Singh (Product Manager, Adobe Technical Communication Products) will talk about delighting customers through such content experiences. Amitoj will also show how, with tools like FrameMaker & RoboHelp – 2019 release, you can create, manage, and deliver such personalized experiences on-the-go and help customers find relevant content smarter and faster.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • How to design conversations that users find helpful and delightful.
  • The specific content design constraints of text- and voice-based chatbots.
  • The most important platforms to know about (like Facebook Messenger, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa) and differences between them.
  • How to reach users via the medium (graphical, text, or audio) that works best for their context.
  • How to take on the mantle of designer for an entirely content-based experience

Learn how Cherwell Software used a digital experience platform (DXP) to implement a world-class Documentation Portal with minimal staffing and a condensed time frame. Learn how we consolidated documentation for multiple products, versions, and languages into single consolidated platform. We’ll discuss how we sold the project to Cherwell leadership, how we selected our vendor, and the challenges we faced during implementation.


AVA (Autonomous Virtual Assistant) is an AI-driven bot whose goal is to improve customer success and deflect support requests. AVA maintains deep context to recognize customer intent and provide highly-efficient and accurate recommendations. Come hear the Content Strategy team at VMware share their experiences taking the plunge to build machine-learning driven solutions. The team will discuss the process of creating a content intelligence platform, selecting ML technologies, and building a chatbot that provides natural interactions between VMware’s customers and products.

  • How LavaCon 2017 inspired VMware to begin ML projects
  • Identifying use cases for ML application
  • How to set up data stores and gather data
  • How to select an ML platform (Watson, Amazon Lex/Connect, Google Cloud, etc.)
  • Tips for building dialog workflow
  • Finding the right tone of voice for your bot
  • Evaluating results and tuning the ML model
  • Measuring how bots impact customer success

Luncheon Buffet
Corn and Crab Bisque
Chopped Salad

Romaine, Iceberg, Diced Tomatoes, Chopped Hard Boiled Egg,
Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Bacon, Creamy Vinaigrette
Pecan Crusted Snapper
Pecan Crusted Snapper, Creole Meniere Sauce
Grilled Sirloin of Beef
Grilled and Sliced Sirloin, Fresh Rosemary Au Jus
Chicken Chardonnay

Grilled Chicken Breast, Roasted Tomatoes , Artichokes and Garlic Confit

Red Beans and Rice·

Fresh Green Beans with Bacon and Onion

Praline Cheesecake
Bourbon Bread Pudding


How do you inspire and empower your team to help you in your mission? Start today with these tips and tricks.

Learn to help your team members:

  • Make friends and influence people
  • Empower others
  • Measure effectiveness
  • Stay sharp We’ll also ask other content managers in the room to share their stories, so we all can crowdsource solutions to the problems we all face as senior management.

We will show and explain the main features of a modern style guide that distinguish it from traditional ones:

  • Discoverable – the writer can discover style guide rules as s/he writes
  • Enforceable – the writer is notified automatically when rules are not followed
  • Interactive – the writer is assisted to fix the detected issues
  • Dynamic – the style guide evolves in time, writers being able to propose updates/changes

We will show how these can be implemented using the state of the art technologies available today, such as:

  • Structured formats / XML
  •  ISO Schematron
  • Schematron Quick Fix
  • Versioning / Git

How can you get ahead of the curve in a loud, bright world of short attention spans? In this session, you will learn:

  • What skills are required to create effective VLEs? (Maybe your team or organization already has these skills.)
  • How do VLEs differ from elearning modules?
  • How do VLEs differ when used in pre-sales or post-sales content?
  • How is multimedia, interactive education being used today in health care, customer support, and marketing?

In this session attendees will learn:

  • Gain leadership buy-in and budget for voice projects
  • Understand which content to use to build skills
  • Build skills (voice apps)
  • Choose and connect across platforms and device types
  • Measure results to show successes, gaps, and opportunities for additional investment

Nobody knows paperwork like the Pentagon. Without exaggeration, the Department of Defense (DoD) has policies and procedures for writing policies and procedures.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • How to enable smart policies and procedures
  • How to use intelligent content to streamline complex documentation processes
  • How to simplify the technology requirements for XML-based documentation processes
  • How to integrate intelligent content into a mainstream enterprise technology landscape
  • How to make XML based solutions scalable & sustainable


In this session attendees will learn:

  • Content management with GIT
  • Open source publishing frameworks using Markdown
  • DITA to Markdown
  • Multi-channel publishing

Attendees will learn about tools developed by Facebook’s in-house content strategy team, with examples to demonstrate how they’re applied by about 200 writers at the company. Anyone who works in content knows it’s hard enough to get a team of writers aligned on applying the same voice. Writing with the same voice while adjusting tone compounds the challenge. This talk shares strategies for how to guide writing teams in mapping content to a range of emotions and developing content that’s consistent and contextual.

Today, we find ourselves facing a future where content production is becoming far more Precise, Complex, Collaborative, and Distributed across large enterprise systems.

In this session, you will learn about:

  • parallel trends in related industries that are driving change
  • emerging technologies that shape the needs for change
  • structured writing methods that can adapt to change
  • microcontent and how it works to accommodate change.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • Techniques for breaking down complex content problems into manageable problems to solve.
  • Strategies for sustainable content creation, collaboration, and consensus building across teams.
  • How to gather and leverage valuable metrics that inform knowledge architecture and resonate with stakeholders.
  • Guidelines that your team can use when creating reusable content for large organizations, such as templates, workflows, and hierarchies.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • How we managed to present a unified content experience despite using different tools to create and publish content
  • How content teams work with development teams to test and evaluate search using analytics
  • How we work to leverage intelligence from Localization teams to identify search patterns and create keywords and synonyms
  • How we’re tooling our content so we’re ready to incorporate bots
  • How our assumptions were shattered (and verified in a few cases)


In this keynote, Alexander will discuss an alternative way beside typical ROI business case to obtain funding for your key content development strategy initiative.

Building a global content ecosystem can seem like an insurmountable challenge. To make it work, you need the right mix of people, budgets, buy-in, and (most importantly) trans-silo negotiation skills.

In this session, Michael Goldberg will share what it takes to implement a successful global content ecosystem.

In this session we’ll look at real-world examples of how the way we phrase a question or design an interaction can have a huge impact on the quality of conversation, and the three rules they share.

Being right feels good. But great things happen when we prove ourselves wrong. In this talk, Megan will tell stories that illustrate the power of learning you are wrong.


Bourbon Vieux, 501 Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Sponsored by Web Works.

Wednesday's Schedule

Continental Breakfast
Assorted Breakfast Breads, Muffins and Croissants
Assorted Bagels with Flavored Cream Cheeses

Sliced Seasonal Fruit
Hot Item:
Cajun Benedict:

Grilled Open Faced Buttered Biscuit, Boudin Patty, Fresh Poached Egg, Crawfish Étouffée

Just Now Brewed Regular and Decaffinated Coffee and a
Selection of Black, Herbal and Specialty Teas
Orange, Apple and Cranberry Juice


What does outsourcing bring to mind? Cost-cutting? Low quality? Reduced morale? Headaches?

Outsourcing can lead to all that, and more. Or it can lead to increased quality, improved processes, and increased team morale. What makes the difference?

Join, Barry Saiff, author of Outsourcing Technical Writing: A Primer, published on October 20, 2018 by XML Press, as part of the Content Wrangler Content Strategy series, for a dynamic discussion on the pitfalls and benefits of outsourcing.

In this session you will learn:
• How can you create outsourcing success?
• How can technical communicators influence outsourcing decisions?
• What are the potential pitfalls to watch out for?
• What are the potential benefits to maximize?
• Is outsourcing right for your organization? Is now the time?

How well does your voice travel to France, where language is more formal? Or Brazil, where it’s more casual?

In this session, we’ll share our fixed-flexible-free framework for crafting voice guidelines that work for different markets while maintaining a consistent global brand.

Attendees will leave with:

  • An understanding of voice & tone and why it’s important to your global brand
  • A template for developing voice guidelines with fixed, flexible, and free elements for each of your global markets
  • A strategy for teaching voice guidelines to everyone in the organization, whether it’s a team of 10 or 10,000

We discuss background issues, how three sets of numbers (cost cutting, efficiency, and growth) were identified as a business target, and how they made their CCMS decision based on specific KPI they tracked. We’ll discuss how they got to where they stand now (2 years later) and what comes next.

  • Refined and adjusted the toolset
  • Converted legacy content for projects
  • Started from scratch in Agile projects
  • Experienced alternating pain and gain on a daily basis
  • Pruned processes and projects so that they fit the refined toolset

Customers seeking product support don’t want to browse your site, engage with your content, or contact you. Stop using marketing success indicators for your support content. Attendees will learn how to:

  • Establish KPIs that improve your support experience, reduce contact volume and save you money on in-person support.
  • Learn the difference between tactical metrics that help you identify improvement opportunities and success metrics that measure support effectiveness.
  • Use segments in Google Analytics to monitor contact rates and content effectiveness. We’ll use examples from Autodesk’s customer service content strategy to demonstrate how we used metrics to identify improvement opportunities, reduce contact volumes, and measure the effectiveness of our support experience.


Your migration journey is going to involve fear, frustration, skepticism, exhaustion, and maybe even dysentery. We learned a lot about humanity while migrating our Markdown-in-Github docs to DITA. We’ll share our experience, describe our lessons learned, and help you prepare for the emotional aspects of your own content migration projects. You’ll learn about :

  • What’s the state of your team culture and values? Are they up for this?
  • What happens when people who are good at their job are temporarily bad at it?
  • Why is Engineering mad at us?
  • What things can you do to lift the team up when everyone is stressed out and generally peeved?
  • What if a key person quits? What if anyone quits?
  • We succeeded! Why don’t we feel elated?

In this session attendees will learn:

  •  Technical options for going mobile, including responsive design, converting traditional online help to an app, and creating a “true” app using RMAD (Rapid Mobile App Development) tools. The pros and cons of each approach and some of the tools available for creating each option.
  • Anticipated changes in content creation practices and workflows including the elimination of local formatting, adoption of a “mobile first” philosophy, rethinking the role of tables, and more.
  • How company issues like terminology standardization, strategic benefit, politics, and the development of metrics and standards can help or hinder a move to mobile.

In this session, attendees will learn and discuss strategies for building content professionals. We will go through key stages and milestones to be mindful of when working towards building a content team. Starting from the initial stages of hiring with the goal of building a long-term team, we will discuss ideas on what holds a team together and creates strength for one another.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • What Lightweight DITA is
  • The problems it is designed to solve in marketing, training, and software development use cases
  • How it will work with existing DITA implementations
  • How to decide if it is right for you
Michael PriestlyEnterprise Content Technology Strategist

This session draws on use cases from a range of organizations as they aimed to increase the reach and value of their content assets by providing highly engaging user experiences beyond the traditional help or documentation. In this session attendees will learn:

  • What types of internal business questions you can ask to uncover opportunities to increase the value of your content
  • How to structure conversations with your users to uncover opportunities to excite them
  • How to conduct a technical market scan to discover best practice examples in other industries and how they could apply to your client base
  • Managing the critical links between content creation and content consumption as specifications are created, in order to reduce risk and complexity
  • Tying your project to executive goals that raises the internal value of your group, and increases your project budget


When it comes to content strategy, *cost* is king.

  • You will learn the value of your content and see a few references.
  • There are signs your company is ready for a content strategy. If your company has 1 resource dedicated to marketing, that’s one sign…
  • Traditionally, companies have front-end content strategies. In small-medium businesses, you can do better, easier: a global strategy. If you’re not doing a global content strategy, you’re already behind the other small-medium businesses. In this session, you will learn what is a global content strategy, their outlines, how to use it in your one-pager for the administration. You will see examples of visuals, such as mind mapping tools, or non-tools.
  • This session will also draw on DITA Metrics 101 and metrics you already have and see every day to determine how to get there with the means and resources of a SME.

In this session, Stilo’s Conversion Services Manager, Helen St. Denis, will show how organizations can get rid of unwanted specimens and deadwood, identify opportunities for reuse—create once, publish everywhere—and put in place strategies for maintaining your content assets so as not to get overgrown again.

Helen will cover:

  • Weeding (Content audit)
  • Preparing to transplant the good stuff (Pre-conversion preparation)
  • Selecting the correct location (Identifying topic type)
  • Pruning (Ensuring content matches the content model)
  • Looking after your new garden (Post-conversion)
  • Thinning (Content deduplication and reuse)

During this session Berry Braster will paint the big (IoT) picture and inform technical communicators and technical documentation managers on the crucial role technical documentation plays in this new landscape.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • How Healthwise developed and deployed its DITA specializations for its proprietary content products
  • How quickly that model changed based on the needs of content development and engineering
  • How the requirements of testing and deploying complicated a live production process and how we mitigated the impacts o. How would we do things differently if we had to do it over
  • What practices made our situation better or worse
  • What innovations did we implement to improve our production process

This presentation will explore personality within conversational UI as everything from voice & tone to creating an independent identity – from the perspective of the writers who brought it to Cortana. You’ll see how it relates to the core standard voice & tone principles for products and services, and might help you answer the question, “What’s the difference between a bot and a conversation embedded in a product?


Luncheon Buffet

Today’s Soup
Caprese Salad

Buffalo Mozzarella, Cherry Tomato and Basi l Leaves, Champagne Vinaigrette

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Diced Red Onion, Bell Peppers, Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese Herb Vinaigrette

The Greens

Romaine and Iceberg Salad, Baby Greens

The Toppings

Carrots, Tomatoes, Red Onion, English Cucumber, Peppers , Pecans, Parmesan
Cheese, Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Bacon, Hard Boiled Eggs and Garlic Croutons

The Proteins

Blackened Chicken, Blackened Shrimp,Flank Steak, Salmon,

Portobello Mushrooms
The Dressings

Buttermilk Ranch, Creamy Caesar Dressings and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Desserts (Choice of Two):
Fruit Tart of the Season I FruitCoulis
Carrot Cake I Cream Cheese Frosting
Sweet Ricotta filled Cannoli


In this session attendees will learn:

  •  Technical options for going mobile, including responsive design, converting traditional online help to an app, and creating a “true” app using RMAD (Rapid Mobile App Development) tools. The pros and cons of each approach and some of the tools available for creating each option.
  • Anticipated changes in content creation practices and workflows including the elimination of local formatting, adoption of a “mobile first” philosophy, rethinking the role of tables, and more.
  • How company issues like terminology standardization, strategic benefit, politics, and the development of metrics and standards can help or hinder a move to mobile.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • How to build trust with executives
  • How to partner with company leaders to give voice to their vision and goals
  • How two infrastructure writers at Salesforce followed those steps to keep employees informed about recent plans and developments—and get them excited about what the future might hold

In this session, attendees will learn actionable ideas, how to plan your content strategy for the future, while taking advantage of existing content investments, and how the content strategy landscape is shifting. This interactive session aims to get attendee creative juices flowing in the following areas:

  • Contextualization
  • Content Mashups
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Chat Bots
  • Neural Machine Translation

In this session attendees will learn:

  • Why an online support portal is so important and part of your product
  • How dynamically delivered DITA content enables the ultimate content experience
  • How rich DITA content can be delivered dynamically to solve modern and future problems
  • How to address the challenges in creating an online content delivery portal, and why it took so long to get where we are
  • How to present varied types of content effectively in a single support portal

During this session, attendees will learn:

  • About the importance of video when it comes to reaching audiences today, especially the young generations.
  • Why the video format works best for teaching and explaining people
  • How to manage the creation and versioning of video efficiently in bulk.
  • What the content and technical requirements are for transforming your DITA / XML-based technical documentation into video
  • I will show you how it works


In the information age audience’s needs change making Project Analysis an ever-moving target. This
presentation will teach how to use Google Event Tracking to build stronger reader profiles, verify and
predict audience needs and test documentation efficiency, Supercharging your project analysis.

In this session, attendees will learn how preparing now can make the transition to new platforms and tools (both known and unknown) less daunting and overwhelming. Topics will include:

  • How to write smaller, more compact chunks of content.
  • How to adopt a more conversational tone. How do you write content that Grandma can understand while keeping the distracted Millennial engaged.
  • How to write content for repurposing in knowledge articles, chatbots, and anything else.

We will surf you through our journey which began with traditional help authoring tools to a wiki solution to optimize multilingual customer collaboration. So grab your board and shoot the curl as we surf through the process.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • How to plan, select, and implement a solution for translated wikis. This includes considerations for conversion, partnering with third-party tool vendors on requirements needed to support translation
  • Working with translation vendors to enable processing files through translation management systems
  • Working with in-country reviewers, and analyzing customer feedback
  • Finally, attendees will gain awareness on developing a regime for generating Google Analytics reports to track viewership for non-English users.


Join us at the closing of the LavaCon Conference in the Grand Ballroom for a recap session with Jack.

Jack Molisani, Executive Director of the LavaCon Conference