The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR

2024 Conference Program

Content as a Business Asset:
Reducing Costs, Generating Revenue, and Improving the Customer Experience Through Better Content

Our 2024 program includes over 70 sessions and optional hands-on workshop on how to plan, manage, and implement content initiatives. Download the 2024 Schedule at a Glance or detailed Preliminary Program in PDF, or scroll down to see the program by day.

Sunday, 27 October 2024

Optional Half-day Workshops


Registration in Grand Ballroom Foyer
Coffee only (breakfast on your own)


Design AI Prompts and Workflows to Improve User Journeys
Noz Urbina, Omnichannel Strategist, Urbina Consulting

Elevating Documentation Excellence: Integrating AI for Robust Content Taxonomies
Christopher Ward , V.P. of Sales and Marketing, WebWorks

They Already Sent a Poet, and It’s You!
Carol Hattrup, Manager, Client Learning, Netsmart

User Research For Content Teams: Hands-On Testing Techniques
Bridget O’Donnell, Senior Content Strategist, Alibaba Group (AliExpress)


Lunch on your own


One Size Fits No One
Dawn Stevens, President, Comtech Services

Building and Maintaining a Prompt Library as a Business Asset
Jason Kaufman, Principal AI Content Strategist, Irrevo

Climbing the Google Analytics Mountain (GA4) for Documentation Excellence
Christopher Ward , V.P. of Sales and Marketing, WebWorks

Optimizing Content Operations: Calculating the ROI of your Production Pipeline
Rahel Bailie, Content Solutions Director, Technically Write IT

Building Taxonomies to Leverage Content
Heather Hedden, Senior Consultant, Enterprise Knowledge, LLC


Welcome Reception
23rd Floor

Monday, 28, October 2024


Registration in the Exhibit Hall Foyer
Continental Breakfast
in the Grand Ballroom Foyer


The Welcome to LavaCon!

Featured Speakers
(three sequential 18 minute TED-like talks)

Are Your Canaries Still Singing? An Optimist’s Guide to Designing for Failure
Relly Annett-Baker, Head of UX Content Strategy, Google

Metamorphosis: Empowering Our Craft’s Evolution in the Dawn of GenAI’s Era
Fawn Damitio, Sr. Manager of AI Infrastructure, Meta
and Peggy Sanchez, Sr. Manager, HP Enterprise

Achieving Change in Large Enterprises: Think Big, Act Small
Captain Will Ware, Director of Electronic Flight Operations, Southwest Airlines


Five breakout sessions

How We Saved $57K in Deflected Support Cases in Five Months
Pam Noreault, Principal Information  Architect, Ellucian

Stop Imposing Your Org Chart Onto Your Customer Experience
Sara Feldman, Director of Member Engagement, Consortium for Service Innovation

Supercharge CX by Truly Integrating Marketing and Technical Content
Stefan Gentz, Principal Worldwide Evangelist, Technical Communication, Adobe Systems

Evaluating AI: Best Tools for Your Content Team
Gavin Austin, Principal Technical Writer, Salesforce

The Trouble with DITA: A Review of the 2024 DITA Satisfaction Survey
Rob Hanna, CEO and Co-founder, Precision Content


Integrating Marketing Into Your TechComm Strategy: A Key to Business Success
Christopher Ward , V.P. of Sales and Marketing, WebWorks

Creating a Truly Customer-centric Content Experience
Laura Miles,Associate Director, Customer Success Operations, NAVEX

Integrating Subject Matter Experts Into Structured Authoring Ecosystems
Dipo Ajose-Coker, Product Marketing Manager, MadCap Software

The Beauty and the Beast: A Relationship with ChatGPT
Jennifer Swallow, Sr. Technical Content Manager, Splunk

Data Models for DITA Systems
Jim Tivy, CTO , Blustream Software


Networking Lunch followed by Dessert in the Exhibit Hall and
Therapy Dogs in the Grand Ballroom Foyer


Are You My Customer?
Dawn Stevens, President, Comtech Services

Metrics Madness: From Content Chaos to Data-Driven Delight
Kat Reierson, Manager, Product Documentation, DocuSign

Building Your Own Content Design System From Scratch
Andrew Dubrov, Head of CX Content Design, Verizon



Content is THE Most Strategic Asset for Unparalleled Customer and Business Success
Bernard Aschwanden, Principal AEM Guides Technologist, CCMS Kickstart

Operationalizing Generative AI
Sean Angus, Sr. Director of Solution Consulting, Acrolinx

Curing Chaotic Content by Cutting to the Core
Mark Johnson, Documentation Manager, Securonix

Taxonomies in the Age of AI: Are they still Relevant?
Rebecca Schneider, Executive Director, AvenueCX


Snack Break in the Exhibit Hall

Featured Speakers
(two sequential 18 minute TED-like talks)

The Business Case for Content Operations
Sarah O’Keefe, CEO, Scriptorium

Business Impact of Technical Content: The ROI Paradox
Stefan Gentz, Global TechComm Evangelist, Adobe


Networking Reception


Annual Storytelling Event
Location: Kelly’s Olympian

From poetry to stories and stand-up, grab your beverage of choice and hang out with your LavaCon peeps as we “talk story” (as they say in Hawaii).

They’ll be a place to sign up if you want to participate (five minutes per person).

No prior speaking experience required!

Tuesday, 29 October 2024


Registration: Exhibit Hall Foyer

Continental Breakfast: Grand Ballroom Foyer

Featured Speakers
(three sequential 18 minute TED-like talks)

Truth Collapse: The AI Meta-Crisis
Noz Urbina, Omnichannel Strategist, Urbina Consulting

Shining a Light on Internal Documentation’s Extensive Impact
Michelle Irvine, Technical Writer, Google


The Ultimate Practical Guide to Measuring the Impact of your Technical Content
Rita Khait, Director of Customer Enablement, Zoomin

Evolution of Technical Writing: Transforming to a UX Content Design Team
Kelsey Drillen, Director Content Design, PointClickCare

Building a Phenomenal Content Community of Practice
Christi Guzik, Lead UX Content Strategist, Rocket Companies

Beyond the Horizon: Make AI Work for Your Enterprise Content
Stefan Gentz, Principal Worldwide Evangelist, Technical Communication, Adobe

DITA Conversion: DIY vs Outsource? An Oxford Style Debate
Marianne Calilhanna, VP Marketing, Data Conversion Laboratory


The IDC and Quark CCMS Survey: How AI, Microsoft Integration and Workflow Automation Is Shaping Enterprise Content Strategy in Highly Regulated Industries
Emerson Welch, VP Global Marketing, Quark Software

The Unexpected Relationship Between Adopting a CCMS and ContentOps
Marie Etzler, Dir. of Technical Documentation, Magaya Corporation and
Alex Masycheff, CEO, Intuillion

The Horror of Modernizing Content
Janet Zarecor, Director of Clinical Systems Education Mayo Clinic, and
Alan Pringle, Chief Operating Officer, Scriptorium

Combining Corporate Language with GenAI: Treat or Threat?
Michael Mannhardt, President and
Torsten Machert, Senior Consultant , Congree

Bot Parenting 101: Raising the Bot Right
Rashmi Ramaswamy, Chief Information Strategist, Innovatia


Lunch followed by Dessert in the Exhibit Hall Foyer
Therapy Llama in the Grand Ballroom Foyer!

Lunch and Learn: Introducing the Component Content Alliance: A Resource for Content Professionals
Marianne Calilhanna, Data Conversion Laboratory

Vendor demos in Exhibit Hall


Using the Whole Box of Crayons: Conscious Leadership in Uncertain Times
Kathleen Brown-Hoekstra, Principal, Comgenesis LLC and Andrea Ames, Customer Success/Retention Strategist, Idyll Point Group

Focus on Content Experience for a More Sustainable Web
Jackie Pysarchuk, Enterprise Content Strategist, American College of Cardiology

Launch to the Sun: Implementing Docs like Sunshine Principles
Jared Bhatti, Sr Staff Technical Writer, Alphabet (Waymo)

Navigating AI: Real Tales from Content Frontiers (A Case Study)
Amber Swope and Joe Gregory-DeBernardi, DITA Strategies
Lief Erickson, Intuitive Stack

Out of Many, One: Building a Semantic Layer to Tear Down Silos
Guillermo Galdamez, Principal Consultant and Nina Spoelker, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Knowledge


Estimating for More Fun and Greater Profit
John Hedtke, Principal Consultant, Double Tall Consulting

Writing a Book on ContentOps: It Takes a Village of Experts
Carlos Evia, Associate Dean and CTO, Virginia Tech
Sarah O’Keefe, CEO, Scriptorium
Rahel Bailie, Content Solutions Director, Technically Write IT

Content and Context and AI, Oh My!
Eeshita Grover, Director, Product User Content, Cisco Systems

Getting it WRONG : Lessons Learned from Building a Web Content Audit Tool
Paulo Fernandes,Co-founder, Lead Web Developer, Luscious Orange


Snack Break in the Exhibit Hall



Synergy: A Crowdsourced Exercise in Learning Retention
Andrea Ames, Customer Success/Retention Strategist, Idyll Point Group   


Chinese Dragon Parade


Annual Karaoke Night
Location: Kelly’s Olympian

Wednesday, 30 October 2024


Continental Breakfast
Exhibit Hall Foyer


Justifying Content Experience Improvements in the Age of AI
Tig Newman, Principal Content Strategist, Google Cloud

From Chaos to Clarity: How to Surface Strategic Insights from Content Inventories and Audits
Vanessa Stuivenvolt Allen, Director Content Strategy, Resolute Digital

Lessons Learned in Scaling Up the Contact Center
Rachel Houghton, User Support  Lead, General Services Administration


Sellsword: Life as a Successful Mercenary Contractor
Jayme Perlman, Senior Technical Writer, GitHub

From Content Vision to Content Project: A True Story
Alan Porter, CEO, The Content Pool, and
Mike Dickerson, Content Project Lead, ACIG

Navigating The Generative AI Era: What Do You Need To Do To Keep Yourself Relevant?
Alexander Lum, Director – Global Product Content Development
and Richard Kung, Senior Manager, GPC Development, Ciena

How to Set Up (and Improve) a Documentation Portal
Allie Proff, Senior Technical Writer and
Christopher Stice, Technical Writer, Airbus Robotics


Reserved to repeat standing room only sessions

Effective Change Management for Content Teams
Kevin White, Director, Information Development, Workday

Mastering Interpersonal Dynamics: Navigating Difficult Personalities
Jackie Damrau, Product Owner, Cathedral Plumbing of Texas

Unleashing the Benefits of GenAI in Content Management and User Support
Lingxia Song, Documentation Engineer, Meta Docs@Scale Co-Lead and
Marla Azriel,Documentation Strategy Lead, Meta


Closing Panel Discussion: The Future of Content
Jack Molisani, The LavaCon Conference (Moderator)


Beyond Design Thinking: Innovation Through Co-Creation and Questions
Andrea Ames, Customer Success/ Retention Strategist
Idyll Point Group

Accessibility in Content Strategy
Jennifer Lee, Content & Design Lead, NIKE Inc.


Closing Social
Location TBD