The LavaCon Content Strategy Blog

Learn about the updates to the premier content strategy conference.

Immersive Reality and the Future of Content

Immersive Reality and the Future of Content by Kit Brown-Hoekstra

The future of technical communication is visual and interactive. This statement should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to the changing demographics of the workforce, the maturation of the technology that facilitates this, and to customer expectations. We are already seeing heavy equipment manufacturers leaping ahead with training and service content. Some companies are using it to onboard new employees in clinical settings. Others are using it to help Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Newspapers and magazines seem to have daily stories about new implementations. It seems that the opportunities are limited only by our imaginations.

While only 5% of companies currently use AR/VR according to a recent survey by The Content Wrangler, many more are beginning to explore the possibilities. Tech Crunch, ABI Research, and Business Insider are predicting that by 2020 (just 2 months from now) the industry will grow to more than $100 billion dollars (Armfield et al.). We need to be ready when our companies start asking questions.

This year, LavaCon has an entire track on Tuesday dedicated to immersive reality topics (see the schedule):

  • Virtual Reality: Immersive Experiences with Real-World Application, presented by Jill Knight of Deloitte Digital.
  • Beyond the Hero’s Journey: Immersive Storytelling Through AR/VR, by Nisha Burton of Reflective Brands and Design Reality.
  • Creating Impactful Content for Immersive Technologies: An Education Revolution, by Elise O’Brien of Beach Day Studios.
  • Why AR/VR Sucks—If You Don’t Do It Right, Joshua Young, Design Reality

There are also three workshops that take a deeper dive into the possibilities of immersive reality:

  • On Sunday: Immersive Design: A Practical Approach to VR Storytelling, led by Andrea Zeller and Nadine Anglin. This full-day, preconference workshop teaches you the principles of immersive storytelling and how to build your own story in VR.
  • On Wednesday (there’s still room!):
    • Morning: Let’s Play! Discover How Some Companies are Using AR/VR. A morning lab where you can play with some of the technology and see how some companies are using immersive reality to improve customer experience. This is an open house where you can come and go.
    • Afternoon: Content Strategy for AR/VR. Joshua Young, Berry Braster, Rob Bannerman, and Nathan Bowser will discuss practical ways you can integrate immersive reality into your content strategy.

These sessions are just the beginning as we examine the potential impact of immersive reality on not only the way we work and interact with our content, but also the skills we need. Along the way, we also grapple with the ethical and accessibility considerations and the practical issues of creating a strategy and architecture that supports AR/VR where it’s appropriate to do so.

Sign up for the workshops! Join us for the sessions! Take the survey and tell us about your experiences:

[Free Webinar] – Top Selling Points for a CCMS

September 5th, 2019 10:00 a.m. PST / 1:00 p.m. EST – Register

You are currently authoring content in XML and know that you need a CCMS to manage your content, but how do you convince upper management that a CCMS is a valuable investment. During this webinar, Deb Bissantz will share benefits of a CCMS that you can use as selling points for a CCMS to upper management. Deb will discuss how to present this information so that upper management will understand the value of a CCMS.

Read Deb’s biography!

Simple Guide to Information Architecture for Web Designers – Amelia

Information Architecture is something that both designers and developers should consider. Regardless of who is responsible for Information Architecture, the tools and resources related to it are separate instances that require enough knowledge to operate them correctly.

The team at Amelia wrote “Simple Guide to Information Architecture for Web Designers” to explain what Information Architecture means, what its relationship with web designers is, and how it can improve the user experience process in the long run.

The LavaCon Content Impact Awards

Guest Author: Rhyne Armstrong

LavaCon wants to help you tell YOUR story.

At the closing session of LavaCon Las Vegas, Jack Molisani issued a challenge to attendees: Return to your organizations, apply what you learned at LavaCon, and come back to LavaCon Portland prepared to share the story of how you made an impact in your organization. Whether you produce content that increases revenue, reduces costs, reduces time-to-market, or increases customer satisfaction, your work has positive results.

Having been in the content world for nearly 25 years, I have heard one complaint over and over again, a complaint that takes different forms:  “No one appreciates what I do!” or “They don’t understand the impact of what I do.” The worst part is that the statements are usually true. Organizations do not understand the work that goes into content projects because we have either done a poor job of telling our story or not told it at all.

LavaCon wants to raise awareness of your role and the valuable work you do, and we are excited to launch the LavaCon Content Impact Awards. These awards support our community, promote the profession, and reinforce ideas shared by the experts who speak at the LavaCon conferences.


The LavaCon Content Impact Awards recognize content professionals who have used content, user experience, or technical communication to make a positive impact in their organizations. The award is not a competition to see who made the biggest or best impact, but a way to celebrate the many achievements that content professionals make while expanding their sphere of influence, enabling organizational change, and ensuring customer success.

Tell us how you and your team have made a significant contribution to how content is generated in your organization. Have you created a portal to aggregate content across multiple silos? Or perhaps you streamlined how your group writes content by moving to structured authoring? Have you reduced costs or lowered tech support calls? We want to hear about it!


The application process is easy: visit the Content Impact Awards site, read the awards overview and rules, and submit your story through a simple form. There is no fee for entering, and there can be multiple recipients.

Winners receive a digital certificate, their story posted on the LavaCon website, and promotion through our social media accounts. Several winners will be asked to present their story at a future LavaCon conference, where they will receive the full conference registration absolutely free.

See you at LavaCon Portland!

Personalizing Content Using Taxonomy

Join us September 12th, 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST – Register

Technical content is playing an increasingly important role in the overall digital experience for leading companies. The goal of your content must be to provide relevant, personalized answers to technical questions about your product as quickly as possible. Only then can you unlock the true value and ROI in your technical content resources.

In this webinar, we will demonstrate how taxonomy helps you to facilitate that excellence in personalized content delivery, and we’ll walk through the basics of taxonomy design for technical content.

Megan Gilhooly, Vice President Customer Experience, Zoomin

Thousands of Words, One Brand Voice: Style Guides, Content Workflows, and AI

Join us June 25th, 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST – Register


Qordoba has been analyzing how content strategists work with style guides and implement better content check processes. In this webinar, May Habib will present results and trends from the Style Guides 2019 Benchmark Report and the 2019 State of Content Strategy Report.


Join the webinar to learn:

– Top priorities and biggest challenges for content strategists

– How content strategists are crafting writing guidelines their teams actually use

– How technology can help teams execute their content strategy


Presented by May Habib, CEO, Qordoba

Build a Business Case to Attend the 2019 LavaCon Conference

Question: How do you convince your boss that attending The 2019 LavaCon Conference is a smart investment?
Answer: Build a business case that shows how attending LavaCon will help solve your organization’s content challenges, reduce production costs, and generate revenue.

Whether you want to improve your customers’ experience, move towards structured authoring and XML, or strengthen relationships with stakeholders, LavaCon offers sessions and case studies that will help you make a difference in your organization.

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LavaCon 2019 Call for Speakers Is Open

Calling all Content Strategy Professionals:

Do you have a content strategy business experience that you can present for the LavaCon Content Strategy Conference? Are you working on projects that create unified content strategy experiences?

Are you able to share your insight on how to solve content-related business problems? Decrease production costs? Generate revenue?

If you have an interesting topic that can teach content professionals other skills that they need to succeed, consider submitting your presentation during our Call for Speakers.

Program tracks for our 2019 program will be organized into the following tracks:

  • Creating Unified Content Experiences
  • Content Development, Localization, and Management
  • People Management and Personal Development
  • Emerging Technologies (AR, VR, xR, etc.)
  • Customer Success (Case Studies)

The deadline for proposals is February 28, 2019 at 5 p.m. ET.

Read through the entire LavaCon 2019 Call for Speakers guide to learn more about the specific details and requirements for submitting your proposal.

Then submit your 2019 proposal on our conference website.

Be The Captain of Your Career Webinar Series

Jack Molisani,
President, ProSpring Technical Staffing

Webinar Dates: November 7th, 2018 – December 19th, 2018

In this webinar series, professional recruiter and author Jack Molisani will give you tools you need to take your career the next level, and then to absolutely new heights!

See the details and register online for this exciting series.

Top 20 Masters of Content Intelligence at LavaCon 2018 – Simple [A]

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