Logo-cafe-juanita-btm Where to start?  This was Alacra's 11th SLA Conference so now we've done the cycle – the venue was Seattle in 1997 as well.  In 1997 it was tough to get a decent internet connection in the exhibit hall and Starbucks had not yet completely taken over coffee retailing.  This year's conference was reasonably well-attended; I noticed fewer visitors than previous years and there were definitely fewer academic and public librarians walking up to our stand.  The exhibition space was actually broken in half; we were fortunate to be in the same hall with the industry giants – Dow Jones, LexisNexis, ThomsonReuters, Elsevier, etc.  The other part of the exhibit hall had a large number of smaller exhibitors (BvD being one of the exceptions) and they must have felt as if they were in Siberia. The major buzz of the conference was the recent announcement that ProQuest was rescuing Dialog by buying it from Thomson.  My former Knight-Ridder colleague Libby Trudell was thrilled.  I also heard a lot of positive comments about Leadership Directories' Leadership Networks product.  One surprise was the enormous Bloomberg stand in the middle of the main exhibit hall floor which had the tagline "Bloomberg. For Lawyers." plastered on it.
This year's client dinner was held at a fabulous restaurant – Cafe Juanita – in Kirkland.  It was a bit far from the convention center but the food was absolutely fantastic.  Fran and Carol Ann did a terrific job scoping out the ideal venue for what is always a great evening during SLA.  We'll post some pictures soon