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Curtains Please?!

September 7, 2010

A week ago Friday, we wrapped up an action packed week at the annual ILTA conference in Las Vegas. As I reflect upon my experiences there, let me share them with you.

The hotel rooms at the Aria were high-tech and, I must admit, I wish they had come with a personal learning coach. While it was impressive having the lights come on and the curtains open as I walked in the room, I was less than impressed when the lights went out and the curtains closed within a few minutes of unpacking.

I was lucky the housekeeping staff was close by and, within minutes, Maria was able to get me up to speed on how to control the lights and curtains in my room. For the next few days, I could hear one-sided conversations providing the very instructions Maria took me through. “On the wall….next to the bathroom…just press the open button…no, don’t hold it…just press it…okay…okay…then press stop!”

Networking Opportunities

As with every ILTA experience, the learning and networking opportunities were abundant starting with the two big networking events on Sunday. ILTA’s Opening Reception spread out over all three levels of the Aria Meeting Center complete with wonderful food and conversations, catching up with old friends and meeting new.

Then, we headed over to the Traveling Coaches and SoundPath networking event at HAZE nightclub.  Over 600 people attended our event this year. What a crowd!

Monday night was the opening of the Exhibit Hall. With a “Viva ILTA Vendors!” theme, our very own Joe Buser and Jarrod Kastanek dressed as Siegfried and Roy while the rest of us transformed into white tigers.


I was able to attend 12 sessions this year. I picked from the Microsoft Peer Group, Apps/Desktop, Leaderships and User Support areas.  My takeaways:

  • About 75% of firms plan on a move to Office 2010 in the next 6 to 18 months.
  • Office extras, OneNote and Office Communicator will be used by more firms than ever before.
  • The next version of Office Communicator (code-named “Wave 14”) will be big. Can’t wait to see what Microsoft will actually call it.
  • SharePoint 2010 will be bigger!


I presented an educational session on Office 2007 Success Stories. A very special shout out to Vanessa Ware (Vorys), Lore Mariano (Cleary), Jan Huber (Baker Daniels) and Carmelita Scott (Karr Tuttle) for sharing their stories with me, along with two other fabulous contributions from firms and contacts who have chosed to remain anonymous – you know who you are!

On the Organization Management track, I shared the stage with ILTA President,Scott Christensen, as we told our own personal stories of Transformational (Scott) vs. Strengths-based (Char) leadership.  Thanks Scott!

Brie Stampe and I showed off our Office 2010 Rollout Kit in the State Of The Art Technology Track. It was very well received. Brie’s PowerPoint rocks and we had a line at our booth made up of people wanting more information. Hot cakes, anyone?

Joe Buser and the incoming User Support Service PGVP, Michelle Spencer, presented Training Strategies for Higher Attorney-to-Secretary Ratios. I overheard attendees saying it was one of the best sessions of the conference. Well done!

Awards and Prizes

The conference ended with a special event on Thursday night with ILTA’s very first annual ILTA Distinguished Peer Awards Dinner.

The 2010 Got CLASS! T-shirt contest winner for this year was the training team from Baker Daniels. Jan Huber was at the conference to personally pick up the prize.

Our employees also go into the spirit of the conference and showed off their CLASS:

See you next year!

As I was packing up to go home on Friday, I thought about all the wonderful people I had met and sessions I had attended. For me and the other Traveling Coaches who attend conference, ILTA is always the highlight of the year.  So as the curtains close on another fantastic ILTA conference….how do I turn the lights off?!

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