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Charleston Conference - Juried Product Development Forums Mary Page 01 Jun 2004 23:47 UTC

To:     All our valued publishers, vendors, publisher and attendees
From:   Katina Strauch, Charleston Conference Founder
Re:     Juried Product Development Forums
Date:   May 20, 2004

The Charleston Conference is trying a new concept:  Juried Product
Development Forums as a way for librarians to give our input to publishers,
aggregators, and vendors about the products we buy.  For many years, we have
been asked informally or through focus groups for feedback on new and
existing products.  We thought the Charleston Conference could expand the
conversation and create an opportunity for those attending to contribute to
the development of services that we want to buy.

The process for the Juried Product Development Forums will be more
structured than the regular Charleston Conference basically because we have
a limited number of rooms (8-10 depending on size of groups).  The Forums
themselves are designed to provide for a more structured conversation than
the usual casual Charleston atmosphere.

We hope that you will participate in the Forums and give us your ideas.  We
want to know about your experience with this new process when you have
issues, problems, complaints, or even good words to share!

Thank all of you for participating in the Charleston Conference and I look
forward to hearing from you about our new Juried Product Development Forums.

All the very best,
Katina Strauch


Charleston Conference 2004
Juried Product Development Forums

The Charleston Conference creates an opportunity for a dialog among
publishers, vendors and librarians on industry issues.  In keeping with this
approach, Juried Product Development Forums were created for

.       publishers and vendors to gather market input from librarians on the
development of a particular product or service
.       for librarians to discuss market issues with publishers and vendors
invited to participate in a Forum.

Focused on product development, the Forums can provide insights to answer a
company's internal questions and ongoing debates about product offerings,
pricing, delivery options, and the like.

The Forums for the 2004 Charleston Conference will be at the conclusion of
the concurrent sessions on the first day of the conference: Thursday,
November 4th,  5:15 -6:30 pm.

The Vendor Showcase held on Wednesday afternoon November 3rd  is the ideal
setting for companies that wish to have sales related conversations.  The
Juried Product Development Forums are not an opportunity to promote or sell

Publishers and vendors
The Charleston Conference is an ideal venue for an extended conversation
with librarians about the development of a selected product or service.
Publishers and vendors can obtain market feedback on:
.       new business models
.       pricing strategies
.       features and functionality
This information can produce customer-oriented products for libraries
resulting in a shorter sales cycle.

Space available for the Forums is limited and a selection committee will
evaluate applications to participate.

The application form is part of this document and is also available on the
Charleston Conference website. .

Application Schedule
.       July 15th   Deadline for application form
.       August 16th  Notification of all applicants
.       October 1st   Payment required to confirm participation.

Cost     $1200 upon acceptance.   If required, AV is available for a fee.

Application process
Announcement of the Forums will be distributed in May, allowing time during
ALA to publicize the Forums prior to the application deadline on July 15th.
Librarians may also nominate companies especially if there are industry
issues to be discussed with the market.  Applications are expected from all
companies interested in participating.

Any publisher or vendor may submit an application.  Preference will be given
to those:
.       who have an innovative concept to test with the market
.       who have a product in development and are seeking guidance on its
functionality or pricing
.       who have generated discussion in the market due to pricing,
distribution or service issues
.       who are new and seeking customer feedback on the best approach to

Librarians value the Charleston Conference as a meeting where they can
address industry issues.  The Forums are an extension of the dialog between
librarians and vendors focused on a specific product or service.  Attendees
will arrive expecting to discuss a product or service as if they were in a
focus group or on an advisory board.

Successful Forums will be a dialog with the audience providing for their
feedback on a product or service.  Guidelines for successful Forums suggest
that companies:
.       Allow at least half the allotted time for discussion.
.       Involve product development staff.
.       Distribute literature related to the product under discussion only.
.       Avoid powerpoint presentations if possible as they limit dialog.
.       Refrain from handing out giveaways, toys, "stuff".

Evaluation forms for each of the Juried Product Development Forums will
solicit feedback from participating publishers or vendors and librarians.  A
representative of each participating company can pick up copies of their
evaluations on Friday afternoon, November 5th.  Evaluation forms will be
reviewed by the selection committee and considered in future selections.

The Forum sessions are intended for library staff and will be closed to
other publishers and vendors.

Attendees will be pre-registered and each session will be screened by

Charleston Conference will encourage all attendees to participate through:
o       Email invitations to preregistered attendees
o       Via the conference website
o       During the conference.

Publishers & vendors may invite their customers to sign up for this event.

Distributors, consultants or individuals from other companies will be
admitted if the participating publisher or vendor has added their name to
the list of attendees for their session.

Rooms vary in size and will be assigned based on response from attendees
unless the publisher or vendor limits the number of participants.  Forum
attendees are expected notify the registration desk if their plans change
and to stay for the entire session.


Charleston Conference
Juried Product Development Forums
Publisher and Vendor Application Form

DEADLINE:  July 15th, 2004

Company Name:


Phone:                          Fax:

Why do you want this slot?  What customer interactions or internal questions
prompt you to request this slot?  Why should the committee select your

How will the session be structured?  Describe how the session will be
developed (demo, handouts, focus group format) to accomplish your
objectives?   (Powerpoints should be carefully considered as they create a
one-way presentation instead of a two way dialog - consider handouts and
allow time for discussion.)

Which staff will lead this session?

Abstract - limit to 50 words.  The abstract will appear in the list of
Forums from which librarians chose to attend.  Abstracts should describe the
session and set expectations for participants.  Promotional content is
likely to be edited.

Successful presentations will be a dialog with the audience providing for
their feedback on a product or service.
.       Allow at least half the allotted time for discussion.
.       Involve product development staff.
.       Distribute literature related to the product under discussion only.
.       Avoid powerpoint presentations if possible as they limit dialog.
.       Refrain from handing out giveaways, toys, "stuff".

SEND TO:   Regina Semko at  Ms. Semko is the conduit for
all communications between applicants and the selection committee.  The
membership of the selection committee will not be made public.  Applicants
are asked to respect Ms. Semko's neutral role in this process.