In this post, I won’t go into details about each day or every session. You can see the schedule and descriptions here. However, I do want to touch on some key points.
With over 3,000 attendees, several sessions were standing room only. The venue worked with the IAPP to move some of the more popular sessions to larger rooms, but nearly every session I went to had ten-fifteen people standing in the back and along the sides.
In general, the sessions were staffed with qualified professionals, albeit not necessarily gifted speakers. Sometimes, it really is their experience and knowledge we crave, so we can tolerate a lack of creativity and speaking skill. I will say though, that after one of my speaking sessions, all of my co-panelists and I were stopped over the next two days by attendees and profusely thanked for the quality of our session – entertaining and informative. As a speaker, there is no better compliment. Additionally, there were quite a few really good speakers in sessions that I attended.
On the other hand, there was one session I attended that I enjoyed the speakers, enjoyed the session, smiled, clapped, and walked out of there wondering what I actually learned. I even went back to the program guide to see what I was supposed to have learned.
Closing general session: Google guy. not impressed (very sorry, I wanted to be and I am sure he is a heck of a qualified professional). I probably just blew any chance of a job at Google. I really wanted to be impressed. I was interested. Google is a huge topic of interest in the privacy world. But sadly, this one simply did not hit the mark.
Sarah Lewis. Blown away. Fabulous speaker. Great topic. Hit the delivery spot on. An amazing presence. Had us laughing, listening, and enthralled. She spoke about creativity and gave examples such as Samuel Morse, J.K. Rowling, Albert Einstein, and Charles Lund Black, Jr. – whose meeting with Louis Armstrong entrenched his interest in civil rights.
And last, Oren Yakobovich a social entrepreneur who uses cameras to capture violations of human rights. He co-founded Videre, an NGO which equips people in oppressed communities with cameras to uncover information. He showed us some videos – the gain of which endangers the lives of those who wear the cameras – cameras hidden in clothes, wood, stones. He was poised, passionate, and persuasive. He humbled us all.
In conclusion of this short three-part series, I met wonderful professionals, learned a lot of information, and reconnected with people I seem to never see outside the conferences. The IAPP serves such a true purpose – to give both roots and branches to those of us in privacy. Beyond a doubt, the IAPP has moved this profession forward by huge leaps. I am a raving fan. If you have a chance to get involved (if you like privacy), take advantage of the opportunity.