DAM Europe 2018
In February 2018, Theresa Regli came to speak to the DAM in Practice module at King’s College London which I was taking as part of the DAM MA. (If you want to know more about DAM, here’s my simple description).
After her talk Theresa, who I’d met before, recommended that I apply for The Future Digital Leaders programme for DAM Europe 2018. This programme is aimed at giving new digital asset managers a route into the DAM world, to enable them them to meet professionals and vendors, and to start developing a greater practical understanding of the field. I was accepted into the programme. Then, a few months later, I signed on the dotted line to started working for Theresa.
When you take your first steps in a new world, it’s helpful to have a guide and for your environment to be welcoming. Having studied part time, 2016 - 2018, I didn’t have to study in semester 3 in 2017. I took the opportunity to make contact with some DAM professionals during that time. I met not just Theresa in that time, but also Maria Efstathiou, who revolutionised how I thought of DAM. When I entered the DAM Europe 2018 floor space, Maria was the first person I met. She was a great guide, introducing me to people who were almost universally welcome and ready to speak with me.
Day one had a lot of great sessions and it’s hard to select favourites, but there are two I want to mention. The first is Theresa’s opening keynote: ‘DAM in 2018: The Great Migration’. Migration is something that we haven’t covered in the DAM MA, but is going to be increasingly important as organisations hit their second or later generation DAM systems. Theresa always does a great job of wrapping her points in a story and this was no exception. I’m glad I didn’t have the job of tagging Arctic Terns that she referenced in her keynote!
The second was‘Hype or Hope - Can Artificial Intelligence help Power DAM User Adoption and Engagement?’ I liked the format of this session where each panellist, Maria among them, played a different role relating to DAM: technology vendor, business owner, IT lead, and user. This gave it a practical component that might have been missing from a regular discussion. At that time, with my dissertation underway and the end of my MA in sight, this was another powerful step in connecting me with the practicalities of DAM.
My favourite session from day two was the DAM Jam, otherwise known as the John Horodyski and Andrew Beale show. They’re a great double act and brought a lot of energy to the session. In this session, we were challenged to develop first principles for development of a DAM system. It was interesting to see how different people prioritised different aspects of DAM, each of them legitimate. I think this would be a great session to open day two with in future. The energy could get the final day off to a great start.
Perhaps the most valuable thing though, for a new DAM professional like me, has been the community. I was concerned in the weeks before DAM Europe that I would feel out-of-place, still being a student, but that never happened. This was exactly the kind of encouragement that anyone entering a new field needs. So, if you’re thinking of entering DAM, you don’t have to worry about the community. I can’t wait to go to DAM Europe 2019.
Hopefully, anyone reading this who’s thinking of training in a new field finds this encouraging. The world around us is transforming into one that’s digital first. This means that new skills are required and this is creating all kinds of opportunities that never existed before.