Much conversation and virtual space has been devoted over the last week to the announcement by O’Reilly that they are discontinuing the Tools of Change conference. The announcement stunned many, and lamentation abounded at the loss of what had been, for many, a forum for hearing new ideas and, equally important, an arena for networking and maintaining significant ongoing professional connections.
As the producers of the Publishing Business Conference & Expo, one of the events in the same space as TOC, we have long respected our colleagues at O’Reilly. It might be expected that we would jump into the fray and exclaim that we intend to fill the gap left behind.
Publishing is a tumultuous business these days, and we each focus on different segments of the market in terms of our publications and our events—our content. We in the Publishing Business Group cover a wide swath; Book Business and Publishing Executive keep close tabs on developments in the book and magazine industries. At our conference, we bring these worlds together in a way that allows publishing executives to cross-pollinate, as it were, all while gathering information that will help move their business agendas forward. This year we are expanding our coverage by including a new Scientific, Technical, & Medical (STM)/Scholarly track.
No doubt, TOC leaves a hole in the market. It’s one we’re uniquely equipped to fill. Indeed, we already are presenting cutting edge programming that examines publishing’s present and future. We are preparing a conference for this coming September that will be true to its theme of Building Bridges Between Content, Technology and Business. We will present and bring together a range of forward-thinking publishing professionals, those behind the podium and those in the audience, to listen, ask questions, discuss, learn and advance the industry.
We hope that those who have formerly found a home at TOC will join us, as we are all asking many of the same questions. Together we can analyze the present and attempt to predict the future, and then plan for it. We can talk and listen, ask and answer, ponder, provoke, foment and carry on steering this big unwieldy ship that’s moving full steam ahead.
• This article originally appeared on the website of Book Business magazine, where it was titled “Taking Stock of Change.”