LZ Volume 8 Issue 4, Conferences

Health & Hospitals and Oil, Gas & Energy Summit

 As well as our work in the academic library market, Springer works with corporate customers from across 16 market verticals. Here we speak with Denise Egas, Corporate Marketing & Account Development, to find out about the summit meetings that took place in 2013.

What summits have Springer organized among their corporate customers and what were the key themes?

This year, the focus for Springer has been to work with our corporate library advisory board as well as hold, for the first time, summit meetings for customers in the health and hospitals market and the oil and gas sector. The key themes for these summits included:

  • An overview of Springer strategy for each sector;
  • Key trends in Information Management and how these relate to each sector;
  • An overview of developments of the Springer for Hospitals & Health and Springer for R&D platforms;
  • Plus several customers from each sector were invited to present projects currently underway in their own libraries/organizations

What were your key takeaways from the meetings?

As you can imagine, there are numerous takeaways for Springer to consider going forward. The attendees in both summit meetings were asked to work together to discuss the key trends and challenges they faced and to suggest how these challenges might be overcome.
For the purposes of the exercise, the group was separated into regions but when we looked at the responses, we found that the same trends and challenges are being faced across all regions. These include budget issues and increased need to provide return on investment for content purchases; searching for and discovering information; the changing role of the library / librarian in the 21st century corporate environment; the need for sector-specific/specialist content; shift from journal-level interest to more article-level interest; increased use of mobile devices to access content and need to provide better support for this; access to research data (videos, recordings, charts etc.) as well as the research article plus increased training needs to understand Springer resources and publishing trends (such as Open Access) among other areas.

What were your own personal highlights of the meetings?

I think these meetings offer a great opportunity to really get to know our customers. We learned a lot from the session discussions and I know that the feedback is just as valuable to the participants, who can learn from each other. In fact, this is one of the aspects of these meetings the customers appreciate the most. Some librarians work in a remote environment, and are often the only librarian or information specialist in their organization. For those without colleagues in similar job functions, these meetings give great insight into what others are doing while enabling them to share their own experiences/concerns. The ‘free’ time and social events at these meetings also let everyone get to know each other better in a more casual setting.
But for me personally it’s seeing all the preparation for the meeting coming to fruition: from identifying agenda topics to working with colleagues to prepare sessions, and from inviting customers and arranging accommodation/helping with concerns or issues to the actual event itself – it’s great to see it all come together and be a success.

What will be your next steps as a result of the summits?

Thanks to the input we have received we can work on improving the platforms still further, plus we have ideas that will help inform new products going Forward.

Finally, do you have any anecdotes or interesting stories from the meetings that you can share with Library Zone readers?

I think the customers enjoy their time at the meeting and are always pleasantly surprised at how well run the meetings are. In fact one of our customers, who attends several library board meetings, said that he thought the Springer corporate library advisory board meeting was one of the best! Some customers have attended Springer meetings over several years and it is good to see them all getting together again. It’s nice for me too as in my role I don’t get the opportunity to meet all of our customers throughout the year, so it’s great to catch up and hear their news.
The social meetings and events are always good fun and it would be unfair of me to share anecdotes! But we’ve done some great things over the years including canoeing in Mallorca, a speedboat trip in Boston, biking in Rome, sailing in San Diego, walking tours of Amsterdam and Lisbon, and visits to Houston and London. For 2014, we are looking forward to holding the Oil & Gas meeting in Doha, Qatar and the corporate library advisory board meeting will be held in Vancouver, Canada - which I am sure will provide more stories for future Library Zone issues!