A couple of weeks ago, I presented a workshop on being more human in social media at the Minnewebcon conference.
For those who don’t know, I think Minnewebcon is one of the most interesting combinations of tech and marketing and communication because it brings together business and higher education. Both types of organizations can learn from one another, and it certainly helps us in higher ed know what folks who may have more access to resources and talent.
That’s not the main point to this post, though.
At Minnewebcon, I noticed that the rooms for content-based sessions were consistently filled, whereas the tech-focused rooms often had seats to spare. Which led me to wonder – do more marketing/communication/strategy/content folks come to conferences? Or just the conferences I attend because I’m a mostly-content-focused person?
But the fact is, many of us who are Armies of One have both technical and content skills. So why don’t we choose the tech tracks at conferences? Why aren’t there more higher education conferences that have stronger offerings focused on technology and physical innovation?
The same thing seems to happen at HighEdWeb each year. Or maybe that’s just my perception. As a member of the board for the Higher Education Web Professionals organization, I know we’re making a concerted effort to include more and stronger technical offerings at our annual and regional conferences. It’s a difficult proposition, though.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this idea – especially from folks who code, and sit in the tech rooms, and go to tech conferences. Does my perception ring true? Or do we need to work on the technical offerings so that more solo practitioner types can understand and apply the information in sessions?
Is it simply a chicken and egg question? Will more technical people come to conferences if there is a better balance of sessions? Do we need to have more events focused strictly on technology for higher education?
I don’t have the answers, but I know some people who plan some conferences. Your input could help us make the time in sessions more productive for all of us.Read More