A Newb HighEdWebber’s Perspective On HighEdWeb09

HighEdWeb Association

I had the opportunity to attend my first highedweb conference this past week. For those of you not there, it is a conference for professionals who create and manage creating things on the interwebs working in higher education. More info can be found on their website.  Since one of the things I was reminded of at this conference is people have very short attention spans on the web, I’m going to keep my thoughts on this short and to the point.

The good

  • The presentations were extremely professional (for the most part)
    I was able to go to an event apart last year instead of HigEdWeb.  Since it was my first web conference and, well, it is amazing,  every conference I’ve been to since then has been compared to it. Before I went, my thought was that this conference wouldn’t even come close.  At an event apart every speaker is a keynote speaker because they can afford to do so.  At HighEdWeb, that is not the case.  There are two keynote speakers (I won’t write about the great keynote revolt since it has been covered very well already) and the rest are volunteers.  Quite honestly I got a lot more out of my peer’s presentations than I did at the keynotes.  Almost every one was very well prepared and the presentations extremely informative.
  • We were treated like royalty
    If you didn’t gain weight at the conference, you weren’t enjoying yourself. @crevier‘s  thoughts were that the planning of meals and excursions couldn’t have been easier.  The planning committee just continued to say “give us the best you’ve got.”  You can’t ever go wrong with all-night free microbrew, excellent meals at the hotel, insane hour d’ oeuvres at the Iron Horse, and snacks all stinking day.
  • An environment was created to meet like-minded web people (ie networking)
    One of the greatest things about HighEdWeb was the opportunity to meet intelligent nice people working in the same field.  It was extremely easy due to night excursions and poster sessions.
  • Everything seemed to be well planned out

The constructive criticism

  • Presenters seemed to be rushed
    I found myself always wanting more content out of the presentations.  It seemed like I was just skimming the surface on all of the fourty-five minute presentations I attended.   Perhaps it might be good to cut down on the amount of presentations and make them longer.
  • There was far too much fun and beer
    Um, no.


  1. It was nice meeting you! Hope to see you next year in Cincinnati.

  2. Glad you liked it. We’ve tinkered with the presentation times over the years and the 45 minute slots has by far worked out for the best. Part of all that social interaction time is for you to get a chance to get to know the speakers and pull more details out of them 🙂

    • I agree shelley, I once heard a story about a company that insisted on building wide hallways by their conference rooms because the CEO was convinced that the “best” meetings are the ones that happen after the meeting in the hall when people can get more personal and honest.

  3. @elightbo…@tsand

    Ha ha ha! That rules. Can’t wait ’til Cincy…


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