eduWeb 2008….. now what?!?!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Conferences, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Research, RSS, Social Media, Speaking, Thoughts, Twitter, Webinars | Posted on 07-25-2008


It seems like nearly everyone has arrived home from eduWeb 2008 after travel issues plagued the trip back (I’m still waiting on my luggage…). So today you’re getting settled into your desk, fresh with ideas and energized to change the world. You’ve got notes, resources, new connections at universities and colleges across the map, and you’re ready to rock.

So where do you go from here? Most of the time, someone who attends a conference follows a graph like this:

You get really excited at the conference. Your enthusiasm for your job is renewed. You have faith that things can be changed. But as soon as you get back to your office, confidence starts going down. Things start to return to business as normal, and before you know it you’re right back where you were before the conference.

Let’s do better than that.

Here is a quick 10-step plan to help you get the most out of your conference experience from eduWeb 2008 if you’re just getting your feet wet in a lot of the topics you heard about this week.

10 Steps to Maximize Your Conference Experience

  1. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor/boss/direct reports/team. Right now. Come prepared with a short and sweet summary (no more than 1 page) of key takeaways and implementations that you want to move towards. Have a discussion about each, and what steps you can take to get it done. Proceed.
  2. Reflect on resources other than yours. Use Matt’s post of eduWeb2008 content that we have all created to refresh your mind or to catch up on sessions you might have missed.
  3. Watch presentations again, or share them with your co-workers. Point out specific segments they should watch. Here are the streams:
    1. Email’s Role in the New Media LandscapeGreg Cangialosi
    2. Email Marketing for Higher EducationKyle James
    3. Head in the CloudMike Richwalsky and Josh Tysiachney
    4. eduWeb Closing KeynoteKarine Joly
    5. SkoolPool Facebook AppMelissa Cheater
    6. Blogs: The Many Voices of a UniversityHeidi Cool
    7. 1st Annual eduStyle AwardsStewart Foss
    8. eduWeb Opening Keynote (partial) - Mark Greenfield
  4. Join Twitter! Stay connected with others that you have met and continue to have conversations revolving around what you’re doing at work and the trending topics in higher ed. After joining Twitter, head over to Kyle James’ blog and start adding other higher education tweeters from the extensive list.
  5. Start using RSS. A few months back I did a quick how-to on getting started with RSS. Watch it and begin subscribing to blogs so that you can keep up with the information better.
  6. Start a blog. Head over to WordPress and start to type out some thoughts about what you’re working on. Be sure to email me your link at bradjward(at)gmail(dot)com so that I can add you to my RSS feeds.
  7. Try something new.  I personally am going to play with cloud computing to see how it works first-hand.  Think of one thing from the conference you’ve never heard about or used, and try it out.
  8. Book another conference for yourself or a co-worker. Karine Joly has an event calendar of upcoming conferences. Two to note are HighEdWeb 2008 and Stamats. Don’t have the budget? Try a Webinar.
  9. Read a book.  Check out my list of eduWeb 2008 Book Titles here.
  10. Join the Conversation. It’s not just the title of my eduWeb 2008 presentation, it’s something you can do to become more connected with others. Start commenting on blogs or posting in the uwebd forums. is also a great place to start, but there are many more great blogs out there. Check blogrolls of others to find many more quality blogs in higher ed.

I hope that you can take a few of these steps to get started towards better work and amazing projects. You can do it; be persistent and make change happen in your organization.

eduWeb 2008 was great. The conversations and connections that took place were so much richer and in-depth than any conference I’ve been to before. Kudos to the vendors for providing multiple networking receptions for us to gather at. The Meetup was also highly attended, with approximately 75 people joining us through the hour. I was glad to be a part of the event, and look forward to keeping in touch with all of you.

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Comments posted (11)

Very instructive post, because that’s the worst feeling ever. A nice way to capitalize and build on the momentum months later.

I think a good place to start for you would be to start decorating your office. You should frame some of your flickr pictures or something.
I don’t know why I’m so concerned with your walls, but it’d be best to just do what I say.

Great post and great conference. Let’s keep the energy going.

Wow, I think this is the most responsible Brad post EVER! I think I’m going in a different direction though… once I clear out the thousand of emails and get my bags back, yeah I’m still waiting on mine too, I might actually go clear out half my RSS feeds to get more focused. Now that my High Ed connections have gotten to critical load I just might not need all those other blogs I read anymore…

But I bet most people aren’t in that boat… yet.

Great ideas, Brad! Application for any post-conference letdown. Starred in my RSS as a reminder.


Thanks for all the great ideas, both at the conference and here on your blog. I told some people about Animoto and the office went crazy. I love your 10 “steps” too – very necessary. Meeting scheduled for Monday morning.

I skipped the flight and drove from Philly to Akron, so I have my bags.

Nice post Brad. Definitely provides some insight for the “post-conference-letdown” uninitiated.

I really just can’t stop thinking about how great it was to meet all of you. Thanks for taking the time to stop by this blog and leave a comment. I look forward to collaborating with you all in the future. Glad to hear some of you are already taking steps offered (like #10!).

Does anyone have something that they would add?

Insightful post… working on a number of different items. Thanks for putting together the reading list.

Nice post. You are right so often we come back from a conference and forgot what energized us. Some of your tips work for almost any conference. But I think the most important one for those of us in higher ed is number 6 – start a blog join the conversation.

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