NACAC08 in Review

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Conferences, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Social Media, Technology, Thoughts | Posted on 09-30-2008


I am back from NACAC08 in Seattle and have had a lot of time to reflect on the previous week.

First, it’s amazing to see the difference between a conference of ‘techies’ and a conference of ‘suits’.  Absolutely night and day.   No user-generated content.  The twitter backchannel was… well, it wasn’t. Blog… what’s that again?  There was one presentation on social media.  Did I mention there were nearly 6,000 people in attendance?

If you went to NACAC and have no clue what I’m talking about, keep an eye on HighEdWeb this coming week and watch the quality of content and connections made.   That is the future of web and conversation.   And that is the future of how you are going to need to have conversations with prospective students.

We had something great going at eduWeb08, and the HighEdWeb planning team has been smart enough to catch on and begin providing those avenues for discussion before, during, and after the conference.

I got so much more out of eduWeb due to social media because I could essentially ‘listen in’ to 2 other presentations while sitting in a 3rd, and still digest it all.  I could read many blog posts reviewing the events of the day and catch up on what I missed.

I just feel empty about the content on NACAC because the only way to consume it was to be in the session. My knowledge and learning was limited to what I could personally attend and sit in on. Nothing more.  I felt so out of touch with everything that was happening around me.

Oh well.  At least the scenery was great.

View the full set here.

Comments posted (6)

Not a single session on social media? How is that possible. Discouraging to hear.

There was one, by Royall & Co. I did not go to it mainly for that reason. If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk.

Other than that… I didn’t see anything else. There was a session on blogging/IM as well.

It really does blow my mind– I figured there’d be a conf strand dedicated to social media. Sounds like they need a nudge to get the ball rolling.

Agreed! Shocking that I only found a few tweets during NACAC…and that universities aren’t really diving into edgy media but big $ enterprise solutions that are years behind.

Ahh… so you miss my floor from eduWEB?! Don’t worry I’ll try and keep you connected during HighEdWeb. Got a blinging HD webcam so we’ll push the quality of the video content to the limit.

Honestly I’m already starting to feel the #heweb08 overload of content and I don’t even go for a few more days. After eduWEB there is absolutely no doubt this conference will attempt to take content creation and social media to a higher bar. Saturday cannot come soon enough.

So what did you learn from NACAC besides collecting a ton of worthless swag?

I’m late reading this (I had to take some R&R after NACAC) but Brad, the highlight of the conference for me was getting to have real-life conversations with people that I’ve interacted with for months online (like you)! Also, look at the demographics of conference attendees/presenters. It’s a generation gap! Stein tried blogging “live” from the booth and it was, admittedly, less than thrilling. And our facebook page now has an album of pics with forced smiles and raw oysters. But we did demo twitter for probably ten institutions’ enrollment VPs! Things change; people retire ;) and I saw that they’re already advertising for bloggers to start for next year’s conference in Baltimore.

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