Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Conferences, Higher Education | Posted on 09-23-2009
I’ve arrived in Baltimore, MD for NACAC 09! In my wrapup post of NACAC ’08 last year, I talked about the difference between this conference audience and the crowd at a conference such as EduWeb or HighEdWeb. It looks like this year there will be two or three presentations regarding the web in admissions, which is good progress. NACAC has done a great job integrating the usage of Twitter, Facebook and blogs into the pre-conference experience (both on the attendee side and the vendor side) and I’m excited to see how this continues through the conference. It’s been pretty apparent so far that there won’t be much activity from non-vendors on the Twitter side, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Thoughts on Conference Communication
The more conferences I attend and present at, the more of a shift I see in audiences. It was very interesting a few weeks ago when I was in Sydney, Australia to deliver the international keynote at the Marketing Higher Ed Symposium. I asked how many in the room were on Twitter. Over half of the 150 in attendance raised their hand. Then, throughout the conference, I caught about 5-10 tweets through search.twitter.com relating to the conference. Most of those were from the same handful of people. Instead, this audience was using good ol’ pad and pen. And during the morning and afternoon tea breaks, conversation flowed on each topic. (By the way, I love tea breaks at international conferences!!)
Which one is better? The non-stop Twitter backstream that almost overwhelms you with a mix of great content and meaningless updates, or the conference of non-tweeters where the interaction happens face-to-face, over a cup of tea or a drink at the end of the day?
For every person who prefers the ‘EduWeb’ style, there is another who prefers the ‘NACAC’ style. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? It doesn’t really matter, and that’s not what I’m really here to debate. I just have found the differences very interesting, and I’m leaning towards one of the two as my preferred type of conference.
I posted another blog during NACAC ’08 that I am constantly revisiting (and a thought that is a large part of the foundation of BlueFuego). It’s on the thought of resistance, relating to a quote from Seth Godin. And really, that’s what NACAC is all about for me. Educate and inform. What can you do to help with this in your office?
Are you at NACAC????? Let me know! Would love to meet you. Stop by Booth #1234.
Want to learn more about the Social Web for Admissions? Join me at 8:30am in Room 314 on Friday!