The 2013 conference year is almost over (as is the 2013 calendar year, obviously). For me, my conference activity for the year concluded with edUI 2013, which was, yet again, an amazing experience. At this time, I’d like to take a look forward to next year to point out some of the great conferences that we should all be looking forward to, and possibly even submitting proposals to.
No matter where you are in the world, there is probably a WordCamp happening within a few hours of you. These are almost always great experiences for designers, developers and users alike. However, there are two WordCamps to which we at WPHighEd will be paying particular attention. Both WordCamp DC (which, surprisingly, would be the first WordCamp ever held in our nation’s capital) and WordCamp Austin are rumored to be working on including some sort of focus on edu (whether that’s a full track, half of a track, etc. I have no idea yet, but there is talk about giving special attention to WP usage in education). Neither of these WordCamps have been officially scheduled yet, so we’ll all have to keep checking WordCamp Central to keep up with news of these conferences, but they’ll definitely be worth hitting up once they’re ready.
You’ll also probably want to keep an eye out to see when WordCamp San Francisco gets scheduled for 2014. It was scheduled in late July this year, so it’s very possible it will end up in that same basic time slot next year. For those that aren’t aware, San Francisco is kind of the “mothership” of WordCamps.
HighEdWeb and its Regionals
The national HighEdWeb conference will be held in Portland, OR in 2014. For those of you on the western half of the US, this is a big deal. Austin, TX is the furthest west HighEdWeb has ever gone; all of the others have been in the midwest or on the east coast. Keep your eyes open for the call for proposals on this one. I believe the call usually goes out sometime around April or May, but it might be a little earlier than that. The conference will be happening near the end of October.
In addition, there will be four regional HighEdWeb conferences happening in 2014.
- Pittsburgh – April 9 (call for proposals is already open; the call closes on Nov. 22, 2013)
- New England – Rhode Island, April 25 (call for proposals is already open; I’m working on trying to figure out when the call closes) – Update: The call for proposals closes on Jan. 30, 2014.
- Michigan – May 22 & 23 (no official word yet as to when the call for proposals will open)
- Southeast – South Carolina, June 23-24 (call for proposals opens on Jan. 15, 2014)
Web Conference at Penn State
This is another awesome conference for those of us working on the Web in higher ed. This particular conference began as an internal conference purely for people working at any of Penn State’s myriad campuses, but they’ve since opened it up to the public. I’ve been to this conference for the past two years, and have thoroughly enjoyed it both times; learning a lot and having fun.
Unfortunately, if you were hoping to submit a proposal for this conference, you already missed your opportunity (the call closed in mid-October), but there is still plenty of time to plan to attend the conference. This year, they will have four keynote speakers, including Jeremy Keith, Josh Clark, Tiffany Shlain and Wil Wheaton!
The conference will be happening from June 9-10 in State College, PA.
edUI is a conference focused on not just higher ed, but also museums and libraries. Next year’s conference is scheduled for late September in Richmond, VA. There is no official word yet as to when the call for proposals will open, but it will probably be May or June.
There are also a number of great virtual conferences presented by our friends over at Environments For Humans. Most years, they put on the dotEduGuru Summit, which is a 2-day collection of presentations by experts across many fields within higher ed Web work. They also have done the WPSummit for WordPress users, developers and designers for the past few years. On top of that, they do an Accessibility Summit that is always an amazingly educational experience. Last year, they also presented the Rosenfeld Media UX Summit. All of these conferences are “virtual”, meaning that you attend them from your desk without having to worry about any travel expenses.
Are there other conferences we should be watching? Which ones are you excited about for next year?
I know ConFab Higher Ed is getting a lot of love right now, as it will be going on next week. However, this is the first time (I think) that a ConFab Higher Ed event has happened, so we’ll have to keep an eye out to see how it goes, and whether or not it happens again next year (hopefully it will). I also hear a lot of people talk about eduWeb and eduCause, but I’ve never been to either of those, so I have no idea how good those conferences are or how much they focus on the types of things most of us are doing.
There is also UBTech, which will be happening in Las Vegas this year. UBTech is a pretty good conference, but it currently focuses much, much more on the technology side of things, without a heavy focus on marketing or Web development/design/content. If you’re a server admin or work primarily as an IT professional, it could very well be a great conference for you.