The 7 EDUCAUSE Conferences

Which ones will you be attending?

October 26, 2015

Will you be attending the EDUCAUSE 2015 Annual Conference in Indianapolis?    

Physically or virtually?

Why are you going?

Why are you not going?

What do you hope to get out of EDUCAUSE 2015?

How many of the EDUCAUSE Annual Conferences have you attended?

What are academic IT conferences do you attend?

My theory about the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference is that it is really many conferences. EDUCAUSE is too big to make sense of as a single event. Rather, we need to understand EDUCAUSE as many overlapping and intermixed conferences, all occurring in a single place at a single point in time.

The EDUCAUSE conferences include:

1.  The Listening EDUCAUSE:

We go to EDUCAUSE primarily to listen and to learn. We spend our time hearing about what is working at our peer institutions, what technologies and solutions may help us meet our institutional / departmental goals, and what edtech products and services we should learn more about.

2. The Presenting EDUCAUSE:

Not only are we listening and learning at EDUCAUSE, we are also sharing what we are learning with colleagues from across our profession. We have spent some considerable time preparing our presentation(s), and we are looking forward to dialogue we hope to spark in our sessions.

3. The Networking EDUCAUSE:

For many of us, EDUCAUSE is less about the content and mostly about the people. EDUCAUSE is the one conference that we can be reasonably confident that we will see a critical mass of our far-flung edtech colleagues.  Our most productive time at EDUCAUSE is not in the sessions or on the vendor floor, but in the hallway conversations and time spent chatting at meals.

4. The Trendspotting EDUCAUSE:

Some of us spend our time at EDUCAUSE looking for the big story. We try to use EDUCAUSE to understand where higher ed is going.  We see technology as a catalyst rather than a goal, a means rather than an end - and we think that much of the future of higher education will be created by the people attending EDUCAUSE.

5. The Professional Development EDUCAUSE:

This is the EDUCAUSE where we are thinking about the trajectory of our careers.  We seek out professional development and mentoring opportunities at EDUCAUSE to understand how to navigate the next stages of our edtech careers.

6. The Deal Making EDUCAUSE:

You are at the deal making EDUCAUSE if you are getting ready to adopt a new service or platform, or if you are planning to switch from the vendor that you are now using.  Are you in the market for a new LMS, a new SIS, a new cloud based storage system, or a new lecture capture solution? EDUCAUSE is a place where you can compare all the vendors side by side, and meet with reps from your target companies in rapid succession.

7.  The Vendor EDUCAUSE:

I’m always curious about what EDUCAUSE looks like if you are attending as a vendor.  My intuition is that: a) you are working very hard (long hours), and b) you are trying to figure out how to have conversations with decision makers.  Higher ed has got to be the world’s worst set of customers.  We take forever to decide on anything, almost everyone has veto power where almost nobody can have unilateral authority, and we hardly have any money to spend. (At least compared to corporate purchasers, and probably K-12 buyers).  Yet, if we go with you, we are likely to stay with you for years to come. So the pain of dealing with higher ed is (just) worth the cost.

What EDUCAUSE Conferences can you add to this list?

Which EDUCAUSE Conferences will you be attending?



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