Every year, web professionals in higher education come together for four epic days of learning, connecting and, of course, geeking out at the HighEdWeb Association’s annual conference. Discussion topics at the 2016 conference in Memphis ranged from Hello from the Other Side: Painful Lessons Learned from a Website Redesign to Defeating Content Zombies: What “The Walking Dead” Taught Me About Web Governance (and let me just say the pop culture references at this conference were on point).
Whether you missed the conference and are feeling some serious #FOMO or you went and you’re missing your #HEWeb2016 pals, we’ve got you covered. Here are three highlights from HighEdWeb 2016.
1. “We’re All in This Together.”
This profound piece of wisdom from Disney’s High School Musical isn’t just for high school – it’s for higher ed, too. HighEdWeb is all about connecting with other web professionals in higher education, sharing tips and stories, and learning from each other. When you spend time with people who share your passions and your drive to improve your work, chances are you’ll come home full of exciting new ideas!
During the conference, we hosted a photo tour through downtown Memphis to bring together people who are passionate about photography and visual storytelling. We were excited for everyone on the tour to be inspired by the city, to talk about how they use photography at their schools, and to share a few laughs. And since our photo tour was on two 15 seater bikes, it may have been more than just a few…
Our photo riders took some awesome photos along the way and uploaded them to our Libris account using our mobile uploader app. Stops included the rooftop of the Madison Hotel and the National Civil Rights Museum. Check them out in this slideshow!
We loved having the chance to enjoy a fun experience with other people who care about photography and how it’s used in higher ed. Thanks to everyone who joined us!
The Takeaway: Take advantage of opportunities to have fun with your peers. Sometimes the best ideas come out of fun social interactions with people who share your passions.
Bonus: Want to host your own photo ride or walk? Check out our tips for planning a photo tour!
2. “Impossible things are happening every day.”
This line from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella fits perfectly with a talk by the social media managers from University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and Stony Brook University, ‘No, YOU’RE Crying!’ How Two Schools Turned a Cinderella Story into Social Media Gold. During March Madness, these two schools had their own Cinderella moments – defying what their fans thought was possible by making it to the Big Dance.
— Stony Brook U. (@stonybrooku) March 12, 2016
UALR’s Meaghan Milliorn Fikes and Stony Brook’s Chris D’Orso shared what they learned as they managed their schools’ social media accounts in the midst of their March Madness Cinderella stories. Chances are every school will have an unexpected moment in the spotlight – will your team be ready when lightning strikes? Check out their tips, from how to be prepared to how to engage your crowd in our post, Social Media Tips from Two March Madness Cinderella Stories.
The Takeaway: Your school’s Cinderella moment could be just around the corner. Be prepared to maximize on the social media attention with these tips.
This popular hashtag underscores a trend in higher ed communications. Your audience expects your team to share photos and videos, whether you’re communicating with students, prospective students, parents or alumni. Colleges and universities are producing tons of visual content every day throughout the school year. They’re turning it around on social media within seconds, and archiving it for big projects in the future. And visual content was a hot topic at HighEdWeb, with sessions covering Snapchat, photo-centric websites, and more.
“I have been noticing that everything is getting increasingly more and more visual,” said conference attendee Tina Burnell, Technology and Media Specialist at the University of Southern Maine (USM). “Images are becoming more and more prevalent I think in higher ed, which is fantastic.”
Burnell and her team at USM use Libris as their cloud-based visual media library so everyone on their team can find visual assets whenever they need them.
“Libris has been a really great tool for us,” says Burnell. “Previously, we were using a combination of Flickr and hard drives and sharing photos was difficult, and now we can tag them with certain events, we can share them with admissions, we can choose what event photo is going to be used and pass it out to everyone via Libris, which is so great. Now, we can all be on the same page.”
In our talk, #PicsOrItDidntHappen: How to Get More from Your School’s Photos and Videos, we shared five other examples of colleges and universities that are getting higher ROI from their visual content with visual asset management. Check out the highlights in our post, How to Use Photos and Videos in Higher Ed Digital Marketing.
The Takeaway: Your content can provide even more value to your organization if you make it easy to find and use in a flash. Streamline your image sharing with the right workflow and the right tools so you can catch your audience’s attention across platforms.