Gus Kroustalis

A Great Time at HighEdWeb 2016

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Earlier this month I joined a couple of my Beacon colleagues at HighEdWeb 2016 in Memphis, TN. They told me many times leading up to it that HighEdWeb is a great conference. Having experienced the conference for the first time now, I wholeheartedly agree.

After helping set up the Beacon booth with our branding, free t-shirts, and YETI cooler giveaway drawing, I made my way to the first breakout session of the morning. I had the honor of presenting a session on how to avoid higher education website redesign pitfalls. The slides can be viewed below. There were a lot of other engaging sessions throughout the conference, some that I was able to attend, and others that attendees spoke about.

Seven Common Redesign Pitfalls… and How to Avoid Them from Beacon

Throughout the conference, I met many higher education professionals, both on the marketing and web development/IT sides. The recent challenges and upcoming projects shared by many of them seemed to echo a clear sentiment in higher education: Providing a quality digital experience is critical to each institution’s well-being, as is the measurement and analysis of that experience.

The HighEdWeb conference staff, as well as the support staff at the convention center, made the entire event run smooth. During a little bit of downtime, we were able to experience a little bit of what makes Memphis a unique destination. At the top of the list were some of their famous pork ribs.

At the end of the last full day, the conference hosted a social outing at AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Birds baseball team, AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. A number of us joined together on the field for a marathon kickball game. With live music playing from the concession area, and the NLCS on the big screen, what a fun and unique experience it was.

The conference concluded with a high point, the keynote address by Levar Burton. He spoke so passionately about his mentors, and empowering the youth in our communities with literacy and the arts.

As a last time before heading home, our group made a point to briefly visit the National Civil Rights Museum, built at the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.

We were thrilled to participate in HighEdWeb 2016, and excited to experience the great city of Memphis. We look forward to working with many higher education institutions over the next year, and then reuniting with many of them at HighEdWeb 2017 in Hartford, CT.