June 10, 2014
The HighEdWeb Southeast conference, #hewebse for short (or those wishing to follow the backchannel), will look to bring a sunny and warm disposition to attendees on June 23 and 24. The conference at Francis Marion University’s Performing Arts Center in Florence, S.C. begins with a pair of afternoon-long workshops on Monday, with two tracks for most of the day on Tuesday.
“I think the biggest highlight will be our keynote speaker, Leslie Jensen-Inman,” said conference organizer Larry Falck, media production/web design coordinator at Francis Marion University.
“I was privileged enough to see her speak a few years ago at the ConvergeSE conference in Columbia, S.C., where she talked about ‘making awesome,'” Falck said. “She is a dynamic speaker whose passion shines through when she presents.” A designer, speaker, author and educator, Jensen-Inman is co-founder and institutional director of the Center Centre and the wonderfully named Unicorn Institute, through which she aims to improve the state of design education.
When asked about the presentations at the conference, Falck explained, “we were lucky to have wonderful presentations proposed, so it’s hard to pick just a few out to highlight! They’re all promising to be great.”
Monday’s workshops, which will run from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., are “Writing a WordPress Plugin” by Curtiss Grymala of the University of Mary Washington, and “SEO Strategy Live!” with Jonathan Pogact and Stephanie Pflaum of Fathom Education.
Tuesday’s track sessions offer options for those working on various HigherEd Web and communication projects, including alumni relations, content strategy, design, development, site architecture, social media and more.
Falck counts the conference venue as another highlight. “The FMU Performing Arts Center is fantastically beautiful,” he said. “It’s almost worth the trip just to see it.”
[field name = code] On top of the conference’s a solid slate of presenters, #hewebse’s strengths include “more than just the sessions,” Falck said. “It’s the connections made with colleagues near you.”
While the annual #heweb conference “is superb, and you can keep up with your connections on social media…being able to connect with people in your region who may be going through the same things you are is invaluable,” Falck noted about the benefits of attending a regional conference. “Many of your colleagues in your state deal with the same issues politically or socially, so it is an extremely valuable chance to connect with them.”
For visitors looking to speed more time in or around the small town of Florence, Falck says there is much to see. “Darlington Raceway, second oldest track in NASCAR is 10 minutes away, the Florence National Cemetery and Florence Stockade offer a glimpse into our nation’s history, and of course there’s the crater left by the atomic bomb dropped on Mars Bluff,” he said.