UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

The Need To Promote The Benefits Of Events

Posted by Brian Kelly on 22 Jun 2010

It was in a post entitled Fahrenheit 451 published back in August 2008 when I first made reference to the impending economic crisis, describing how, at the JISC Innovation Forum HEFCE’s John Selby had praised the work of the JISC and JISC Services but “went on to warn of troubled financial times ahead for the educational sector. The glory days of the past 10 years are over, he predicted.”  As we have seen from today’s emergency budget, he was right :-(

We have been very aware that cuts across institutions may mean that it will be difficult to find funding to attend events – and therefore  we have known that although last year’s Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW 2009) was the largest ever, attracting almost 200 participants, there might be risks that the numbers for this year’s event, IWMW 2010, might be significantly down.

Our approach to managing that risk is to ensure that we ensure that potential participants and their managers and other decision makers are aware of the benefits which attendance at the 3 day event can provide. We therefore set up the IWMW 2010 blog and published a series of posts in which we highlighted a number of important areas to the sector which will be addressed at the event including the Mobile Web, the Social Web and Linked Data as well as the many other aspects of managing large scale institutional Web services in the context of the economic uncertainties. The event, we feel, is relevant to newcomers to the sector and to those who are well-established in their role.

The cost of the event is £350 for the three days which also includes two night’s accommodation. This is clearly a very cost-effective way of ensuring those with responsibilities for managing mission-critical institutional Web services are kept up-to-day with both new areas of innovation as well as approaches to managing services at a time of reductions in funding.

The event can be regarded as a shared centralised service, in which the effort and expertise provided by members of the Web management community who give the plenary talks and facilitate the parallel sessions helps to ensure a cost-effective solution for the community.  The Web management community is part of a ‘Big Society’ one might say if there is a need to reflect the current political ideology.

The IWMW series of workshops, which started back in 1997, has always been willing to acknowledge the advantages which can be gained in working with commercial companies  which provide products and services to the sector.  One again we have a number of companies which are sponsoring the event.  In addition, as described in a post which yesterday announced Sponsored Place for those with No Funding thanks to the sponsorship provided by Statistics into Decisions (or SiD), we are able to offer a limited number of free places to participants who would like to attend the IWMW 2010 but are unable to do so due to lack of institutional support.

If you are in the position of wishing to attend the event but finding that there is a lack of institutional support please send an email to Marieke Guy, the programme chair of IWMW 2010 by 17:00 on Friday 25th June with details of:

  • The benefits you feel that attendance at IWMW 2010 will provide for you and your institution.
  • How you feel you can participate at IWMW 2010 in order to enhance the event.

You should also provide details of the reasons you are seeking funding to attend.

Note that in case of the number of applications exceeding the numbers of sponsored places the IWMW 2010 organising committee will allocate the places based on the information provided in the submissions.

If, however, institutional funding is available but you haven’t yet booked a place (or perhaps were unaware of the event) you should note that since the booking deadline has been extended until Friday 25th June.  Of course if you are a manager or budget holder and wish to ensure that your staff have the technical and organisational skills needed to develop Web services in these difficult times you may wish to point them in the direction of the online booking form.

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