UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

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Profiling Speakers and Facilitators at IWMW 2017

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12 Jun 2017


There are over 40 speakers and workshop facilitators at the forthcoming IWMW 2017 event. But what are the characteristics of the people willing to stand up in public and share their thoughts on best practices for providing institutional web services and other large-scale digital channels?

As can be seen from the speaker list on the IWMW 2017 web site there are currently:

  • 19 plenary speakers; 15 workshop facilitators and 12 master class facilitators.
  • 6 session chairs
  • A total of 42 individual speakers, facilitators or session chairs.
  • 12 female (20%) speakers, facilitators or session chairs and 30 males (80%), including 6 female (32%) plenary speakers.
  • 25 who currently work at a higher education institution; 4 who work for a higher education agency; 10 who work for a company and 3 who are individual consultants.
  • Of the 14 plenary speakers who work at a university 10 are first-time speakers at the event, which includes 4 who are also first-time attendees at an IWMW event.

Speaker Profiles on Lanyrd

Information about the speakers and facilitators is also available on the speaker list of the Lanyrd page for the IWMW 2017 event. Note that due to technical problems with the Lanyrd site this information has not yet been finalised. However this speaker list provides a number of additional benefits as speakers can choose to make use of the social aspect of the Lanyrd service to provide details of other events they have spoken at or participated in.

Use of a speaker identifier (their LinkedIn or Twitter profile) also enables it to be possible to identify speaker communities (groups who may speak at the same events). An example can be seen below which is taken from the speaker profile for Rich Prowse, Head of Digital at the University of Bath and a member of the IWMW 2017 advisory group.

As can be seen if you are impressed by a speaker you can view their forthcoming speaking appearances; their profiles on services such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc.; their previous events and details of previous talks, including slide shows, write-ups and video recordings. This service can be useful in helping to build a network of one’s peers.

Location of Speakers

The location of the host institution of the speakers and workshop facilitators is available on Google Maps for those who are based at a higher educational institution. As can be seen the speakers are:

  • From across England, Scotland and Wales
  • From the University of Dundee in the north; the University of Southampton in the south, Cardiff University in the east and the University of Kent in the south

Developing the Range of Speakers and Facilitators

The IWMW event was launched in 1997 and from that date until 2013 was held annually as a core-funded delivery by UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management based at the University of Bath. UKOLN was funded by the Jisc and the core funding required UKOLN to ensure that the event was aligned with the interests of Jisc’s Future team.

Following Jisc’s cessation of funding for UKOLN the event was re-launched in 2014 we have sought to align the event more closely with the needs of those with responsibilities for providing institutional web and related digital services, with regular online meetings being held with members of the IWMW 2017 advisory group. In addition to identifying key areas to be addressed at the event we have sought to encourage active participation widely across the sector and encourage new speakers at the event. We have also tried to avoid organising yet another technical event which consists of largely men-only speakers. We feel that we have largely succeeded in achieving those goals. We appreciate that there is a need to continually monitor the profile of the speaker community at IWMW events, so we intend to carry out such analyses for future IWMW events.

However there are only a limited number of speaking slots available at IWMW events, so we will not be able to provide too great a geographical diversity of speakers. There are, of course, many more places for delegates at IWMW events and this is where we are seeking to ensure that members of web management teams across the community are aware of the event and willing to attend – and if they do not wish to attend we want to understand the reasons for this. This will be explored in a forthcoming blog post.

Note: This post was originally published on the IWMW blog on 7 June 2017.

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