UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Posts Tagged ‘IWMW 2013’

This Year’s Experiment at #IWMW13 – the Bizzabo Mobile Event App

Posted by Brian Kelly on 30 May 2013

Experiments With Online Technologies at IWMW Events

Bizzabo mobile app

The mobile app for the IWMW 2013 event

A video summary entitled Use of Social Media at IWMW Events is available on YouTube. The brief video (which lasts for just over one minute) explains how since 2005 we have tried to make use of a new online technologies at UKOLN’s IWMW (Institutional Web Management Workshop) events. The video clip describes how the availability of a WiFi network at the University of Manchester, the venue for the IWMW 2005 event, provided our first opportunity to explore the benefits which use of communications technologies could provide at an event. Back then we were using IRC, which was available to a small number of people (about 18) who had brought along a laptop with WiFi capabilities.

I was one of those 18 people, and was therefore one of the first to hear the news of the London bombings. It was a strange experience to be aware of the news, but not the full extent of the news, whilst most people in the audience were listening to the speaker. I waited until the speaker had finished before announcing the news, with many of the London based participants then using the coffee break to ring home.

The incident brought home to me the importance of online communications at events, not only for significant incidents but also for more mundane occurrences such as missing keys, speakers delays and problems with public transport.

In addition to the need for event organisers to be able to communicate with speakers and delegates, the experiments a few years ago demonstrated the value of peer-to-peer communications using popular technologies such as Twitter for enriching the experience of events by allowing open discussions and questions to take place.

This Year’s Experiment: The Bizzabo Mobile App

Since mobile technologies are now mainstream, especially amongst Web professionals, this key we are experimenting with Bizzabo, a mobile app we are using to provide access to the IWMW 2013 timetable together with the event’s Twitter stream, as well as providing a communication channel for IWMW 2013 participants and other interested parties.

As can be seen from the screenshot, the opening page for the event shows its name and location, people who have signed up to the community, and recent tweets with the event hashtag.

The agenda for the three-day event is also available and you can bookmark your favourite sessions and add details to your mobile device.

One limitation I have found with the Bizzabo app is that the number of parallel sessions if limited to ten. As the IWMW 2013 event has eleven parallel sessions on Wednesday 26 June and ten on Thursday 27 June this causes a slight problem as one of the slots has to be allocated to the main plenary sessions.

Timetable shown in Bizzabo

The IWMW 2013 timetable for day 2 shown in Bizzabo

However this isn’t an insurmountable problems, and won’t be relevant for events which have fewer parallel sessions.

For me the success of apps such as this is whether they will be actively used by sufficient numbers of people. As described on the Bizzabo blog:

The community is the most important part of Bizzabo and what we’re all about. Once you join the community, you’ll be able to see all other members, go through their profiles, discover mutual connections and interact with the people you want to connect with. 

Note that the Bizzabo app is available for the iPhone and Android environments. The event organiser’s interface is available using a Web browser, which enables the event organiser to provide details about the event (name, location, programmes, times, etc.) as well as information about the speakers. It should be noted that speaker profiles can include details of the speaker’s Web site, blog, Twitter account and LinkedIn profile.

The programme for the IWMW 2013 event is also available on Lanyrd, which also provides a mobile interface. It will be interesting to see how Bizzabo compares with Lanyrd. The latter, to be fair, is more of a social directory for events, allowing you to see participants at events via their Twitter ID. However it will also be interesting to make a comparison between a responsive Web site (Lanyrd) and a dedicated mobile app (Bizzabo). From a provider’s perspective it can be advantageous to provide a single source of information which is available for both desktop and mobile browsers. However might users prefer a solution which could exploit a mobile phone’s characteristics more effectively and, arguably, is more easily found via the phone providers’ app store?

Bizzabo provides a simple way of ensuring that an event programme is available in a format suitable for viewing on a mobile device for free. However for me the important thing is whether the community aspect of Bizzabo takes off. I’m willing to give it a go. If you are attending the IWMW 2013 event, or are simply interested in the event, why not download the app and give it a go. Your feedback would be welcomed, including comments on the mobile app versus mobile web approach to providing information about events.

As mentioned above a brief video summary of the history of use of social media tools at IWMW events is available on YouTube and embedded below.


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IWMW 2013: Open For Booking

Posted by Brian Kelly on 16 Apr 2013

IWMW 2013

IWMW 2013 programme

IWMW 2013 programme

Bookings are now open for this year’s Institutional Web Management Workshop, IWMW 2013. This year’s event takes place at the University of Bath on 26-28 June. Due to the number of submissions we received we decided to extend the programme so that this year will, I think, have the largest number of plenary talks in the 17 years the event has been running. In addition to the 13 plenary talks there are also 17 parallel workshop sessions each of which lasts for 90 minutes and provides an opportunity for delegates to address a particular topic in depth.

Since we appreciate the pressures which those who have responsibilities for providing institutional Web services face, this year we are providing opportunities for participants to enhance their skills and knowledge across a range of areas relevant for those who support online services.

Day 1, 26 June 2013

The opening session has the theme Opportunities and Openness. I’m pleased to announce that the opening talk will be given by Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons who will talk on Open Education: The Business & Policy Case for OER,

The theme of the new opportunities which can be provided by embracing open practices is further developed by Doug Belshaw, formerly of JISC infoNet and now working for the non-profit Mozilla Foundation who will talk about Mozilla, Open Badges and a Learning Standard for Web Literacy.

The importance of the Web in Supporting Key Institutional Drivers will be addressed in the session on the afternoon of the first day of the event. The need for people with a variety of skills in the provision, support and development of online services will underpin the talks on E tu MOOC? Massive Online Considerations by Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou, head of the e-leaning team at the University of Bath and Amber Thomas manages the academic technologies team at the University of Warwick who will describe how her team is Turning our Attention to Supporting Research.

Day 2, 27 June 2013

The second day of the event begins by hearing about The User Experience. Jonathan Hassell, lead author of the BS 8878, the British Web Accessibility Standard that help organisations to embed accessibility competence within their workforce, culture and business-as-usual processes will describe how those involved in providing institutional Web service should Stop Trying to Avoid Losing & Start Winning: How BS 8878 Reframes the Accessibility Question. This talk is followed by David Cornforth, Jisc infoNet who will describe his experience in Adapting to Responsive Web Design.

The Changing Technical Landscape is the focus of the next strand with Martin Hamilton, Head of Internet Services at Loughborough University, explaining the move to being “open by default” in what might be described as The Inside-Out University. My colleague Paul Walk, in a talk entitled Working With Developers, argues that “If institutional web managers are to stay on top of their game, they need to be able get the most out of the software and systems they rely on” and to do this there is a need “to learn how to work well with the developers who build and maintain them“.

Judging by the titles of the talks in the session on The View From Outside the two speakers from commercial companies are likely to stimulate lively discussion and debate. Ranjit Sidhu, founder of Statistics into Decisions, will ask 9am, 16th August, 2012: “What the fcuk just happened then?”. This is followed by Paul Boag, co-founder of Headscape who feels that Institutional Culture Is Crippling Your Web Strategy!

After this busy day, delegates will have the opportunity to unwind at the wine reception which will be held at the Roman Baths.

Day 3, 28 June 2013

The final day begins with two Institutional Case Studies. Tim Kaner, Director of Marketing & Communications at the University of Bath, will discuss the implications of a changing marketing model for HE institutions and reflect on the challenges and opportunities ahead in a talk entitled Marketing 2.0. Dai Griffiths, Professor at the Institute for Educational Cybernetics, University of Bolton, in a talk on The University in a Bind, will argue that as Universities are finding themselves subject to increasing financial, regulatory and marketplace pressures which are pushing them in a number of different directions, institutions are constrained in their ability to adapt or reinvent their identity. Dai will explore these contradictions at multiple levels, and discuss the practical implications for the future of universities.

Finally in a session which asks What Does The Future Hold? Neil Denny will describe The Delicious Discomfort Of Not Knowing: How to Lead Effectively Through Uncertainty. The abstract for this talk describes how:

These are times of rampant uncertainty heralded by technological, financial and social pressures. Occupying such a space can feel disorientating. We might be bewildered, afraid, excited or overwhelmed. What will it take to enable you to continue to move forward when you are no longer even sure which way you are facing?

This talk will be followed by the Conclusions from IWMW 2013, which will reflect on the issues raised during the 3 days and explore ways in which the institutional Web management community can develop in the future. Uncertain times, certainly, but also times of new opportunities.

I hope to see you in Bath in June. The three-day event costs only £360 which includes two nights’ accommodation. Can you afford to miss it?


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