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Community is More Essential Than You Think

Community: it’s a TV show, it’s a buzzword, it’s what truly makes eduWeb Digital Summit unique.

This year is my 8th eduWeb Digital Summit (shoutout to #eduWeb11 in San Antonio). People ask me why I keep going to the same conference. And there’s a simple answer: community. Sure, the sessions are amazing, and the knowledge I’ve gained over the years has been immeasurable, and helped and continues to help me develop as a professional. But when I think of eduWeb, I think of the community of people who support me, who I call friends and who I love to support in their endeavors. I know, it sounds sappy, but it’s true.

Often it can feel a bit lonely working in higher education marketing, especially if you are the only person with a job like yours at your institution. That’s where eduWeb comes in. Over the years, I’ve met people from all over the country who have roles similar to mine. People I can quickly DM on Twitter to ask a question, can rant to after a long day, or joke around about the irony of my job sometimes. 

It sounds so simple, but we all know it can be hard to find people who’re really there for you. But that just isn’t true with the people you meet at eduWeb. 

You can be part of this community!

The best part is, the summit is setup to allow these relationships to form. We believe that having a community leads to success, which is why we have tons of opportunities to meet other attendees in fun, laid back ways. Here are just a few of the ways we facilitate community through the summit:

Sunday, Pre-conference events: Feel free to take an early flight to Philly, we’ve got a day full of activities to get the conference unofficially started! Check out excursions around town, attend our networking happy hour (with a free drink ticket!), group dinners that are great for meeting new people and networking, and then our signature game night! Board games and new friends! What more could you ask for. I’ll answer for you, nothing!

Evening receptions: A great time to connect with fellow attendees following the day of sessions. Finish up those conversations from the day and meet people from different tracks!

Scavenger Hunt: Make a team and get ready, set, go find items on this scavenger hunt extravaganza! Explore Philadelphia while locating items and sharing your experience on social media! 

Brunch and Mimosas: After two days of sessions, we want to help you put together a plan to implement takeaways when you get home. Hear from our track chairs on tips and tricks for success, and spend some time talking it over with your eduWeb community!

And of course, you can always come up with your own community opportunities as well! eduWeb co-chair Chris Barrows and I have a yearly tradition of attending the Major League Baseball park in the city we’re in, either a game or a tour. (Hit me up on Twitter if you’d like to join us this year! The more the merrier!)

All of this community, plus so many fantastic sessions, workshops and master classes to expand your knowledge, give you new ideas and perspectives! It’s really a full package.

Have you had a fantastic community experience at an eduWeb Digital Summit? Share your story with us!

Allison A. Matherly, Marketing and Social Lead for eduWeb Digital Summit, is also the Coordinator of Digital Engagement at Texas Tech University, where she serves as the voice of the university on social media and manages emergency communications.