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HighEdWeb 2014: We Came. We Learned. We Ate Doughnuts.

voodoo doughnut buttonLast week, 750 people gathered in Portland, Oregon for the best HighEdWeb conference yet. The atmosphere was collaborative, supportive, encouraging, and motivating. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about new web strategies, tactics, and tools from people with a wide array of web experiences, including those from our customers.

Even if you weren't able to attend, one look at the #heweb14 Twitter feed and you could feel the positive energy of this conference! Friendships that are formed at HighEdWeb endure time and distance, and we all continue to learn from each other long after the conference ends.

I've returned inspired by the wealth of information presented by my higher ed peers, colleagues, and friends. We work in an industry that requires continuous adaption and resourcefulness, and I’m impressed with everyone’s positivity and creativity as they progress through the difficult and often uncertain terrain of web development. It helps that HighEdWeb always delivers loads of fun. Joining in the spirit, there was a great deal of merriment at the OmniUpdate booth this year.

Live from HighEdWeb

Jeremy on Higher Ed LiveIn the middle of all the excitement, our very own Jeremy Rex, Sales Director, was able to squeeze in an appearance on Higher Ed Live’s weekly web show hosted by Chris D'Orso from Stony Brook University and Nicole Lentine from Champlain College.

Also making an appearance was: Rebecca Stapley from Nazareth College, Ron Bronson from Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and Michelle Tarby from Le Moyne College.

Did Someone Say Doughnuts?

If you've been to Portland before, you may have visited their world-famous bakery, Voodoo Doughnuts. In honor of HighEdWeb's location, we distributed some fun Voodoo buttons at our booth. Attendees wore them proudly and took them home as a conference keepsake. A few lucky conference attendees also received a scrumptious Voodoo doughnut to enjoy during the conference.

giveaway crowd

One Incredible Giveaway

What’s sleek, stylish, cutting edge, and fits on your wrist? You guessed it! This year, we gave away an Apple Watch™ to one lucky HighEdWeb attendee. Everyone was as excited as we were about this giveaway. Hundreds entered the contest, and we all gathered together on Tuesday morning for the drawing.

Lance and Marie Raney

Marie Raney of Western Washington University was the contest winner. Marie told us, “I'm thrilled to start my wearables experience this waygorgeous hardware that I would love to wear instead of my current watch – and I’m eager to see what the tech interface will be like.” She will be wearing the brand-new Apple Watch™ proudly when it’s released in early 2015.

Robin's tweet

Special Thanks

To our customers who showcased their favorite OU Campus features during refreshment breaks:

  • Robin Kelly (pictured) from The University of Texas at Tyler on Information Architecture, templates, navigation, and content
  • Amanda Crittenden from the University of Utah Marriott Library on reports, final review, quality control, and end-user flexibility
  • C. Daniel Chase from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on XML/XSL, SaaS, and flexibility deploying content

Still sporting the post-conference glow, it’s time to put the many lessons learned into practice. Yet, I’ll reserve a few minutes to daydream about HighEdWeb 2015… Let the countdown begin!

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Lance Merker

President and Chief Executive Officer

Lance has been President and CEO of OmniUpdate since 2001. His passion for OmniUpdate is infectious. It's that passion and his leadership power that has made OmniUpdate the market leader it is today. When Lance isn't leading the top higher education CMS family, he enjoys spearfishing and eating seafood – lobster is his favorite!