Guest blog post from Deb Meester, Senior Director of Sales and Service at Atomic Learning.
I’ve been attending higher education conferences for almost 9 years now. In that time, I’ve attended close to 100 conferences. While we all know conferences are a great place to learn and collaborate with others, at every conference I’ve attended, including OLC Accelerate this year, I heard a number of people say that one of the main reasons they come is to visit the exhibit hall. They want to connect with their existing vendor partners, but they also want to learn about other resources that can help. On my flight home from Orlando to Minnesota, rather than concentrating on the 6 plus inches of freshly fallen snow that I was going to be flying into, I thought about the conference and what we heard in the exhibit hall.
One thing I’ve noticed in my years in the exhibit hall is that attendees at the booth will “tell you how it is”. It’s not uncommon for us to hear “yeah, our university doesn’t do that, but we should” or “we aren’t that efficient” or “our faculty don’t do that” and more. And this year at OLC was no exception. There were some consistent themes or concerns I heard throughout many of our conversations: