I’m pleased to announce that bookings for the IWMW 2016 event are now open. This year’s event will be held at Liverpool John Moores University on 21-23 June.

The IWMW 2016 event is the leading event for those with responsibilities for managing institutional web services and other digital channels within the UK’s higher and further educational sector. The event, the Institutional Web Management Workshop, was founded in 1996 so this year marks the event’s 20th anniversary. We are planning to celebrate this special occasion, with a conference dinner being held at the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

As can be seen from the IWMW 2016 timetable there are a range of topics being address at the event. The theme for this year’s event is “Understanding Users; Managing Change; Delivering Services” which nicely summarises the main challenges which web managers are currently facing. In the opening strand on the first day we will hear from speakers from the universities of Edinburgh and Greenwich about the approaches they are taking in providing effective services to their user communities. The second day will provide six talks which will explore the approaches institutions are taking in managing change – in order to what one speaker describes as “Establishing Digital at the Heart of the University” – whilst continuing to deliver services.

Beyond the main event themes additional talks will explore analytics, provide insights from those working beyond the higher educational sector and, in the final session, learning lessons from when things go wrong.

A key aspect of the IWMW event series has been the emphasis placed on ensuring that participants are able to actively engage in sessions. A number of workshop sessions, which last for 90 minutes, will be held. In addition following last year’s innovation of the master classes we will be running a number of these sessions, lasting for 2.5 hours, which will provide more time to explore relevant topic areas in depth.

IWMW blogThe IWMW blog has been established in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event and provide an opportunity to reflect on the history of the development of institutional web services and the growth of other digital channels. In the most recent post Stephen Duncan looks back on his involvement with the event in a post entitled “What Six Years of IWMW Tells Us About Developments in Digital“. In the post Stephen describes how “We have an incredible community. It still amazes me that as a sector we can be so open with each other about our challenges, and so willing to freely share our knowledge”.

The establishment and growth of a community has been another key aspect of IWMW events, as can be seen from reading the blog posts, with other speakers feeling that over the past twenty years we have “fostered a community of like-minded folks, faced the same issues, the same changing tech, the same battles and the same ever-changing Internet landscape”; we have “had a lot of fun and developed strong connections across the UK’s web management community“; there has been “Lots of knowledge gained and shared; a warm and welcoming community; new friends (now old friends)”; discovered “a community to share and discuss ideas, meet people and look at things from a different perspective” and event suggestions that the IWMW event is “being a bit like Glastonbury“!

If you’ve not attended an IWMW event previously, listen to what your peers are saying on the IWMW blog. Would you want to miss out on the 20th anniversary celebrations?! If you have attended IWMW events previously, you will know how valuable it can be – but if you can’t attend this year perhaps you can encourage colleagues to attend.

Note that one change this year is that accommodation will not be provided in the event fee, since the host institution is not able to provide accommodation for conferences. However there are a wide range of affordable hotels and other forms of accommodation available in Liverpool city centre. We will be providing details of accommodation. Also note that the obviously the event fee is less than previous years – but, thanks to the generosity of the event sponsors, we have been able to reduce the cost of the event so it is now less than last year’s event for those who did not require accommodation!

Please book early, so that we can identify the popular parallel sessions and, if necessary, make plans for additional activities for this memorable event!

About this Post

This post was originally published on the UK Web Focus blog on 3 May 2016.