Over two months ago a post on “Programme for IWMW 2019 Now Available” summarised the highlights of this year’s IWMW event.

Since then there have been a number of developments which have strengthened the programme and its relevance to those working in institutional web and digital teams in the higher education community.

Although there have been over 100 confirmations of attendance at the event, which takes place at the University of Greenwich on 25-27 June, there are still some places available (there are only a few places with accommodation available, although there are many nearby hotels available). For those who have not yet booked a place we are providing this summary of the 23rd annual IWMW event.

The IWMW 2019 Theme

The theme for this year’s event is “Times They Are A-Changin’!”. The theme is particularly appropriate for an event based in Greenwich (and we are looking into an – optional! – jog to the Prime Meridian).

The nature of ‘change’ has been an ever-present feature of IWMW events since the launch in 1997. But rather than changes which result from technical developments, the associated ubiquity of networked devices and the diverse range of service providers we are now having to also address the implications of political and economic changes for the sector.

The Plenary Sessions

We now have seven strands for the plenary sessions:

  1. Changing Times Across the Institution, the Sector … and for Future Audiences“. The opening sessions features three talks which consider institutional issues (“Your big digital transformation project has been approved, now what?“); staff development issues (“Collective Genius – how to nurture a sustainable creative culture“) and future audiences (“Deceptively Simple – Designing a voice experience for an audience that is still learning to speak“).
  2. IWMW is A-Changin’!” Based on the feedback we’ve received from recent IWMW events we have made a number of changes to this year’s event.
    Claire Gibbons, the IWMW 2019 co-chair will summarise the changes at this year’s event and chair the short talks, together with introducing a talk in which Gareth Edwards, Digital Manager and Strategist at the University of Greenwich argues “No, You Don’t Need a Website!“. In brief, the changes include:
    • a number of short talks (which focus on some of the technical aspects related to the provision on digital services);
    • a series of “Lean Coffee” sessions which will help ensure all delegates can have an input into discussions;
    • an “Ask Us Anything!” session in which delegates are encouraged to pose questions to members of University of Greenwich digital teams.
  3. Institutional Perspectives on Changing Times“. On the second day of the event we will hear three talks which provide reflections on how institutions are responding to changing times.
    We are expecting the opening talk to provide a summary of how a higher educational institution in the US is responding to channels posed to institutions from across the pond.
    An overview of a UK’s institutional experiences will be described in the talk on “What we Learnt from Rebuilding the University of Derby Website in 10 Months” with a talk on “Connecting Your Content: How to Save Time and Improve Content Quality through Structured Content and Taxonomy” providing examples of ‘connected content in action’ and a look under the bonnet to see how they work.
  4. A Constant in Changing Times: Users!” After hearing several talks addressing issues related to change, we may feel we can relax during a session with a focus on users!
    However the title of the talk on “Grassroots & Guerrillas: The Beginnings of a UX Revolution” suggests the opposite! And whilst the talk on “So You Think You Know Accessibility” addresses a topic which web managers should be familiar with it will be interesting to hear how many delegates have heard of the EU’s Directive on the accessibility of public sector websites and mobile applications – and have taken steps to ensure compliance with the directive!
    After the morning series of plenary talks the “Lightning talks” session – which was introduced last year – may well provide a welcome diversion!
  5. Beyond the Institution“. After lunch on the second day there is one plenary session on “Supporting Institutions in Changing Times” during which we will hear from sponsors of the event about the products and services they provide for the higher education sector.
  6. Delivering Digital“. On the final day there are three talks which address different aspects of the challenge of delivering digital.
    The opening talk on “Static Site Generators – Developing Websites in Low-resource Condition” suggests how tools (such as Hugo) can provide an alternative development approach to content management systems.
    In order to deliver digital there is a need to have a team of well-trained professionals. In the second talk we will hear how institutions in London and the south-east are making use of a work shadowing scheme.
    Finally University of Greenwich digital teams will invite delegates to “Ask Us Anything!” – think “Gardeners’ Question Time” but with a digital slant!
  7. Strategic Thinking“. In the final session we will learn “How to Turn a Web Strategy into Web Services” before concluding with thoughts on the future of ensuring we have sustainable framework for supporting those who work in institutional digital and web teams.

The Parallel Sessions

We have a full programme of plenary talks, which will ensure there are shared experiences for all delegates. But we also have a number of parallel sessions, which will enable delegates to explore topics of interest in smaller groups.

This year we are introducing lean coffee” sessions which will enable delegates to have a structured but informal chat with fellow delegates about the topics you’re most interested in.

For delegates who prefer traditional workshops, there are a small number of vendor-led and staff development workshop sessions which will be held at the same time: from 15.30-16.25 on the second day of the event.

Immediately after these sessions there will be a further set of parallel workshop sessions.

The IWMW 2019 Programme

The IWMW 2019 event runs from 13.45 on Tuesday 25 June to 12.15 on Thursday 27 June.

As well as a comprehensive programme, which addresses many of the issues faced by those who work in institutional web and digital teams, a number of social events – including a barbecue and a river cruise – which provide a valuable opportunity for getting to know one’s peers across the sector will be held on the two evenings of the event.

The programme for the IWMW 2019 event is available on the IWMW 2019 web site.

Book Your Place!

Bookings for the IWMW 2019 event opened on 4 April. The price of the event is £420, which includes 2 nights’ accommodation. Unfortunately all of the accommodation in the hall of residence has now been booked. It is still possible to book for the event which, for the no-accommodation option, costs £320. A list of hotels near the University of Greenwich is available (and some of the hotels are nearer than the hall of residence!).

But we suggest that you book soon, as the official closing date is Friday 31 May!