CASE SMC (photo by @jfwp)

When Jennifer Lichty of CASE contacted me last fall about the possibility of being a conference chair, I was both excited and scared at the same time. This was to be a brand new conference – new ideas, new tools, new programming – and CASE gave me the freedom to make all the decisions. I even needed to come up with the name!

And so, the CASE “Social Media and Community” conference was born. My goals were many fold, but they included 1) recruiting faculty with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and 2) creating instructional, strategic, and forward-thinking sessions. Thanks to a collaborative working relationship with Leisha Lecouvie, Joel Price, and Michael Stoner, we were able to design a program that would speak to challenges faced at independent schools, in higher ed, and international schools and universities. Additionally, the CASE staff let us do things a little differently than the norm, like providing wifi in the meeting room, sharing slides online, and having a hands-on session for attendees.

Judging from the feedback I received both over traditional channels (face to face conversations) and social technologies (like following the twitter hashtag) folks learned a lot and felt that their participation was well worth the time and money.

Another one of my goals is/was to give attendees opportunities to extend the conference experience beyond the physical meeting room. Now that the conference is over, there are still several ways for attendees to get resources and connect with one another (after all, the people you meet at a conference can be just as informative and helpful as the sessions themselves). We have articles and posts via social bookmarks on Diigo, the Twitter hashtag and account, materials on SlideShare, and a Flickr presence.

Rumor has it that next year’s conference is in San Francisco, so mark your calendars. There’s already a hashtag (thanks to @agossen): #casesmc11.


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