Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

UCEA Conference
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So, that conference in New Orleans last week was put on by the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA). At least in this case it was specifically concerned with helping universities market their continuing education programs.

As I understand it, CSUN sent me because the director of marketing could not attend this year. Maybe I would have gone even if she did, I'm not sure -- they might want me to get more marketing background in general. It was straightforward; so much of basic marketing seems obvious to me. The presenters say all these things and people in the audience seem to be hearing it for the first time, despite them all being professional marketers.


The organizers did a good job, nothing to complain about. I learned about what other oganzations are dealing with, and found out that one of the open session presenters said he had not seen any place devote someone only to the web. I wanted to stand up and say "over here!" but I'll leave that for next year, after I've had a chance to do something in the new position.

One thing they did stress was to communicate in the way of your audience so don't force people to use the phone if they want to e-mail, and vice-versa (duh!). A presenter discussed how much people use IM these days, so it would be good to allow contact that way. Then he mentioned PandoraBots, which might allow us to offer an automated IM interface for basic program details.

Give people the information via the route they want to make them happy. I'll experiment with it in any case, and if the AI does not work well enough, try to convince someone that we need a human monitoring IM instead.

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