NACE 2010 was the first conference I felt I attended without being there (see Day 1 and Day 2 posts). In talking with several career centers and employers before the conference, I know that budget constraints minimized either their presence or cut their participation all together. While I’ve followed conference discussions via Twitter before, there seemed to be a genuine desire by attendees to use Twitter as a communication bridge for those that were not able to attend this year’s conference. NACE 2010 participants unselfishly shared information (and the fun) from the conference and took many of us into the sessions with them – and for that I’m grateful.
Perhaps it was the fact that I was tuning in via Twitter – but it seems the conference had a strong ‘relationship’ theme – in building partnerships with employers, students, faculty, and other on-campus functions. And while this is probably a recurring theme at most NACE conferences, the ability to build these relationships using technology (social media) was seen as essential given the characteristics of today’s college student. Some career centers and employers are leveraging these tools to their full potential while others are just now starting to understand its promise. However, this new technological approach raises many questions in regards to resources, privacy issues, budget constraints, and expertise colleges and employers can lend to these efforts. The old adage of coming away with more questions than answers is certainly appropriate in this case.
So that’s it – fortunately for me there was no traveling back home once the conference ended ; ) I had a great time following the discussions online, but I hope to attend next year’s NACE conference in person…..I really want to win an iPad!