I just returned from my first trip to the American Marketing Association’s Symposium on Higher Education, but based on what I’d read and heard about the 2008 symposium, I’d have to agree with Tom’s assessment. Last year’s conference did not seem to embrace social media, especially attempts to live-stream or live-tweet sessions. (Karlyn Morissette addressed those issues in her 2008 conference wrap-up.)
This year, though, the AMA not only embraced the social web, but encouraged it. Symposium chair Elizabeth Scarborough (@elizscar on Twitter) promoted the #amahighered backchannel and encouraged participants to live-tweet their take on the sessions. So check out that channel for a load of good information from the conference. (Another popular hashtag during part of the conference was that for the #amatweetup, which was a blast.)
Also this year, the AMA provided free wireless access to facilitate tweeting and blogging, and even walked the talk themselves on the symposium website, incorporating a Twitter stream, video snapshots from conference participants, planners and presenters, and a discussion board.
All told, the AMA appears to have taken a big step toward more fully embracing the social media environment in the past year. Very well done.
P.S. – If following the Twitter stream is too confusing for you, check out the session notes Karlyn Morisette has posted throughout the conference at .eduGuru.