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This post is written by Doug Burgett, Creative Director at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Web professionals of all sorts have gathered at the University of Illinois annually for the past 19 years to share notes, discuss new ideas, and gain insights. In April of 2019, the get-together known as the University of Illinois Web Conference will celebrate its 20th year, and you’re invited to the party. Here are some reasons why you should consider accepting this invitation.

There’s something for everyone.
Whatever your role is within higher education, chances are you deal with the web in some capacity. Perhaps you build websites or create content for the web or manage social media. Maybe you’re a one-person operation and you do all those things. The list of web-related responsibilities is seemingly endless, but the University of Illinois Web Conference covers everything from content to design to code to social. It’s a beautiful mix of all things web.

Champaign-Urbana is legit.
Coming to Champaign for a web conference is like a baseball fan catching a game at Fenway Park. The University of Illinois has a legendary history in technical achievement, with faculty and alumni creating such things as the first graphical browser, YouTube, and PayPal, to name just a few. Oh, and Illinois is a leader in the areas of web accessibility and disability resources in general. With an emphasis and strength in these areas, great understanding and appreciation for web standards and best practices exist throughout the campus.

The conference itself is located at the I Hotel and Conference Center, which is literally 10 minutes from the airport. It’s located on the edge of a beautiful sprawling campus, which is the #2 college town in America according to AIER. Once you venture into either downtown Champaign, Urbana, or Campustown (yes, there are three magnificent downtowns to experience), you’ll see why that’s the case. No shortage of breweries and restaurants exist to explore. In fact, Midwest Living named CU the #1 Midwest food town last year. It’s just another reason to come to CU for a visit.

You’ll get more bang for your buck.
Simply put, there’s no better value for a web professional development event than the University of Illinois Web Conference. This is a national conference hosting more than 40 speakers and 400 attendees each year. It’s the real deal but at half the cost of other comparable events. Not only that, it’s a great opportunity to see and meet industry experts such as Eric Meyer, Steve Krug, Whitney Hess, Louis Rosenfeld, Luke Wroblewski, Kristina Halvorson, Jarod Spool, Denise Jacobs, and Chris Coyer, to name a few.

So, let’s party already!
If you’re interested in presenting at the conference, proposals are accepted June through August. Otherwise, registration opens on January 1, 2019, and the actual event will be held April 3 to 5, 2019. Visit webcon.illinois.edu to sign up for email updates and reminders. This conference sells out fast every year because of limited seating, so don’t wait. It’s a party you won’t want to miss.

 

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