University Business April 2018 - 42
June 4-6 * The Mirage * Las Vegas
UBTECH ATTENDEE SPOTLIGHT
At UBTech, you're family
Annual conference connects campus technology leaders and
solution providers in friendly, innovative space
for the College of
Office of Technology
Three years ago, Ray Roberts was at the first
session of his first UBTech conference when he
heard something exciting yet confounding. "Are
you ready for AV over IP? Because this is the
direction we're going in," the presenter said.
"I thought he was crazy! The technology was
still brand new," recalls Roberts, multimedia
manager for the College of Southern Nevada
Office of Technology Services. "Now my
university is implementing it. With the technology
I learned my first year at UBTech, I'm able to take
one classroom presentation and broadcast it
across eight campuses."
This kind of cutting-edge information is just
one reason Roberts looks forward to attending
UBTech each year. He also looks forward to
seeing conference friends, who gather a day
early to review session topics and the exhibit
layout to develop a game plan. The friendships,
he says, are a natural outcropping of the UBTech
"UBTech has this informal, family vibe you
just don't get from the bigger conferences. It's
what I've always loved about it," Roberts says.
"Everybody knows what I'm going through, and
we can brainstorm and help each other out.
These are my people!"
The conference attracts campus
technology leaders who explore topics such
as cybersecurity, distance learning and
communications. For the past two years, Roberts
has led sessions on promoting smart classroom
technology among the most resistant of faculty.
"I don't really present," he says. "I share my
trials and tribulations helping veteran staff get
across the hump in the age of digital. Then I open
it up to the floor, so we're all teaching each other.
This collaboration is what UBTech is all about."
It's also about tech, as in the technology of
recording conference sessions for later playback.
"That removed so much stress from trying to
decide between two really great sessions going
at the same time," Roberts says.
Adding to that low-stress environment are the
folks representing companies in the Exhibit Hall.
"I've never attended a conference like this,"
Roberts says. "The vendors are very friendly
and approachable. They just tell me about their
product and answer my questions. And if they
can't help me, they suggest another vendor
around the corner who might be able to."
This laid-back approach allowed Roberts to
meet a vendor who wound up leading a recent
refresh of CSN's 300-plus classrooms. "It's all
because I had a chance to really talk to them at
UBTech and find out what kinds of products and
services they have."
UBTech is also about innovation, as in the app
that created buzz for UBTech 2017 by awarding
points for activities such as playing social media
games or posting conference-themed pictures.
"It was fun, and by the time I got to the show
floor, I'd already seen half the people through the
app," Roberts says.
"UBTech is not the biggest conference I attend,
but the material and the edge I get are immense,"
Robert adds. "I take back more and more each
year I attend. And it is constant networking,
constantly having a good time. I almost feel
guilty when I request to go to this conference,
because I know I'm having fun at the same time
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