What You Missed at the HETMA 2-Day Higher Education Summit

Joe Way opens the first-ever, two-day HETMA Higher Education Summit on Monday from InfoComm.
(Image credit: InfoComm Show Daily)

The Higher Education Summit, presented by the Higher Education Technology Managers Alliance (HETMA), made its InfoComm debut in Orlando in 2023. Building off the overwhelming success of last year’s one-day affair, HETMA returned to InfoComm 2024 with its first-ever, two-day Higher Education Summit. AV and IT professionals from colleges and universities converged on the Las Vegas Convention Center on the Monday and Tuesday prior to the opening of the show floor, gathering to discuss the latest insights on management, trends, and innovations behind the Pro AV that powers higher education.

[5 Booths That Caught Our Eye on Opening Day of InfoComm 2024]

“I really look forward to all these higher-ed AV professionals getting to share and collaborate,” says HETMA vice chair Erin Maher-Moran, IT manager-classroom technology, Johns Hopkins University, who also led the breakout session “You Don’t Have to Be the Boss to Be the Leader” on the first day of the Summit. “It really is all about sharing knowledge with each other and having those opportunities to interact with people you probably would have never met from all these different colleges and universities.”

After some brief opening remarks from Joe Way, executive director, digital spaces at UCLA, in which the HETMA co-founder revealed a “double-decker” booth on the InfoComm 2024 show floor for the Alliance this year, Simeon Ananou, vice president and chief information officer, Stony Brook, gave the Summit’s keynote on leadership, the theme of the first day of the Summit. As he took the attendees on a journey through a time of great thinkers and thought leaders—ranging from the works of Erik Erikson to Albert Bandura—he reminded everyone that, since Covid-19 changed the way of the world, higher education is under a microscope, and strong leadership in AV and IT is a must now more than ever. As he said, “You can’t spell university without IT.” He concluded with his seven lessons—whether it is being adaptable, understanding the stages of human development, or creating welcoming experiences to reduce fear and anxiety—to enable and unleash organizational change.

[InfoComm Tour Takes Higher-Ed Professionals Back to School]

While the opening day of the summit focused on leadership and management through panels and breakout sessions with attention to cultivating a leadership mindset regardless of someone’s role or title, day two turned its attention to in-house integration and students and Pro AV with additional presentations and informative panels. Additionally, in an offsite event, the Higher Ed AV Awards honoring the people, projects, and products of the higher ed vertical were announced on Monday night at Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club.

Wayne Cavadi
Senior Content Manager

Wayne Cavadi is the senior content manager of Systems Contractor News. Prior to taking a leap into the Pro AV industry, Wayne was a journalist and content lead for Turner Sports, covering the NCAA, PGA, and Major and Minor League Baseball. His work has been featured in a variety of national publications including Bleacher Report, Lindy's Magazine, MLB.com and The Advocate. When not writing, he hosts the DII Nation Podcast, committed to furthering the stories and careers of NCAA Division II student-athletes. Follow his work on Twitter at @WayneCavadi_2 or the SCN mag Twitter page.