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October 6-7, 2016


We’ve posted the final conference schedule!


2016 marks the 6th annual LiveWhale Developers Conference.

This year Philadelphia will provide the backdrop for our annual conference. LiveWhale developers from around the country will gather to share ideas and strategies, talk code, drink wine, and make widgets.

We’ll explore the ways our developers are using LiveWhale to increase their engagement with prospective students and other important audiences, and showcase some new features in LiveWhale designed to make online marketing easier and more efficient.

Our first event will be an optional, informal reception on Wednesday evening, and the conference will end late Friday afternoon (early enough for those of you flying home on Friday night to catch your flights).


About LWDC

The LiveWhale Developers Conference provides an opportunity for LW developers around the country to gather and share ideas— what’s working, what’s not working, and what LiveWhale might do to make content management and communications easier at your institution.

Our family of LiveWhale customers— 20 schools and growing— is very diverse; some of our developers write tons of custom code and plugins of all sorts, others work at the ground level with content editors around campus, and some do both! This conference is an opportunity for our developers to meet up and share ideas.

We host our conference every year on the campus of one of our clients; so far we’ve been to Chicago, Austin, Portland, and the Bay Area. (Last year we were online.)  This year we’re headed to Philadelphia, home to several LiveWhale schools— Penn Law, the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, and Penn Nursing; Penn Medicine on the calendar side; and Ursinus College just a few miles outside of town.

The conference will be held on the grounds of the University of Pennsylvania; day 1 at Penn Nursing, day 2 at Wharton. And there’ll be a reception at Penn Law in between. All in all you’ll get a great look at one of the world’s most beautiful and historic college campuses.

Conference Schedule

Our conference schedule will include a combination of presentations by LiveWhale developers at schools around the country; how-to sessions and demonstrations from LiveWhale and White Whale staff; and roundtable sessions on topics of general interest.  

All times Eastern.

Open full schedule in new window



Wednesday, October 5

Social Event
Join us at City Tap House, 3925 Walnut St, for an informal kick off to the conference. Come if you can, but no sweat if you can’t. We’ll be hugging and chatting while munching on hors d’oeuvres and sipping drinks for a few hours.


Thursday, October 6

8:30 am
Breakfast, coffee, greetings
Penn School of Nursing, Room 203, 418 Curie Blvd.
We’ll have coffee and snacks, and we promise we won’t ask you any technology questions until you’re sufficiently caffeinated.
9:00 am
Conference kickoff​
Jason and the team will kick off the conference with a short welcome address, a preview of what’s to come, and a couple of surprise new features that we think you’ll really like.
10:00 am
Katie Keaton, Alma College
In Part 1 of the Katie Show, Katie will talk about Alma’s recent homepage redesign: the why and the how.
10:20 am
Paul Dempsey, Ursinus College
Ursinus has started a digital signage campaign around campus.  Paul will talk about how they’re going about it, and how LiveWhale is used to push content to displays.
10:40 am
Penn Law
Topic TBA.
11:00 am
Karl Hinze, Marymount Manhattan College
Karl will talk about the updates that he has made in his first year as Marymount Manhattan College’s web designer, looking in particular at the widgets he’s created for their homepage, news, search, and fundraising pages.
12:00 pm
Lunch, etc.
If you want to dork out about widgets while you eat your lunch: great, so do we!  But if you’d rather take your lunch outside and explore campus, that’s totally fine too.
1:00 pm
Laura McCord, White Whale

“Behind the Scenes at LiveWhale Support”

You know you’re curious.
1:20 pm
Ed Hillis, Southwestern University
Ed will demonstrate Southwestern’s new LiveWhale-powered Alumni Directory.
1:40 pm
Katie Keaton, Alma College
In this installment, Katie will show off a neat trick Alma’s doing with calendars and tags, used for specific events.
2:00 pm
Rebecca Hope Woods, College of the Atlantic
Rebecca will give us an introduction to COA, one of the most interesting and unconventional schools White Whale has ever worked with, and its award-winning website.
3:00 pm
Roundtable discussion:

Adventures in Web Marketing

Your website is used for a lot of things, but attracting new students and donors is one of the most important. How do you use your site for marketing? Do you use any marketing automation, or any special analytics/lead generation packages?

A few of our customers do. And others probably want to. And we’ve been on our own adventures with online marketing as we continue to promote LiveWhale Calendar to new audiences. We’ll talk about what everyone’s doing, and how LiveWhale can be part of it (both now and in the future, as we develop new ways to help you reach your audience.)
4:00 pm
Office hours 
Now’s your chance to talk about anything you’re interested in with our team.  We will be ready to pitch in and help you solve or code or strategize whatever you need.
5:00 pm
A reception with drinks and appetizers, held at Penn Law, 3501 Sansom St.


Friday, 10/7

9:00 am
Breakfast, coffee, recaps
Today’s location:

The Wharton School

Steinberg Hall - Dietrich Hall, 3620 Locust Walk
Room 1201
While everyone gets correctly beverage’d, we’ll review some of yesterday’s highlights and talk about what’s to come today.
9:15 am
Master Class

Customizing the LiveWhale Experience

You probably know that it’s possible to customize LiveWhale’s back end using CSS, custom themes, or custom modules. But it’s gotten much easier lately, and as a result, we’ve been doing it more and more.
Jason will take you on a tour of two of our newest projects to show you how we’re using back end customization to make tools that are even easier to use.
10:00 am
What’s New in LiveWhale

A review of some great new features in LiveWhale, and a preview of what’s to come in our next major release.

Lindsay Bergman, Washington College

Leveraging Alumni Stories

“This is our Path to Passion project, where we update alumni profiles with self-submitted information and then use tags to sort the profiles. I’m sure the group could also help me improve it aesthetically and even advise me on easier ways to do things.”
12:00 pm
1:00 pm
Lewis & Clark
Morgan Grether and Lawrence Siulagi from L&C will walk through three recent LiveWhale-powered projects:
  • Their new institutional homepage
  • A Day of Giving countdown timer, with associated time-driven content promotion
  • A new class notes system that ties LW forms and profiles together, saving tons of time on multiple ends
2:00 pm
Naomi Royall, White Whale

Tips and Tricks for LiveWhale Developers

In a 2016 version of last year’s most popular presentation, Naomi will present a few of the front end build projects she’s worked on this year, and give you some ideas for making the most of the features LiveWhale has (and maybe even compensating for some it doesn’t).
3:00 pm
Roundtable discussion:

Your Call

We have a few more ideas for topics that might be worth discussing as a group, but for our last session, we’d like to let you help us choose a topic.
Here are two candidates; we’ll be asking for your ideas during the conference as well.
  • Justifying Your Existence
    Do people on your campus understand how hard you work and how awesome you are? Technology work can be underappreciated and hard for higher-ups to understand. We can talk about how to make the work of managing a content community easier to recognize.
  • Training
    How do you do it?  How often? Do you use a computer lab? Do you hold weekly office hours? Is it fun? We can share our approaches to training and our experiences with it.
Closing remarks, next steps, Happy Hour!


We’re still gathering the names of our attendees (hopefully you’ll be one of them!), but here’s the list of schools attending this year (so far). 

Alma College
Angelo State University
College of the Atlantic
Lewis & Clark College
Marymount Manhattan College
Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative
Purchase College, State University of New York
Shattuck-St. Mary’s School
Southwestern University
Syracuse University School of Architecture
University of Pennsylvania Law School
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Ursinus College
Washington College

Hotel Accommodations


We’ve secured a block of rooms at the Homewood Suites University City (4109 Walnut Street).


Room Rate  

A special room rate of $179 per night has been negotiated for LWDC attendees. Check-In is 3pm and Check-Out is 12:00pm.

Visit this link to make your reservation.

  • A block of rooms have been reserved for October 5, 2016 - October 7, 2016. The special room rate will be available until September 15th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.

For transportation to and from the airport there are several options.  

Hotel Map and Directions


Hotel Parking:

There is a parking lot if you are considering a rental car, but there is a $39 charge per night per car. Our friends at Penn may be able to point you to a less expensive option if you do intend to rent a car.



Glad you asked.

LiveWhale is a content management system for higher education, designed by a team of sharp application developers and supported by a small but growing community of Web professionals in colleges and universities nationwide. Schools and organizations use LiveWhale to maintain Web pages, news, event calendars, photo galleries, Web forms and much more.

Our goal in developing LiveWhale was to steer a middle ground between proprietary CMS solutions (which can be overbuilt, on closed, proprietary foundations, and stuffed with features that most users will never take advantage of) and open source products (which can take months to customize, train and roll out. The spirit of our CMS— and of our developers’ conference— is that the developers who use our CMS on a daily basis are just as smart as the people who maintain and support it, and we all ought to be able to work together to make LiveWhale a great resource for everyone in higher ed who’s got content to manage.

To learn more about LiveWhale or schedule a demo, visit livewhale.com.

LiveWhale is a product of White Whale Web Services.

Register for #LWDC!

This year’s conference fee is $450.

The registration fee includes all sessions and conference materials; a reception with drinks and light snacks on Wednesday night;  breakfast, lunch, and snacks on Thursday and Friday; and a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres on Thursday evening. We can bill your institution or accept payment online.


A 20% discount is available for attendees who are also attending either the EduWeb or HighEdWeb conferences. Just make sure you say nice things about us at the conference. :)

Payment links
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