The University of Akron (UA) is a vibrant community within metropolitan Akron, with more than 19,000 students representing 46 U.S. states and 71 foreign countries. UA is renowned for its strong STEM programs and is driven by collaboration, partnership, and a steadfast determination to provide opportunity and success to all learners.

In May 2021, the University of Akron, one of Ohio's most influential public urban research universities, hosted NEXT 2021, an annual conference to facilitate the exchange of innovative strategies to engage learners and increase retention. The university strives to be an institution of innovation willing to invest in unique approaches that increase opportunity for students and reduce costs. This year, UA chose to deliver NEXT virtually using OneVenue!

One of UA's primary objectives was to create an engaging conference experience. To do so, the university offered attendees a personalized schedule built around their interests. Attendees could join up to 5 breakout sessions in 3 different time slots. In addition, to break out sessions, UA added a dedicated sponsor session and speakers page to highlight all parties who made the conference possible.

At the time, UA did not have in-house tools capable of supporting the required functionality at scale. Luckily, UA delivered a successful event to over 400 registered attendees with the help of OneVenue and our team of Virtual Event Experts!

The University of Akron
The University of Akron
The University of Akron


“We were attempting to solve a “good problem to have” in that our virtual conference had attracted a much broader registration than it had in previous years when it was held in person. Our conference registration quickly doubled in registrants while also quintupling the number of institutions who planned to attend. We realized we had a challenge in front of us with only about 10 days before the conference was set to be held. At this point we started looking on the Microsoft Teams Live Events website for a recommended solution. We contacted several vendors and Opsgility replied promptly to schedule a call with us on the same day to discuss our needs. Within one business day, they sent a complete proposal that clearly and succinctly outlined the services they would provide and the cost for those services.

VCM significantly exceeded our expectations. Within one business day, they built our site, built our session schedule, added our speakers, added speaker bios, and enrolled all of our registered attendees in the site.  In addition, they met with us to review the content and clarify our questions.”

- Wendy Lampner, Director of Online, Continuing, and Professional Education, The University of Akron-