What is LabMan?

LabMan (still short for Academic Lab Management Conference), is a national conference for computer lab managers and other IT professionals involved in the management and support of computer labs, computer classrooms, and other technology-driven teaching/learning spaces. Held annually and usually hosted by a college or university, LabMan has become a tradition attended by a relatively small audience, usually between 150 and 300 attendees. Beyond this LabMan has become a community of professionals who collaborate beyond the 3-day conference to discuss and troubleshoot similar issues, find solutions to shared problems, and to explore innovative ideas for enhancing management of academic endpoints.

LabMan 2023 at Virginia Commonwealth University

Increasingly, academic computing services provided for our students and faculty must involve the collection, analysis, and sharing of data to inform decision making. This is why the theme of LabMan 2023 is "Do more with Data". This theme largely center's around the collection and analysis of data and transformation of data into useful information to help all technologists better understand the demands of their customers, their current service performance, and of course how to get better! Academic endpoint management is often as much an art as it is a science, combining concepts such as performance monitoring (of devices and services), integration of feedback from customers, and of course developing solutions to complex and challenges problems. Although most of these concepts are found across all IT disciplines, there are many obstacles unique to our discipline that can often be measurably improved through insights that can only come from measurement. With expanding hybrid teaching/learning modalities, greater needs for classroom technology enhancements, and of course the need to continually reevaluate the everchanging landscape that is technology in education, a data-driven approach to managing your academic computing services is a must for every organization. If you're interested in learning more about how to use data to automate deployment and management of your computer labs and classrooms and gain useful insights into your environment join us at the LabMan conference at Virginia Commonwealth University.

What is the history of LabMan?

The year was 2000. Computer labs were becoming more and more complex to manage, with users demanding additional application software, more CPU speed, more memory, more hard disk space, more printer paper. It was a never-ending cycle for many. A few computer lab managers got the idea to get together and talk about those issues. So that's what they did! The very first LabMan was hosted at Wayne State University as an inexpensive, informal, and friendly conference designed for people responsible for the maintenance of computer labs in colleges, universities, K-12 schools/districts, and libraries.

The conference has also focused on many topics beyond managing computer labs including wireless support, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), classroom support, innovation spaces,and print management just to name a few. While the scope of the conference remains largely focused on the core of computer lab management, there are other tracks to help provide professional from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines engage and learn new skills.

Where has LabMan been hosted?

So far 21 schools have hosted LabMan all over the continental US. Here is a list of those schools from most recent to least. Some schools have hosted more than once. If you're interested in hosting LabMan at your school, please reach out to us at [email protected].

  • 2023 - Virginia Commonwealth Univerity
  • 2022 - Virginia Commonwealth Univerity*
  • 2019 - Illinois Institute of Technology
  • 2018 - University of Maryland
  • 2017 - Wright State University
  • 2016 - Xavier University
  • 2015 - University of North Texas
  • 2014 - University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • 2013 - The Evergreen State College
  • 2012 - SUNY Oswego
  • 2011 - Spelman College
  • 2010 - Northhampton Community College
  • 2009 - University of Notre Dame
  • 2008 - Minnesota State University
  • 2007 - Wright State University
  • 2006 - Purdue University
  • 2005 - Cornell University
  • 2004 - Eastern Illinois University
  • 2003 - University of Michigan
  • 2002 - Northwestern University
  • 2001 - Indiana-Purdue Universities
  • 2000 - Wayne State University

*The 2020 conference was rescheduled several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.