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2019 Keynote Speeches and Workshops

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Price: £200.0


Adam Williams - Headmaster, Lord Wandsworth College

"Sustaining Authenticity in a Covid World" – Beccy Johnson, Director of Admissions & Marketing, Notre Dame School, Cobham

In September 2016, pupil roll at Notre Dame School (a Surrey independent day school for boys 2-4 and girls 2-18) had been falling for a number of years. Three years later, several year groups are full with waiting lists, 11+ applications are up by over 40% and Year 7 has increased to 4 form entry.  Alongside rapid growth, the school is now a first choice destination, including for candidates of the highest calibre. Notre Dame was then delighted to receive the Marketing Campaign of the Year Award at the TES Independent School of the Year Awards 2020.

Notre Dame’s exhilarating journey to this point has been driven by passion, hard graft, and an unwavering belief in the school.  There has been a deliberate move away from traditional marketing campaigns towards a dramatically different approach, built on exceptional standards of customer care, that are underpinned by empathy and integrity. The guiding principle has been to take Notre Dame’s deeply embedded living ethos of compassion and authenticity and turn it outwards. Through this lens, the role of the Admissions Team has been reframed as that of an advocate for families rather than a gatekeeper.  The school now delivers an Admissions Journey that fully reflects its ethos: families are accompanied at every step through a journey that is accessible, transparent, kind and less stressful for parents and for children.  Families experience this same living ethos when they join the school community, and through such authenticity the reputation of the school is transformed.

Breakout Sessions

Lessons Learned from COVID-19 – Alta Justus, The Virtual Marketer

If there is one marketing lesson to be learned from the current pandemic situation, that is, social media is no longer the enemy. Far from it. Social media is proving to be the glue keeping people all over the world connected. It has been our saving grace. In moments of extreme vulnerability and social-distancing, social media has been the lifeline for schools, reinforcing a sense of community, bringing parents, pupils and teachers together despite the physical distance that separates us all. Join me as we explore the social media lessons learned during our time of social-distancing and how we can use these powerful lessons going forward.

How to Sell The Intangible – Even in a Crisis, Sarah Monaghan, Independent Education Marketing & Communications Specialist, Connected Copy

In this workshop you’ll learn why it is so essential to position your school’s marketing so that the right-fit millennial parents are drawn to your school first with their hearts and then with their rational brains.
Drawing upon her experience and work as Marketing Advisor to Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School, Sarah will demonstrate the social media, parent communications and content marketing tactics she has taken to enable the school to:
  • Retain and delight parents during the coronavirus lockdown
  • Boost website traffic by +169%
  • Increase enquiries by +97%
  • Drive up enrolment by +39.7%
  • Win the UK Content Awards 2019.
The award prompted the judges to say: "The real-world results achieved by Sompting Abbotts are absolutely incredible, and a testament to the quality of the content being produced. As a result, it is reaping the benefits in the shape of social engagement, increased visits to the site, increased enrolment enquiries, and most importantly, increased pupil numbers. Fantastic work!”

The New Players - How Tik Tok and Instagram Stories Have Become Leading Video Content Platforms - and What Education Marketers Can Learn From Their Success, Alistair Beech, Social Media Coordinator, Manchester University

Alistair will explore successful examples from education providers and the public sector of building a presence on the two fastest growing ‘new’ social networks - particularly popular amongst the teenage audiences.
He will explore why vertical content format is the key to long-term success on social media and whether providers should set up channels or simply listen. For those marketers already in the space, he will show they can start developing content vertically without losing sight of what their audiences are looking for.
Designed for: social media officers and managers, digital comms assistants and managers and marketing managers looking for practical insights.

The Power of Influence- How to Get the Best Out of Your Stakeholders, Sally Alexander, Director of Ambleglow

As a school marketer, how many times have you been faced with your Headteacher asking 'Why you aren't doing X, like Y school down the road'? Frustrating right? Especially when you are the marketing expert. In this session, Sally will talk of the power of influence, as well as practical tips on how to engage with your SLT and wider school to ensure that you get optimum buy-in and engagement in your marketing efforts.

Setting Up and Making The Most of Facebook Groups For Community Engagement, Matte Horrne

As Facebook has pivoted its focus to Groups for building communities and engaging audiences they are becoming an increasingly important part of organic strategy for those that market on the network. In this session we'll cover:

  • Step by step overview of how to set up a group as a page on Facebook
  • Ways to build your group membership
  • Content suggestions to get your group talking

Marketing Your School Through Good Communication, Laura Walsh, Marketing and Communications Manager, Lambrook School

It is tempting to focus solely on advertising when marketing a school and, whilst this can be useful, there are many other effective ways of doing so, with communication being a key tool.

In this current economic and political climate, it is vital that, as schools, we get our communications right; parents are busy and want to feel well communicated with and that they are getting good value for money.

In this session, Laura will talk about using effective communication to build a brand and a positive reputation. She will use practical examples to share the importance of engagement and clear communication, with not only parents, but also with staff, prospective parents, Governors, local schools, the local community, suppliers and other key stakeholders

Outsourcing - Getting The Best From an External Partner, Sally Alexander, Director of Ambleglow

Many marketing departments will need to outsource projects from time to time; whether it's web, digital or creative. But how do you choose and what should you be looking for to ensure you get the best possible fit from your agency or freelancer?  If you're already working with an agency, how do you ensure that they are doing a good job? Having worked both as agency head and procuring agency and freelance services, Sally will give you a non-biased view of the pros and cons of outsourcing, things to look for when finding a prospective agency or freelancer and tips to cement a positive working relationship to get the very best out of your partner.

Workshop: Developing a Social Media Channel Strategy for your organisation, Alistair Beech, Senior Social Media Co-ordinator, Manchester University

Summary: Channel strategies are easily missed by marketing professionals when managing social media, but, like content strategies, they can make a huge difference in the success of your digital presence.
Attendees will be provided with a template document to help them identify key social media goals and objectives for channels within their organisations.
Alistair will help delegates understand the types of metrics and goals marketers could track to measure social media success and how strategy work can help you focus your efforts on one or two key channels.

Instagram Stories Tips and Tricks, Matt Horne

Instagram Stories is one of the key drivers of organic reach for brands engaging their audiences on Instagram. But with its many different features, filters and a completely different way of orientating content, it isn't the easiest to master. In this session we'll cover:
•    Key features of Instagram Stories for reaching your audience
•    How to create your own stickers for Instagram Stories
•    Content suggestions to engage your audience

Facebook advertising self-service 101, Matt Horne

As organic reach drops to its lowest levels ever, you may have been tempted to try the "boost post" button to try and get your message heard. But the best way to get reach and engagement while being able to provide real measurement of your financial investment, you need to be using Facebook's Ad Manager. In this session we'll cover

  • An overview of campaign structure in Ads Manager
  • Step by step guide on how to set up an ad campaign including how you can test over 1,000 different ad variations with minimal effort
  • The basics of campaign monitoring and optimisation

Social Media Advocacy – What is it and How to Introduce a Programme in Your Organisation, Alistair Beech, Social Media Coordinator, Manchester University

The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer cites technical and academic experts as higher in credibility than CEOs and board of directors. More than ever, trust matters for organisations across all sectors.
Alistair will present an introduction to ways of working with advocates connected to your

organisation (e.g. staff, supporters, alumni) to achieve marketing communications objectives.
He will demonstrate how to identify advocates and create a programme and tools and techniques to engage internal/staff advocates. Alistair will look at how to evaluate the effectiveness of advocacy programmes and offer tips from a programme he’s currently managing at The University of Manchester.


We often consider what we can do to free up valuable time, but rarely put as much thought into the many ways in which this time could be gainfully spent. If time were no object, what changes would you make to your admissions department? What new ideas would you implement to provide a world-class admissions experience to prospective families?

From visiting admissions teams at hundreds of schools around the world, Ashley has gained insight into some of the more unique and interesting practices and processes implemented by schools to attract and convert new families. During this session, Ashley will share interesting variations of some of the more common admissions practices - such as school tours or open house events - as well as delving into more experimental and left-field ideas, and the success (or failure!) that came with them.

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