StudyWorld’s new flexible format is having unexpected and positive effects. It is not only maximising meeting time but creates a dynamic flow and increases the chances of surprise meetings with partners new and old.
“There’s a lot more opportunity to bump into people. Agents I already know brought agents I don’t know to introduce them to me,” said Malvern House’s Ben Delaney. “That’s different to last year. It’s word-of-mouth in a business context and a kind of quality control. It’s a surprising benefit and a win-win for everyone.”
The Mackenzie School’s Chris Moonie agreed: “It’s nice to move around; it’s refreshing and dynamic and helps meetings because you’re moving round and connecting with other people. There are lots of incidental meetings.”
The new meeting schedule without table/ stand option was introduced last year. Delegates have a schedule of pre-arranged meetings but no fixed meeting location. Instead they meet at a designated meeting point before finding space to talk in our meeting zone or cafe area.
Swiss agent Claudio Cesarano was also impressed. “It’s a nice atmosphere, everyone doing business. I like the flexible meeting points and you can go with someone to the coffee bar talking away which makes it lively. You’ve got time to say hello to people and renew contacts and that’s an important part of it as well.”
Till Gins, director of OISE, thought the UK focus gave StudyWorld “purpose and a sense of direction some of the other workshops don’t have.” He also approved of the more flexible format of meetings. “If you don’t really connect with the person, you don’t have to spend twenty minutes with them – you can do ten minutes, pick up on everything and move on. It’s actually better if schools don’t have to sit there with an agent and pretend they are interested, and I think it’s very convivial.”
This year we welcomed around 700 delegates from over 50 countries, and participants certainly reported being very busy. Carmel Roche and Naomi Willoughby from Edge Hill University, who were fully booked, had agents trying to catch them for five minutes between meetings. “One guy sat watching us for four hours asking if we could give him five minutes. It’s been great. We’ve got lots of agents to follow up and we’ve been squeezing in extra appointments where we could.”
Jodie Gray, English UK’s director of strategy, said: “We’re also getting feedback that StudyWorld has caught the imagination of our delegates and that they can really use our new flexible format to maximise their meeting time. Networking has always been at the heart of our event, and this is taking it to a new level.”
Other highlights of StudyWorld 2018 included the very successful visit of a special delegation from the Gulf states. Basim Ibrahim of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority said: “StudyWorld made us feel very welcome and was very helpful. It was really worthwhile. I look forward to a fruitful partnership moving forward. StudyWorld has been fantastic for us.”
The keynote speech from journalist Lindsey Hilsum was also popular with delegates. She urged educators to work with journalists in promoting “news literacy” to combat fake news.
Notes to Editors
1. StudyWorld is a long-running international workshop, founded in 1969, and organised by English UK. It introduces international buyers and study abroad agents to UK educators and service providers. The event ran from 3-5 September at the QEII Centre, London.
2. English UK is the national association for English language teaching centres in the UK. There are over 400 ELT centres in membership. It covers university and further education college language departments, international study centres in independent schools, educational trusts and charities, and private sector colleges. English UK is a UK registered charity.
3. For more information, contact Susan Young, press relations manager.