The biggest thing about the first day of StudyWorld this year was the secret which we could finally reveal at the Welcome Reception: that it’s all change next year.
English UK staff have been planning the changes to our favourite event for many months, and it’s been very hard to keep quiet about it when there are such exciting changes ahead.
So we revealed the news about StudyWorld 2017 with a short film and an announcement from Sarah Cooper, chief executive of English UK who talked about the “interesting and exciting” changes before reminding us there was plenty of work to be done at this year’s event.
And there is. We’ve got a special guest in the form of Shakespeare himself – a virtual reality playwright who is visible, with StudyWorld delegates, on a special screen and talks and moves. He’ll be at StudyWorld all day Tuesday as well, and in a special opening to the seminar sessions we learned much more about what he means to the world and how he can help everyone to market UK education.
The seminars and plenaries also had a special focus on operating in the digital economy. Marketing expert Jacqueline Kassteen gave a fast paced review of consumers from Gen Y and Z who are driving an extraordinary spike in smartphone use, prompting changes in the way we use technology. Educators and marketers are under increasing pressure to keep up with the expectations and demands of younger generations, and Ms Kassteen urged the audience to “head into a future ripe with imagination and possibilities,” warning that “change happens slowly… until it doesn’t!”
Richard Bradford of Disquiet Dog drilled down a little more into how educators should use this knowledge, explaining precisely what has to happen to rise up the Google search rankings, with the creation of plenty of customised copy on the website which includes keywords and meets customer needs. To make this work, educators needed to use their staff and students, which often required a culture change.
Other busy seminars included business English expert Mark Waistell explaining to agents that his sector works in a different way to general English, and outlining ways in which they could work together.
Today it’s business as usual at StudyWorld with plenty of attendees reporting full appointment schedules. StudyWorld staff have been busy overnight putting up information stands about how the event is changing, so do come along and ask questions.