One of our fastest-selling events ever has been the 2023 StudyWorld China Roadshow, returning after Covid.
The two-city workshop – now rebranded under the StudyWorld umbrella – sold out its original places so quickly that we added more – and more. And now we’re really looking forward to flying to Beijing at the end of November.
“I’m surprised and delighted by how quickly it sold out,” said organiser Siobhan Baccas, English UK’s project manager. “It just shows there is appetite for these kinds of events and it’s exactly the right time to be going to China as they’ve lifted the ban on group travel, which hadn’t happened when we began to organise it. The timing worked out really well.
“We started with 25 places and when those sold out were able to add some more, so we are up to 28 organisations with some extra reps. Our absolute maximum capacity is 29 so that’s amazing.”
The number of agents who want to attend the Beijing workshop is also hugely oversubscribed at present, with good numbers interested in the Shenzhen event.
As well as the timing, another reason for the event’s popularity is that it aims to make the China market accessible for centres of all sizes. “It’s priced competitively so that people can go, making it easier for our members to compete in China, and it’s very good value with two venues,” said Siobhan. Bookings have come from a wide range of English UK members from chains to smaller centres as well as two non-members.
She adds: “Going together as a group gives us a community spirit – we’re together as a cohort and, from the educational perspective, share ideas with each other. It’s not just business and networking, we’re there as a group and that’s reassuring and inspires confidence among everyone. It’s good for the industry to have a group of people working together to promote UK education: we’re telling our story as a group.”
Attracting first-timers as well as past participants
Ally Connet, England operations manager for St Andrew’s College Language Schools, is a first-timer on the trip. He said: “St Andrew’s College Language Schools has been attending StudyWorld events for many years, both in person and online, and it has always been a pleasure. They are well organised, allowing plenty of time for networking, meeting new potential clients and offering a great platform online to schedule meetings and discover and build new partnerships.
“In November we are travelling across the globe to attend StudyWorld China, which will be an exciting new venture. We aim to increase our presence in the market and hopefully attract students from China in 2024 and beyond.”
The format of the StudyWorld China Roadshow remains broadly similar to when it ran pre-Covid, but with a few differences. We have support from the British Council, and the Department for Business and Trade is organising a session to meet a wider group of local educators and businesses, including multinational companies and universities. Agent recruitment is being done for the first time by BONARD, our intelligence partner for many years; the British Council’s remit has changed though it is closely involved in many other ways. And English Path is helping to keep prices down by sponsoring the event.
“We’re really looking forward to going back – it’s such an interesting place and we think it’s going to be a great event,” concludes Siobhan.