EnglishUK North Spring Conference

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English in Chester

9-11 Stanley Place



United Kingdom

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1030-1100 Registration and Coffee

1100- 1115 Welcome and update. Andrew Hjort, Coordinator: English UK North

1115 – 1215 Digital marketing in ELT: how to engage, delight and more recruit students, Michael Carrier: Highdale Consulting

We live in a digital age which becomes more complex by the day – Twitter, Weibo, Facebook, SEO, brand positioning, mindshare, Instagram are all part of our customers’ expectations of how a modern educational institution engages with and serves its stakeholders and students. Students expect high quality digital learning technology once in the institution, with social media approaches to building learning communities before and after the face-to-face experience, and access to the most attractive and high-tech learning resources both on and off campus. Digital marketing will make this more evident to potential students and give them access to the opinions and guidance of current students, via social media communities. Educational partners expect high quality websites, RSS feeds, social media streams, Facebook updates etc to represent your institution to their world, and expect digital training and promotional resources to support their efforts to influence students to come to your institution.

This talk brings together some of the latest trends in digital marketing to outline how you can delight your stakeholders - and recruit more of them.

Michael Carrier is managing director of Highdale Consulting and consults for Cambridge English among other organisations. He has an MBA and an MA in Applied Linguistics and has worked in language education for many years in senior management at IH, British Council, and Cambridge English. His focus is teacher development, intercultural awareness, and the application of digital technology to education. He is on the boards of TIRF, ICC, International Students House, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

1220 – 1315 In the ever shifting sands of international education how do we get to the oasis of solid ground and certainty? Thom Jones

Let’s face it, all bets are off. Brexit, America First and the rumbling disaffection across the EU mean that yesterday’s certainties are tomorrow’s….well. Who knows? Opportunities? Potential disasters? How are we, as an industry supposed to cope with this rapid recalibration? Are there any methods we can use to grasp to what we know? Is there any use in doing so? With the rug of established routes to sales rumpled if not removed from under our feet-what do we know? How can we use it? Where are our new sales coming from and what will we have available to sell anyway? In a global market of largely similar offerings from similar providers with little but destination to divide us, how can we let the market know we’re different? Are we really? We’ll be looking at the current international market and using concrete examples of products and revenue streams that are working, despite nobody thinking they would. We’ll be breaking open some products, taking a peak inside and seeing if they do anything useful.

When we take our educational products into market, what do we actually have to sell?

Why would they want to buy?

What can we offer to ensure they buy from us?

We’ll be asking some big questions…agents or direct? Conference or contact? What language do agents speak?

We’ll look into the holy grail of Nationality mix and spreadbetting on sales budget for the ROI gamble

We’ll talk teaching-bottom line and raising the bar

Basically, I’ll ask the room a lot of questions and we’ll all try and answer some of them together*.

*The writer wishes to specify this is being written months in advance. Should the conference end up taking place in a post-apocalyptic, ash-strewn waste, with glowing hounds and semi-crazed zombies at our gate, he will have two cans of petrol and some rice for barter.

Thom Jones has lived in more than a dozen countries and delivered training in over 70. Having been a truly useless student (and proving it frequently by failing all the exams he was set) he started his professional life as a waiter before going into teaching, then management, before going freelance. Formerly part of the senior executive at Embassy CES before becoming Director of Operations USA for Studygroup he returned to the UK to work with Trinity College London and now works with a variety of organisations on a wide variety of projects. He is principal of Oxford College International summer programme for SBC and runs his own company: Brock Solutions Agency. He presents regularly around the world on a range of topics and is a guest lecturer at four universities. He is also a freelance trainer in business and management and a consultant for Telc.

Ten years ago he cycled from the UK to Turkey, travelling through 11 countries. As a charity fundraiser, he arrived at IATEFL 2015 in Manchester having cycled from Frankfurt in only five days, accompanied by round the world cyclist Julian Sayarer. Julian got there first.

He is rubbish at maths. His mother thinks he is great.

1315-1400 Lunch

1400 – 1500 Innovation through Design Thinking, Hannah Alexander-Wright

“When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost - and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl.” TS Elliot

When we are told to “innovate”, it’s often difficult to know where to start. By thinking more like designers who focus on what their customers need, we can identify where we need to innovate, to produce a new service or product and try our ideas out until we are satisfied with them. This is the basic framework of Design Thinking and is used by companies all around the world. In my session, I will introduce you to this theory and let you play around with how you can improve your customers’ experiences by breaking down their journey to really empathise with them. This will enable you to improve your processes and products, and enter new markets. By the end of the session you will be ready to go back to your teams and innovate like a pro. We will be using lots of Post-it notes.

Hannah Alexander-Wright is a freelance marketing and business development professional, trainer and coach. She works with universities, schools, agents, start-ups, consultancies, accommodation companies and basically anyone nice. She is currently a Director of English UK Enterprises Ltd and recently stepped down as Chair of English UK London, after two years. Hannah has been a teacher, receptionist, Social Programme Organiser, Accommodation Officer, Senior Teacher, ADOS, Marketing Coordinator and Marketing and Business Development Manager. She feels she knows the industry pretty well.

1505 – 1515 Coffee

1515-1530 Accreditation UK update, Liz McClaren

1530-1630 English UK North: round table discussion groups

An opportunity to discuss the hot topics of the day!

1630 – Conference ends

Date and time


English in Chester

9-11 Stanley Place



United Kingdom

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Organiser EnglishUK North

Organiser of EnglishUK North Spring Conference

EnglishUK North represents EnglishUK members in the North, promotes our region through Fairs and Fam Trips and provides locally based training and conferences.

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