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Summer Conference a great success

July 11, 2012

Our Summer Conference 2012 may have been held during one of the most torrential downpours any of us could remember, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of our presenters or delegates. It was a fascinating and inspiring day which covered a huge range of topics and gave delegates lots to think about and take back to their colleges.

Our theme was “ Making use of Data” and the programme was built around the outcomes of the LSIS-commissioned research project, carried out by RCU with the support of the College Marketing Network (CMN) since January 2012. This important project was aimed at finding out how colleges are using data to understand their local communities, plan curriculum to meet their needs, and to develop relevant marketing activity. It will culminate in the production of a good practice guide to be published soon.

Meanwhile, to highlight the vital need for colleges to use good quality data from a variety of sources, our conference programme was built around presentations by Richard Boniface, lead researcher and Managing Director of RCU, supported by a series of case studies from CMN member colleges.

Richard gave us a sneak preview of the Good Practice Guide, by running through the “10 top tips” it will recommend for making effective use of data and building it into the marketing planning process.

Sara Jenkins, CRM & Research Manager at Derby College, shared her research programme and explained how it is used to inform the college’s marketing; Michael Bennett from Kirklees discussed how his team makes use of the reputation research the college carries out each year; Dave Cooper explained how he makes effective use of web data and Google Analytics to evaluate and plan Solihull College’s marketing; and Phil Lucas of The Education Marketing Practice (standing in for Sarah Baxter of Bedford College) showed how Bedford uses a range of research tools to analyse and understand their local markets more effectively.

Comments from delegates included:

“Great variety of content and great venue”

“Richard was a revelation on the data that’s available and how it can be used productively.”

“The speakers were really enthusiastic”

“Very useful day – highly applicable to my college’s needs”

“It was really interesting to hear about other college’s experiences”

“Lots to take in!”

Presentations are on the website now, in the members’ area.

Top marks to Solihull College, our hosts for the day, for the excellent facilities in their new Conference Centre, and thanks to Director of Marketing Dave Cooper and to Farhana Yasmin, the conference administrator, for all their help with the organisation.

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