Appademic at the Educate Plus Conference
In September 2016, the Appademic team jetted off to the sunshine state to soak up the latest in educational advancement – and some of that Queensland sunshine – at the Educate Plus Conference.
Educate Plus conference: a biennial professional development event
Hosted at the luxurious Marriott Resort and Spa, Surfers Paradise, we joined more than 600 delegates from across K-12 and the tertiary space in Australia and New Zealand.
The 2016 conference welcomed more than 80 locally recognised and world-leading educational advancement practitioners who presented on a range of topics, including:
• Alumni and community relations
• Marketing and communications.
Appademic at the Educate Plus Conference 2016
We’ve been a member of Educate Plus since 2015 and jumped on board as a corporate sponsor for the 2016 conference.
Being involved with Educate Plus is a no-brainer for us. It’s a direct line to what’s important for schools in Australia and helps us keep up with the latest trends in school marketing and communications. It gives us the opportunity to engage with schools and have the type of conversations that help us refine our products. Of course, it’s also a great chance to let schools know how we can help them.
We were able to meet with existing Appademic school users and the entire member base that make up one of the best education organizations in Australia at the 2016 conference. A highlight was the gala event dinner, involving a 40 minute cruise by catamaran from Main Beach to McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island. “South Straddie,” as it’s known to locals, is a largely uninhabited island covered in subtropical forest. The idyllic setting certainly made it easy to engage and feel inspired.
It wasn’t all sunshine and subtropical forests, though. The education conference was an information extravaganza, with a keynote, “The Shape of Things to Come”, presented by author and futurist Michael McQueen. He drove the narrative of how education will continue to rapidly change over the next 15 years in line with rapid technological advancements. It was interesting to see the baby boomers of the room react to his thoughts that traditional schooling system infrastructures will become redundant.
The marketing and communications panel included a heap of highly-relevant insights for us. Key take-aways included:
- The average marketing spend in private/independent high schools across Australia has jumped by 16% since 2014 (an indication of the fierce competition to attract new students and retain current students)
- Social media presence has increased significantly, with over 30% of Educate Plus member schools using social media channels to communicate and engage.
- The changing role of school websites – traditionally a go-to for all information, the majority of school marketing managers and business managers agreed the website is now a purely marketing/advertising tool with the school app the main communication channel
- Schools that implemented digital payment options to receive school donations received over 2.2 times the amount of donations compared to schools that didn’t (which confirms parents are more willing to give when they can give easily!)
We returned back to Sydney with some great memories, new ideas and a clearer business vision. If you’re thinking about joining Educate Plus, we’d certainly recommend it. See you at the 2018 conference in Auckland, New Zealand!
Did you attend the 2016 Educate Plus conference?
What were the key take-aways for you and your business or school?