Oct. 29, 2019
3 weeks ago
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AMA Conference Preview: Time to Double Down on Your Session Picks

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With the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education just two weeks away in Las Vegas, I couldn’t be more excited for this year’s lineup. From the pre-conference sessions and keynote speakers (Guy Kawasaki!) to the tracks and sessions, there is an endless supply of thought leadership balanced with tangible takeaways awaiting lucky attendants.

Here are some conference highlights to think about:

Pre-Conference Sessions

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to dive deep into these four-hour hands-on sessions! If you need to gain expertise or make sure you’re up to speed on best practices in a certain area, these pre-conference sessions will be your ace in the hole.

If you’re new to higher ed, Higher Education 101: What You Need to Lead is the session for you. This workshop will help newcomers better understand the higher education landscape and identify some of the challenges inherent to this vertical. This looks like a great opportunity for all those coming in from the outside. 

Interested in making sure your comm-flow design is up to par for today’s personalized environment? Then I suggest Designing for Growth: Innovations and Best Practices in Comm-Flow Strategy. This pre-conference session promises to reveal the latest best practice strategies, measurements, and data-driven research techniques to improve your ROI—and I believe Carnegie Dartlet’s own Scott Ochander and Eric Page will deliver in spades.

Tracks and Sessions

With five tracks (Brand and Content Strategy, Measurement and ROI, Audience Engagement, Effective Leadership, and Research) and over 30 sessions to choose from, there is no losing when rolling the dice on which session to attend. Here are a few I am placing my chips on...

Keeping in line with my core belief about delivering highly personalized and segmented messaging for prospects, I am eager to hear from the University of Notre Dame’s Tim Bohling in his session Dashboard Data Drives Precise Personalization, Surge in Inquiries, explaining how the school’s real-time dashboard gave them the ability to understand engagement across digital platforms, drive precise personalization, and increase inquiries.

At Carnegie Dartlet, we are all in on schools getting out of boring “beige” storytelling and not using “factland” to tell a university’s story. In The Power of Content: How to Transform Your Team, you’ll hear from St. Edward’s University about the importance of investing in content and how they have transformed their team to tell stories.

Another area of curiosity for me are podcasts, which have sweetened the pot for how institutions deliver compelling content. I will most definitely be sitting in on UConn’s session Slay It by Ear: Building a Better University Podcast to hear how the University’s communications team creates and manages its award-winning podcasts. I’m betting we will all walk away with some very tangible “how to’s” from this session.

I wouldn’t be playing my cards right if I didn’t plug my own session in the Audience Engagement track, From A to Gen Z: The "How To's" of Reaching, Communicating With, and Enrolling This Generation. In this session, I’ll detail the deep psychological differences between Gen Z and millennials, getting super specific on Gen Z’s social media habits and how you should be thinking of reaching them. Kate Ledger from the University of Pittsburgh will also showcase the creative and innovative ways Pitt has been successful in communicating with and enrolling this generation.

And while not a session, the Emerging Trends in Adult Online Education luncheon keynote panel should provide a jackpot of information and insight into where online adult education is headed. This is an area that institutions and Carnegie Dartlet continue to focus on, so I’m excited to hear from this prestigious panel of educators and marketers who are currently in this space.

Don’t Miss Out on What AMA Is Dealing

Whether this is your first time attending the AMA Higher Education Symposium Conference or you’ve been coming for the better part of 30 years (congratulations AMA on your 30-year anniversary!), this conference ups the ante of information across a wide array of topics—and with this year’s conference happening in Vegas, I’m willing to bet this might just be the best year yet. Can’t make it to Carnegie Dartlet’s sessions? Contact us for the slides post-conference.

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