Listed below are the major conferences for higher education marketers for the remainder of 2016 (United States only).
There are other conferences focused on subjects like IT and administration, but as someone who does digital marketing for higher education, the following conferences look the most interesting.
Social Media Strategy for Higher Education: Beyond the Basics
Sept 14-16, 2016
Topic: Social Media
Price: $1,690. Early Bird Special: $1,595 through Aug 26
HighEdWeb 2016 Annual Conference
Oct 16-19, 2016
Topic: varied (marketing, tech, design, etc.)
Social Media Strategies Summit – Higher Education
Nov 2-3, 2016
Price: $1,399 general summit only 1st early bird (register by August 26, 2016)
Price: $999 college & university rate summit only 1st early bird (register by August 26, 2016)
Topic: Social Media
Confab Higher Education 2016
Nov 14–16, 2016
Topic: Content Strategy
Price: $1,099 conference only. $899 early-bird price, until September 2.
AMA 2016 Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education
Dec 4-7, 2016
Price: $925 non-member. $725 for members
Thoughts on Digital Marketing for Higher Education in 2016
The agendas for these conferences are full of fascinating topics. Everything from strategy to storytelling to new social platforms. Inspirational stuff. My only suggestion is, don’t forget to tackle the fundamentals of digital marketing, too.
As someone who has browsed 1000+ .edu websites, I can confirm that the struggle is real with things like technical SEO. These are not sexy marcom topics, but they have a real impact on ROI. (You are using analytics to track conversions, right?)
Likewise, browsing AdWords performance histories with competitive intelligence tools, they paint an uneven picture. Some institutions are overachieving. Others are struggling mightily, or even quitting, for preventable reasons.
Same opportunities, different outcomes.
Digital success doesn’t seem to be dependent on traditional factors like size or prestige.
Anecdotally, talking to various decision makers, I think it has more to do with mindset.
Specifically, embracing the digital mindset. This is 100% possible even if you are not a digital native. Analytics can guide you towards making the right decisions, or at least asking the right questions, once set up properly. When your data does a better job of linking cause & effect, you will find low-hanging fruit all around you, and you can find joy in even the most unfamiliar or unglamorous tasks, if they contribute enough ROI.