The College Marketing Network Annual Conference

Nat and Jo at CMNAC2018

We were at The College Marketing Network Annual Conference last week. If you couldn’t make it, here’s what Nat and Jo took away from the day…

Natalie, Account Director –

I love these events. There is so much great work being done by marketing teams in the FE sector and this is a great way of showcasing and celebrating what they do.

With so many options available to young adults these days, colleges are having to work even harder to get their message across. Not to mention the challenges in a post-GDPR world. But the great thing about the conference is that it brings colleges together to share their ideas with each other.

Workshops

There were some really interesting topics covered in the workshops and I think everyone took something away from them that they’re going to put into practice when they get back in the office. I know I did.

It was fantastic to see so many colleges sharing their successes in a way in which others could take the idea and apply it to their own objectives. This collaborative working is too rarely seen in other sectors.

Awards

After a really successful but tiring day, we were ready for a bit of fun on the evening and the FE Firsts Awards did not disappoint. There were plenty of familiar faces on the night, with so many of our clients nominated for awards. A particular highlight for us though was sponsoring the Social & Digital Media Impact Award. As a reward for sponsoring the award, we got to judge the entries, which was an enjoyable process for a few of us in the office.

As a team, we unanimously awarded the Gold prize to Barnet & Southgate College for their campaign that aimed to reach influencers with focused digital content.

The campaign demonstrated outside-the-box thinking to cut through the “noise” surrounding the Year 11 target audience by engaging an alternative audience – in this case, parents and influencers of that age group.

 

Jo, Business Development Manager –

The CMN Annual Conference is a great opportunity for colleges to get together and share ideas with each other.

We work with quite a few clients in the FE and HE sector and one thing that I’m constantly impressed with is the passionate marketing teams. Everyone who works in FE marketing really cares about the college and their students.

Looking ahead

The colleges we work with are constantly raising the bar and looking to improve their marketing communications. It makes our job even more exciting as we get to help them achieve these goals.

Media consumption is always changing, especially for the audience that colleges are trying to engage with. The people attending the conference know this and so there were lots of conversations about content strategies and digital media – something that Barnet & Southgate College are definitely doing right, which is why they won the award we sponsored.

Proud agency

As well as awarding Gold to Barnet & Southgate, Nat and I were really proud to see some of our other clients pick up awards on the night.

Barnsley College scooped not one but TWO Silver awards. The prizes were awarded for their Prospectus and for the Outstanding Individual Award, which when to their digital marketing officer, Bethh Oliver.

The proudest moment of the night for me was when another one of our clients, Bradford College, won the award for Marketing Team of the Year. Having worked with this team a lot over the last couple of years, I’m definitely not surprised that they won. Well done, guys.

Here’s to next year

Thanks to Rachel and the team at the College Marketing Network for letting us get involved again.

We’ll hopefully see you next year but if you’d like to hear more about the work we do for colleges up and down the country, drop us an email at team@forwardandthinking.com or call the office on 01430 236 200.

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