ONLINE – 4th Annual Marketing & Communications for Post Secondary Conference

Oct
26 - 28
2020

For over a decade, SummersDirect Conference & Events and Swansea Communications have been bringing together communication professionals from across Canada for quality conference programming. This partnership is the only in Canada that has provided both national and regional conferences for the communications field .

Our goal is to offer a conference experience that will educate and inspire professional communicators from various industries through an environment of professional networking to benefit both delegates and speakers alike. You will walk away with tools and techniques you can take away and use, case studies you can relate to and most of all VALUE.

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE CONFERENCE PROGRAM HERE

About

Venue

Online

Presenting Sponsor

Academica Group is Canada’s largest marketing research and consulting agency devoted entirely to the post secondary sector. Through its expert staff and cross-country network of consultants, Academica works to support and inspire higher ed institutions through research & consulting, digital content, and career advertising. Every year, Academica works with over 100 higher ed institutions. The Academica Top Ten news digest and digital content platform currently reaches over 29K higher ed professionals daily.

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 10 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $10 for GST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 10 day period, you are also liable for the full fee. SummersDirect Inc. reserves the right to change program date, meeting place or content without further notice and assumes no liability for these changes.

Conference Day 1

Click here to register now

Monday, October 26, 2020

All times in Eastern
9:00 – 9:30 a.m.  Welcome and Tradeshow Open
9:30 – 9:40 a.m. Jane Cockton, Director, Marketing and Brand Strategy Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing, Sheridan Opening Remarks from the Chair
9:40 – 10:40 a.m Nicole Woodall, Sheridan College

Jennifer Ferguson, BA, Liaison Officer, Western University

Salena Kitteringham, Director, Communications & Marketing, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta

COVID Communications Panel

Join our panel of experts as they share their COVID Comms strategies, tips, tricks and lessons learned. This is a session you don’t want to miss!

10:40 – 11:20 a.m. Sean Williams, Postsecondary Brand and Marketing Strategist, Academica Group

Rachel Janzen, MA, Communications & Marketing Manager, Academica Group

National Trends in Post-Secondary Branding

Why is institutional branding important? What is happening in the PSE sector when it comes to branding and institutional success? What does a University or College brand have to do with recruiting quality students, facilitating their success, and ensuring graduates are engaged years after they leave?

In this session, the team from Academica Group will speak to the relevancy of branding an institution, the pressures many face finding a unique brand positioning, the challenges around engaging internal departments, as well as strategies to consistently communicating the brand story across multiple touchpoints. Since this process is very different than marketing a consumer product, unique approaches are needed to understand, guide and celebrate an institution’s brand. Drawing on our branding research with Canadian post  secondary institutions big and small, this presentation will highlight the biggest trends in PSE branding happening across the country and will offer key learnings that can be applied at any Canadian institution.

11:20 – 11:45 a.m. NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
11:45 – 12:25 p.m. Carley McDougall, Special Projects Coordinator, Campus Manitoba

The Art of a Creative Brainstorm

Do you ever feel stuck for a good idea? Is it hard for you to find time to get your colleagues together for an excellent creative brainstorming session? Are your marketing campaigns on repeat year after year and in need of a good shake-up?

Throughout this interactive session, Carley McDougall will discuss the importance of finding time to innovate and engage in out-of-the-box thinking. Attendees will have the opportunity to brainstorm new ideas for their upcoming marketing campaigns and walk away with brainstorming activities that can be used with their teams.

12:25- 12:35 p.m. Join our yoga instructor Carmen for 10 minutes of chair/desk yoga!
12:35 – 1:05 p.m. NETWORKING/LUNCH BREAK/TRADESHOW
1:05 – 1:45 p.m. Lisa Brakenridge, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Student Success Office, University of Waterloo

Claire Taylor, Manager, Student Engagement and Communications, University of Waterloo

Survey Says…Results and Lessons Learned from A Student Communications Survey

The University of Waterloo just finished a report based on a Student Communications Survey completed in Winter 2019. The results provided insight into communications preferences of Waterloo students including:

  • Where students want to receive information from the University (i.e. which channels)
  • What kind of information they want to receive in each channel (e.g. events via social media)
  • Who they consider to be an important source of information on campus
  • What has changed since the last survey in 2015

Attendees will learn they key highlights from the survey results and how the results influence student communications on campus. Delegates will also hear tips for running a Student Communications Survey on your campus and lessons learned in the process.

1:45 – 2:25 p.m. Cindy Connor, Online Producer, Brand and Marketing, The University of British Columbia

Integrated Content Strategy: Using strategic storytelling to improve UBC’s reputation

It is critical that post-secondary institutions differentiate themselves to create a unique value proposition through their storytelling. To do so requires a strategic approach to content creation and distribution. UBC’s Cindy Connor will walk you through how the Communications team created an integrated content strategy that utilized content and resource deployment to serve the strategic purpose of highlighting the university’s strategic plan and brand proposition.

What attendees will learn:

  • The challenges of breaking down content silos and taking a phased approach
  • How to create a topic model to guide the university’s strategic storytelling
  • How we identified target audiences, channels and KPIs
  • The people, process and tools required for this content strategy work
  • Wins, losses and lessons – evaluation and lessons we learned along the way
2:25– 2:45 p.m. NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
2:45 – 3:25 p.m. Emily Milic, Manager of PR and Communications, Humber College

Andrew Leopold, Director of Communications, Humber College

GR Meets PR – How Humber College Integrates Government Relations and Communications

In 2019 Humber formally merged Government Relations, Communications (and PR) and Marketing into one department. With a renewed emphasis on building their government relations portfolio, they apply a communications approach to advocacy outreach and initiatives, while ensuring there’s a GR lens on PR activities. From dignitary visits to strategically integrated announcements, events and campaigns they use their “Educate, Advocate, Advance,” approach to showcase Humber and postsecondary education in ways beyond traditional government relations efforts.

Participants will learn about applying brand journalism techniques to amplify government relations and advocacy efforts; how to consider government relations opportunities and implications in communications activities and about the subtle yet significant role of social media in joint advocacy-PR outreach.

Hear specific case studies from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Premier Doug Ford’s visits as well as others government officials.

3:25 – 3:45 p.m. NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
3:45 p.m. Conference Concludes for Day

            

REGISTER NOW

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 10 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $10 for GST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 10 day period, you are also liable for the full fee. SummersDirect Inc. reserves the right to change program date, meeting place or content without further notice and assumes no liability for these changes.

Conference Day 2

Click here to register now

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

All times are in Eastern
9:00 – 9:30 a.m. Tradeshow Open
9:30 – 9:40 a.m. Jane Cockton, Director, Marketing and Brand Strategy Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing, Sheridan Opening Remarks
9:40 – 10:20 a.m. Grant Hamilton, Director, Marketing & Communications, Brandon University 

What If — Digital-first Consultation that Works

Developing Brandon University’s new strategic plan required extensive consultation on campus. We knew that traditional town halls, surveys, and focus groups would tie up resources and still might not be enough. So, we developed a simple template and a weekly email strategy to put us in touch with more people, more often, and to prompt meaningful conversations about our university’s future. We will outline our flexible approach, share how well it worked, and show how you can use the same approach to hear from your audiences as well.

10:20 – 11:00 a.m.  Shawne McKeown, Senior Digital Content Editor, George Brown College

Expanding Our Communications Toolkit: A Case Study on Creating A College Podcast

In 2019 George Brown College launched a podcast about the future of work called Work Shift. A communications vehicle – not a promotional marketing project. The goal was to insert themselves into a greater conversation about the fast-changing work force. Shawne will discuss the range of factors changing the work force, including AI, automation and climate change, that this podcast aims to address.

Delegates will gain insights into how they started their podcast on a modest budget, what they’ve learned along the way and what they know they can do better in the future.

11:00 – 11:20 a.m.      NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
 11:20 – 12:00 p.m. Jacqueline Hampshire, Associate Director (Communications, Marketing and Events), McMaster University

Elizabeth DiEmanuele, Digital Media Specialist, McMaster University

My plans vs. 2020: How Gen Z research helped us connect during COVID-19

In a digital world, where higher ed has moved from in-person to hybrid or fully online formats, the desire for one-on-one communications and real connections has never been more important to Gen Z students. As student affairs and communications professionals, we have experienced this change in student behaviour first-hand.

To adapt to the increased demand for our services, the Student Success Centre at McMaster University has applied Gen Z research, analytics and student feedback to transform our approach to digital communications and service delivery. We have already observed how using this knowledge of Gen Z preferences can enhance the success and reach with students, even when they are no longer connecting with us in-person.

Come to this session, ready to engage! Taking a queue from our own learning, this will be a highly interactive session that combines research, real-life examples, and rapid-fire Q&A. Attend this session to connect across our institutions and learn from one another, and come away with insight into how you can enhance your communications strategies to connect with your audience in a reliable, authentic way.

12:00 – 12:40 p.m.   Jefferson Darrell, Breakfast Culture

D&I Audit: Understanding where your organization lies on the DEI Continuum*

Diversity and inclusion is not just a “nice-to-have” but a must-have if an organization is to enjoy the highest standard of recruitment, performance and retention for viable, sustainable growth. BREAKFAST CULTURE’s Diversity and Inclusion Audit is a comprehensive measurement and analysis process to understand where your
organization lies and how to move it along the DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Continuum*.

This is one of the first steps towards cultivating a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace culture. In this session you will learn about the DEI Continuum* and how Breakfast Culture uses current tools, including leading edge Employee Engagement Enterprise software and/or Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks (GDIB) to analyze where your organization currently resides on the DEI Continuum*.

*The Human Equity Advantage: Beyond Diversity to Talent Optimization, Wilson 2013

12:40 – 1:10 p.m.  NETWORKING/LUNCH BREAK/TRADESHOW
1:10 – 1:50 p.m. Adriana Linoh, Senior Director, Marketing and Brand Management, Simon Fraser University

Kristin Linklater, Executive Director, Communications & Marketing, Simon Fraser University

Rebranding SFU: A Step-by-step Guide to Managing Brand in Higher Ed

How your university’s strategic plan and brand can work together to identify your differentiator, bring diverse stakeholders together, reduce daily workload and reach those business outcomes.

You will learn:

  • Suggested steps in the rebrand process
  • How to structure internal stakeholder input and approvals governance
  • How to bring decentralized communicators along on the rebrand journey
  • Choosing and working with the right vendors
  • The magic of an institutional narrative
  • Turning logo soup into a refined logo architecture – and helping stakeholders let go of their logo obsession
  • How tools and templates can benefit your stakeholders and improve team efficiency
1:50 – 2:30 p.m. Suzanne Dergacheva, Co-founder and Drupal Practice Lead, Evolving Web

Improving Experiences By Combining User Experience (UX) Research and Strong Content Strategy 

You might think that you don’t have time to do user testing. You’re scared what you’ll see if you watch people use your website, think you already know how your users behave based on analytics, or believe that you don’t have time for UX research. In fact, there are lots of easy ways to use UX techniques to improve your digital experience and the user journey.

In this presentation, Suzanne will guide you through a toolbox of lean UX research techniques: Identifying personas, user testing, mapping user journeys. Real-life case studies will be used from their work with Princeton University and McGill University to show you how they mapped out how students select their top school and pick the program that’s right for them. You’ll also learn how user research can guide how your approach to personalization.

2:30 p.m.      CHAIR’S CLOSING REMARKS
2:35 – 3:00 p.m.   NETWORKING CONTINUES
3:00 p.m.    CONFERENCE CONCLUDES

REGISTER NOW

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 10 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $10 for GST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 10 day period, you are also liable for the full fee. SummersDirect Inc. reserves the right to change program date, meeting place or content without further notice and assumes no liability for these changes.

Post Conference Workshops

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

All times are in Eastern

There are three great workshops for you to choose from:

1:00 – 3:15 p.m. B. Rebranding SFU: A step-by-step Guide to Managing Brand in Higher Ed
1:00 – 3:15 p.m. C. Learn Digital Marketing Strategies Shaping Today’s Top Performing Marketers,
9:00 – 11:15 a.m. D. Understanding Your Humans – Tools and Techniques to Glean Audience Insights

REGISTER NOW


1:00 – 3:15 p.m.

WORKSHOP B: Rebranding SFU: A Step-by-step Guide to Managing Brand in Higher Ed

Adriana Linoh, Senior Director, Marketing and Brand Management & Kristin Linklater, Executive Director, Communications & Marketing

         

How your university’s strategic plan and brand can work together to identify your differentiator, bring diverse stakeholders together, reduce daily workload and reach those business outcomes.

You will learn:

  • Suggested steps in the rebrand process
  • How to structure internal stakeholder input and approvals governance
  • How to bring decentralized communicators along on the rebrand journey
  • Choosing and working with the right vendors
  • The magic of an institutional narrative
  • Turning logo soup into a refined logo architecture – and helping stakeholders let go of their logo obsession
  • How tools and templates can benefit your stakeholders and improve team efficiency
  • What the metrics show after a year with one consistent visual identity for all of SFU’s faculties, programs, centres and initiatives
  • Survival tips and shortcuts learned along the way

Adriana Linoh has 16 years of marketing and communications experience in higher education. In her role as Senior Director, Marketing and Brand Management with Simon Fraser University, she is responsible for stewarding the university’s recently refreshed brand and solidifying SFU’s reputation as Canada’s engaged university.

Kristin Linklater, SCMP, is the Executive Director of Communications & Marketing at SFU, overseeing the central communication team, which includes media relations, communication strategy, and marketing and brand management. Her role in brand management includes influencing leadership perception of brand and navigating consultation and approvals.


1:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

WORKSHOP C: Learn Digital Marketing Strategies Shaping Today’s Top Performing Marketers

Darian Kovacs, Founding Partner, Jelly Marketing

In this workshop we’re going to level up your digital marketing strategies. In each session we will look at one major trend and how you can take your first steps while competition remains low and the opportunities will yield the best results to engage and attract students.

The workshop will be broken down into four, interactive segments:
Session 1: TikTok & Emerging Platforms
Session 2: Video Content
Session 3: Personalization
Session 4: Digital Experiences

This is not an introductory digital marketing workshop. This will assume you know the basics of what PPC is and how it works. If you’ve been testing different platforms like Facebook and Google and have built a digital marketing plan and strategy but need some knowledge to level it up, then this is for you. We will answer one question in this workshop and likely the most important question you can answer as a marketer. How do you put your next resource (financial or effort) to the most effective channel to make your budget go further? The successful marketer in higher education will know how to leverage emerging trends in a practical and simple way to drive results. Join us.

Darian is an Indigenous business leader with 15 years of experience in marketing, communications, and public relations. Throughout his career, he has also been a founder and board member of various foundations and charitable organizations. Darian is a co-host on the show Marketing Jam (featured on all the podcast channels and Amazon Prime). Through his award-winning company, Jelly Marketing, Darian has worked with various local, national, and global brands building and executing their digital & PR strategy. He co-founded the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference and he’s a regular contributor with BCBusiness magazine, Entrepreneur, and Forbes. Being both an educator and practitioner, Darian’s mix of stories, practical examples, and takeaways leaves audiences feeling inspired and equipped to implement SEO, digital ad, social media, and PR strategies into their organizations. Darian brings his wealth of experience as well as his educational and interactive teaching style to conferences and workshops all over North America. He lives in Fort Langley, BC with his wife and four kids and loves to dabble in watercolour, ink drawing, and gardening. Having interviewed over 100 marketers such as LEGO, Starbucks, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Buzzfeed, Darian’s recently launched Marketing News Canada, a (website that highlights some of the top industry news and insights from guests. Darian additionally runs Jelly Academy – a WorkBC approved training program that helps brands bring marketing in house or helps upgrade existing staff members with the key marketing skills. Darian’s newest book Marketing Mentors is set to be available in book stores in Fall 2020.


9:00 – 11:15 a.m.

WORKSHOP D: Understanding Your Humans – Tools and Techniques to Glean Audience Insights

Doug Lacombe, President, Communicatto Inc.

There’s a reason Forrester Research’s P.O.S.T. model (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) puts people first – we are (usually) communicating with humans after all! So you’ve done the hard work of developing personas and thinking about demographics, maybe even psychographics and affinity groups.

Those are typically educated guesses at best or reveal biases at worst. How do you validate that the audience you intended to reach is in fact the same gang on your website or social channels?

Do you really know and understand them? Their hot buttons, political preferences, topics of conversation, fears and annoyances? How do you know the content you are producing is a.) Alluring and b.) Having the desired effect?

Enrich your understanding of your audience by using the tools, tips and techniques that will be demonstrated and practiced in this hands-on workshop.

From Google Analytics to social media audits, keyword research to social listening, audience analysis to trending topics, we’ll cover all this and more. And you’ll get to practice with some of the free tools to boot, so you have practical experience in deep audience profiling on the spot.

Ultimately the knowledge you acquire about your audience will make you a better publisher, which in turn helps you get people to act on your content, whether that’s changing behaviours, getting people to vote, appeasing shareholders, attracting talent, or managing your brand and reputation.

Know your people so you can speak to them. The ROI will be evident if you watch the numbers closely.

Doug Lacombe, MBA is president and founder of Communicatto Inc., a digital marketing agency. Drawing on almost 30 years of experience in media, web publishing and technology; Doug and his team work with organizations to integrate traditional and digital communications, with a focus on content marketing, advertising, and social media.

REGISTER NOW

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 10 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $10 for GST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 10 day period, you are also liable for the full fee. SummersDirect Inc. reserves the right to change program date, meeting place or content without further notice and assumes no liability for these changes.

Pricing/Register

ONLINE CONFERENCE PRICING

Registration Type Early Bird (until August 28, 2020) Regular Rate
Best Value – Conference & 2 Workshops $1015.00 $1200.00
Conference & 1 Workshop $975.00 $1050.00
Conference (Both Days) $750.00 $825.00
Conference (One Day) $375.00 $450.00
Conference (One Day) & 1 Workshop $625.00 $725.00
Two Workshops Only $485.00 $565.00
One Workshop Only $265.00 $300.00

Groups of 3+ Contact Us for group pricing

REGISTER NOW

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 10 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $10 for GST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 10 day period, you are also liable for the full fee. SummersDirect Inc. reserves the right to change program date, meeting place or content without further notice and assumes no liability for these changes.