6th Annual Marketing & Communications for Post Secondary Conference

May 30
- Jun 1
2022

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.

About

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Venue

Online & In Person (Courtyard by Marriott Toronto Downtown, 475 Yonge St)

Courtyard Toronto Downtown for 212 CAD per night

Book the group rate for 6th Annual Marketing & Communications for Post-secondary Conference

Alternatively, call into Marriott Reservations and make a booking, please call 1 (800) 847-5075 and provide the  group code is CSA

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

                 

INTERESTED IN SPONSORSHIP?
Contact us

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 15 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $26 for HST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 15 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

Monday, May 30, 2022

All times in Eastern

REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON

REGISTER TO ATTEND ONLINE

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.  Welcome and Tradeshow Open
9:00 – 9:15 a.m.   Opening Remarks from the Chair

Sharon Aschaiek, Principal, Higher Ed Communications

9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Jenn Willoughby (she/her), Associate Director, Integrated Communications, University of Waterloo

Claire Taylor (she/her), Manager, Student Engagement and Strategic Communications, University of Waterloo


Student communications preferences and how to leverage them – results from the 2021 Survey

The Student Communications Survey was conducted in Winter 2021 with the goal of understanding the communications preferences of University of Waterloo students. To improve the student experience, it is critical to provide the information students need through the channels they prefer. This is a follow-up from a similar survey conducted in 2015 and 2019 and compares some of the results to find out what has changed. Learn what we changed in 2021 and why. Join us to find out what students said and how we can collectively apply what they’ve told us to our communications moving forward.

Attendees of this session will leave with:

  • Highlights from the survey
  • Tips for communicating with post-secondary students
  • Lessons learned about conducting this survey
10:15 – 10:30 a.m. NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Anna Moorhouse, Communications and Marketing Manager,
University of British Columbia Library (Virtual Presenter)

A tale of three journals: How storytelling helped launch an open publishing program

As part of Open Access Week in October 2021, UBC Library officially launched its Open Publishing Program using a story-based marketing campaign. Through the successful amplification of this promotion, which resulted in cross-posts on several major campus channels, the library was able to generate substantial awareness for its new program while shining a spotlight on three open journals that had been running under the radar at UBC for years.

In this session, we’ll explore how the campaign took shape over several months of interviews with faculty and students across multiple disciplines, like Department of Microbiology and the Gender and Women’s Studies program. We’ll also delve into how strategic cross-promotion—timed to coincide with Open Access Week—elevated this campaign to new heights, and how the narrative format made it easier to include an abundance of voices in the campaign.

Attendees will:

  • Learn strategies for conducting story interviews over Zoom
  • Find ways to craft and pitch a compelling program launch story
  • Get tips on how to amplify the story through campus partnership
11:30 – 12:30 p.m. Jessica Truong, Student Experience Coordinator, Fraser International College

Rodrigo Garciarojas, Associate Director, Digital Recruitment, Fraser International College

Developing Communications Resiliency in Remote Engagement

For international students, the challenges they experienced through the pandemic multiplied due to the uncertainty of their education abroad. Fraser International College’s (FIC) communication and engagement plan pivoted instantly by developing a new strategy to improve our online presence and to discover new ways to engage with our international student population. In this session, we will share our learnings and strategy for producing content and communication strategies that show students that they are not alone and that there is a community and resources that they can tap into.

Participants of this presentation will gain access to:

  • Strategy and resiliency from a college with no designated internal communications team
  • The results of student centered, and student led social media campaigns
  • Using retention initiatives on social media as means of recruitment
12:30- 1:30 p.m. NETWORKING/LUNCH BREAK/TRADESHOW
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Patrick Naval,
Student Communications Specialist,
Sheridan College


Carolina Salcedo,
Manager, Communications and Public Relations, Sheridan College

Reimagining the Student Newsletter

In the post-pandemic world, students need proactive and empathetic communication and support now more than ever. A strong channel of communication is only a part of the solution – institutions can have the best resources and supports for students, but they’re useless if students don’t know how to access this information. Information overload is also an issue for many students, often leaving them feeling overwhelmed and lost with all the messages and information coming their way. Email newsletters, when reimagined and optimized for the student experience, can collate student-focused announcements, and streamline content, ensuring that the delivery of information is timely and relevant.

In this session, attendants will:

  • Understand strategies to better curate newsletters and optimize content and engagement
  • Learn how to provide students with more streamlined and timely messaging using a sophisticated editorial system
  • Explore the many ways digital data can guide content creation and delivery
2:30 –3:30 p.m. Parm Chohan, MCM, Conquer Leadership (Virtual Presenter)

Communication + connection: the most important building block of leadership development

In this interactive session, Parm will unpack how leadership development starts with being able to genuinely communicate + connect with your people. Being able to communicate + connect is the most important building block, because if you can’t, what are the chances you’ll have influence or leadership with your teams?

Together you will discuss:

  • Why leadership and growth training is important
  • Five skills & qualities of successful leaders
  • The power of connecting
  • Finding common ground
  • Barriers to common ground
  • How to connect right away
  • Being able to reflect and correct
  • Staying authentic in your relationships

As marketing and communications professionals, we all know how to communicate. But building genuine connection is a layer deeper. The ability to connect with others is a major factor in reaching your full potential and building strong relationships with your stakeholders. In the workplace this will break down silos, increase collaboration among teams and improve internal culture. Why is this important? Because it can impact your bottom line whatever it may be.

Being able to connect means lasting relationships with customers, clients, colleagues, sponsors, partners, community members. And why is that important? Because these groups are the heartbeat of your businesses and organizations.

3:30– 3:45 p.m. NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
3:45– 4:45 p.m. Eiman Abdelrasoul, Former Diplomat, MCM Candidate, McMaster University

Senior Public Relations practitioners in post-secondary institution’s boardroom

In today’s world of business complexities, communication is developing and becoming an increasingly vital component for strategy execution. That manifests clearly as Chief Communications Officer’s numbers increase on executive boards. Hence, PR scholars and practitioners must prepare to meet the challenges that this advancement requires proactively.

In this session, you will learn tactics to empower your role in strategic management. You will:

  • Understand how PR strategic management is the key to inclusion in the boardroom.
  • Learn persuasive strategies to enhance your organizational influence.
  • Obtain a prescription of empirical tactics to empower your role as a current or a future PR leader.
4:45 p.m. Conference Concludes for Day

Go to Day 2

REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON

REGISTER TO ATTEND ONLINE

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 15 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $26 for HST or $10 for GST (online registrations). After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 15 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

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

All times are in Eastern

REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON

REGISTER TO ATTEND ONLINE

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Tradeshow Open
9:00 – 9:15 a.m.   Opening Remarks from Chair

Sharon Aschaiek, Principal, Higher Ed Communications

9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Christy Miller, Director, Alumni & Donor Engagement, University of Saskatchewan

Turn your communications into cash: writing for development

Philanthropic investment is an important revenue stream at every higher education institution in Canada. Donors play a key role in ensuring the continuation of vital programs and services, providing a much-needed boost that allows students, faculty, and staff at your school to excel. In this session, Christy will show you why you are going to LOVE working with your development team to create persuasive communications that raise money for the institution.

Participants will learn:

  • How institutional communications differ from fundraising communications
  • What the development team is doing, why you will want to be a part of it, and how it makes you a stronger communicator
  • Learn some “top tips” for writing with the donor in mind
10:15 – 10:30 a.m. 
NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.      Suzanne Dergacheva, Co-founder and Drupal Practice Lead, Evolving Web

Your Admissions Website: Building Awareness & Reputation

Your institution probably has a dedicated section or a stand-alone website that helps recruit new students and guide them through the admissions process. And it’s often the digital front door of your institution. But it’s an oversimplification to imagine that you can design this website with only one target persona. You’re likely looking at two very distinct user journeys: potential students who know about your institution and want to apply and students who have never heard of it before. With Canadian universities and colleges trying to attract a more international audience, we are further trying to speak to that second group.

In this session, we’ll talk about:

  • How to create web content that creates awareness and builds reputation
  • Web governance over content and navigation
  • The role of lead-generation content in your admissions website
  • How to speak to the target audience like Millennials end and Generation Z and the difference in techniques and platforms
  • Efficient ways of creating and improving your evergreen content…and more!
 11:30 – 12:30 p.m. Pamela Hurvid, Campus Engagement Specialist, University of Waterloo

Chantel Franklin, Manager, Marketing and Campus Engagement, University of Waterloo

 

Back to the online drawing board: reimagining Waterloo’s virtual campus tour

2020 was a year of rapid change for us all. At Waterloo, with in-person activities off the table due to public health restrictions, we needed to develop a virtual campus tour to help future undergraduate student see our facilities and spaces.

We came up with a great plan based on our experience and research at the time and it went….okay. Lessons were learned and we ultimately decided to go back to the virtual drawing board to come up with a new approach.

Using a design-thinking process, we developed a new, student-centered virtual experience that aligns perfectly with our brand. And, preliminary survey results show that our new virtual tour is performing significantly better than our original iteration.

Join this session to:

  1. Hear about Waterloo’s initial virtual tour approach, why we pivoted, and where we landed.
  2. Find out who was at the table for the re-designed tour, and why.
  3. Learn brainstorming tips to avoid limiting yourselves before you even get started.
  4. Discover where to find data to support (or contradict!) your proposed new direction.
  5. Consider how to evaluate and continue to monitor the success of your initiative.
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.   NETWORKING/LUNCH BREAK/TRADESHOW
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.  Jeffrey Low, Marketing & Communications Strategist, McMaster University (Virtual Presenter)

Elizabeth DiEmanuele, Digital Media Specialist
McMaster Student Success Centre (Virtual Presenter)


Ashley Fink, Web and Graphic Designer McMaster Student Success Centre, Student Accessibility Services (Virtual Presenter)

Beyond AODA compliance: Accessibility excellence and your website

What does it mean to have a website that’s beyond Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance? We’re putting an award-winning Student Affairs website development process — and unique, audience-based accessibility personas — to the test to find out. The result is a Student Accessibility Services website that meets our goal of accessibility excellence for McMaster students, staff and community members.

Come to this session to learn…

  1. How to collaborate across departments on a website build.
  2. How to develop audience-based accessibility personas and incorporate them in the testing process.
  3. How to tie it all together with a goals-driven project plan.
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Claire Henderson, Research Manager, Academica Group

(Virtual Presenter)

Chris Hall, Enrolment Research Manager, Academica Group

(Virtual Presenter)

Brand and Enrolment: What the Research Says

When a prospective student is thinking about applying to university or college, what factors, resources, and avenues do they use to explore their options? Drawing on tens of thousands of student responses to Academica’s enrolment research, join us for a discussion on data-driven decision-making and current marketing insights. We’ll talk about the high-level results, the implications for brand and marketing teams, and how to make stronger, data-driven decisions on marketing and communications at your institution.

3:30 – 3:45 p.m. NETWORKING BREAK/TRADESHOW
3:45 – 4:45 p.m.    Jamie Pragnell, Sr. Account Manager, Glacier

The Art of Youth Advertising: Insights from 1,400 Canadian High School Students

It is challenging to compete and connect with youth audiences in today’s day and age. Social platforms are emerging, and youth are exposed to more than 6,000 ads each day, with their online habits evolving to reflect trends. Higher education institutions often have limited resources, stiff competition, and rigid internal processes that compound those challenges.

Backed by nearly a decade of higher education advertising experience, Jamie Pragnell will walk you through crucial high school students’ insights and demonstrate how to leverage this data. The time is now to take your high school advertising strategy to the next level.

Key Takeaways:

  • The latest data on how high school students consume post-secondary marketing materials.
  • How high school students spend their time online in 2022.
  • What information prospective students want to see and how to formulate a clear message based on this data.
  • How to build a data-driven marketing strategy to maximize ad spend and engage prospective students.
4:45 p.m.  CHAIR’S CLOSING REMARKS & CONFERENCE CONCLUDES

Go to Workshops

REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON

REGISTER TO ATTEND ONLINE

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 15 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $26 for HST or $10 for GST (online registrations). After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 15 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, June 1, 2022

All times are in Eastern

Workshops are in person attendance only

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A: Building your brand in the experience economy
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. B: Dear Jane Doe: How to write with the donor in mind

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WORKSHOP A: Building your brand in the experience economy

Lee Waltham, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Brandish Agency

Alexandra Martin, Director, Brand, Brandish Agency

In order to build a valuable brand (not only for your own company but also for your audience), you must first understand what the experience economy is. Lee Waltham will walk you through how the experience economy is impacting every industry and sector and why customer expectations are at all time high.

With this understanding, he’ll talk about the fundamentals for building a brand that brings you closer to your audience.

You’ll walk away from this session with a clear direction to start building a more meaningful brand experience in order to build brand loyalty and longevity.

Lee Waltham is the co-founder and managing partner at Brandish, a strategic brand consultancy which means we help businesses making strategic shifts to better address their customers and market.

He’s been working in the brand and marketing space for the last 15 years. He started Brandish in 2016 after working at a performance marketing agency (where he met his co-founders). He saw a gap between what marketing was delivering and what people actually wanted from the brands they were buying their product and services from.

The solution was to start Brandish and now after six years, Brandish has worked with national clients including Wawanesa, Robertson College and AutoCanada. Find out more about Brandish at brandishagency.com or find Lee on LinkedIn.


Alexandra Martin is the Director of Brand at Brandish. She is an integral part of Brandish’s growth and scale. She leads the Brand Team through research and assessment, strategic direction and execution for the agency’s clients. 

Her strength is building and structuring comprehensive brand experiences for clients that are built on key insights from their audience, while also taking into account the macro trends affecting their industry and culture in general. She honed her skills working at Winnipeg agencies and landed at Brandish four years ago. Before that, she graduated from the joint communications program from Red River College and the University of Winnipeg. Alexandra works to constantly improve her strategy skills so she can always deliver remarkable experiences for people.


1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

WORKSHOP B: Dear Jane Doe: How to write with the donor in mind

Christy Miller, Director, Alumni & Donor Engagement, University of Saskatchewan

No more dodging your fundraising team…they need a marketing and communications pro and you’re JUST the person for the job. In this interactive workshop, we are going to dig into the different types of fundraising communications you might encounter in your post-secondary institution, then learn how to take what you already know and turn it into a compelling case for donor investment. Over the course of this workshop, we’ll play, ponder, and produce something you can confidently present to you director of development.

Christy is a creative and collaborative marketing and communications professional, leader and coach, adept at ideation, strategy development and relationship building. She has close to 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit and public sectors and takes pride in engaging people in the mission of an organization in meaningful ways.


Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 15 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $26 for HST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 15 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

2022 CONFERENCE PRICING

IN PERSON Registration Type Early Bird (until April 8, 2022) Regular Rate
Best Value – Conference & 2 Workshops $1349.00 $1599.00
Conference & 1 Workshop $1299.00 $1399.00
Conference (Both Days) $999.00 $1099.00
Conference (One Day) $499.00 $599.00
Conference (One Day) & 1 Workshop $799.00 $899.00
Two Workshops Only $649.00 $749.00
One Workshop Only $349.00 $399.00

REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON

Groups of 3+ Contact Us for group pricing

ONLINE Registration Type Early Bird (until April 8, 2022) Regular Rate
Conference (Both Days) $750.00 $825.00
Conference (One Day) $375.00 $450.00

REGISTER TO ATTEND ONLINE

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 15 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $26 for HST or $10 for GST (online registrations). 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.