Workshops & Keynotes
Tuesday, July 26
Workshop #1: 9 am-10:30 am
How Your Content Can Strengthen Democracy This Election Season
Jenna Spinelle, Communications Specialist, Penn State University
Does the thought of another election season make you cringe? You’re not alone. American politics is more polarized than ever and higher ed can’t help but get caught up in it. However, that doesn’t mean you need to stop talking about the election in your content strategy. In fact, it’s perhaps never been more important to do just the opposite. This workshop will show you why it’s important to lean into democratic values and how you can work with partners on and off campus to create content that promotes voting and civic engagement in a nonpartisan, uplifting way. We’ll cover high-level framing, nitty-gritty messaging, and resources to help with both.
Workshop #2: 9 am-10:30 am
Visit Singularity: Bridging the Gap Between the Virtual and On-Campus Visit Experience
Jeff Kallay, SVP of Enrollment Consulting and Jarrett Smith, SVP of Strategy & Partner, EchoDelta
The pandemic, Gen X parents, and their Gen Z students have altered the campus visit. They view on-campus and virtual visits as one singular brand experience with high and specific expectations for both. In this workshop, we’ll bring you up to speed on the current state of the campus visit and explain the critical differences between today’s prospective families and those of years past. Then, we’ll explore the art and science of crafting a standout campus visit. Attendees will walk away with a strong grounding in how to reach today’s prospective families, and actionable steps to unify virtual and in-person visits into one cohesive brand experience.
Workshop #3: 9 am - 10:00 am
How to build student relationships through conversations: Digital strategies to meet your enrollment and retention goals
Osayi Lasisi, Head of Demand Generation, Olark
Lindsey Johnson, Customer Support Specialist, Olark
In this workshop, participants will learn:
- The most effective ways to build a digital strategy that engages with prospective and current students.
- About creative approaches that other colleges and universities have used live chat implementations.
- Strategies for implementing a new communication platform.
Tuesday, July 26
All Hands/Keynote: 12:45 - 1:45 pm
Finding Your Anchor: Tools for weary yet hopeful Higher Ed Marcom Leaders
Dr. Josie Ahlquist, Digital Engagement & Leadership Consultant, JosieAhlquist.com
Within one week, as a higher ed marketing and communications leader in higher education, you may experience multiple rocky terrains. Peaks, valleys, summits, and or maybe even a rock bottom. These ups and downs may leave you feeling weary, yet still hopeful for what comes next. So, where do we go from here? And what if you didn’t have to take on this path alone? With joy and excitement, this keynote will kick off the first in-person eduWeb conference since 2019 - and such will call us collectively into community to be seen, heard, and supported. This keynote aims to equip and empower you with an anchor that can ground you, no matter the challenges you face.
Wednesday, July 27
All Hands/Keynote: 8:30 - 9:30 am
Outside-In Strategies for Your Website: It's All About the User
Nick DeNardis, Senior Director of Digital Communications, Wayne State University
The curse of knowledge is real and we can’t avoid it. As soon as you work on a piece of communication you can no longer experience it from the perspective of a first-time visitor.
We’ll explore three strategies you can employ on digital content. The first will help identify the signal from the noise. In the second, we’ll consume the content using a different medium. And finally, we’ll work to validate our assumptions with real users.
With these strategies, you’ll learn to re-see your website with new eyes again. Bring a site you have some familiarity with, you’ll slow down and pay attention to the details you often overlook.
All Hands/Keynote: 12:15-1:30 pm
The Critical Need for SEO and Sustainable Higher Ed Marketing
Tony Fraga, CEO and Jamie Gleason, VP of Strategy, Enrollment - DD Agency
There is a serious problem facing the higher education industry, and it isn’t about changes in the market demand for going to college or the latest trends in prospect behaviors. The problem is that too many institutions are addicted to paid advertising strategies that are outdated, underperforming, and not held accountable to the bottom line. This self-indulging marketing practice has grown to take up an epic proportion of most schools’ budgets, but fortunately, there are tools and strategies that are becoming the new norm and helping schools to break free from last year’s overpriced and underwhelming communications plan.
While there is no silver bullet for any institution, the antidote to vanity metrics and analog tactics is rooted in Sustainable Marketing, and within that methodology Search Engine Optimization plays a critical role. Join us at this All Hands session co-presented by two higher education industry veterans who share experiences and data from both the institutional and agency perspectives on this issue!
Thursday, July 28
All Hands/Keynote: 8:30 - 9:30 am
From Campus to Consulting: Lessons from the Journey to the Dark Side
Chaney Kourouniotis, Lead Consultant (formerly UC Berkeley & Stanford University) - FFW
Mandee Englert, Solutions Consultant (formerly Penn State) - FFW
What does it take to get a political scientist to approve a half-million-dollar web replatforming budget?
How do you promote diversity at your institution when the reality doesn’t yet reflect the goal?
Are you the only one struggling to implement a coherent digital strategy at your institution? (Quick answer: no.)
In this fireside chat, two veterans of higher education who made the move to consulting share their experiences, strategies and recommendations for successful web and digital strategy at universities. Between them, Chaney and Mandee have almost two decades of experience working in and around higher education, from for-profit organizations to world-renowned institutions - and in their consulting roles, they see common themes across a variety of higher ed projects. The floor is open to discuss everything from development best practices and new technologies to perennial people problems and the unique challenges and opportunities that come with practicing technology in this 1,000-year-old sector.
Chaney and Mandee will bring their experience from both higher ed and the digital industry to help attendees think and talk through some of the most pressing issues faced by web professionals in this sector today. Conversation topics will include some of the Challenge Tracks identified by EduWeb participants this year:
-- Implementing innovation. Retreats and whiteboarding sessions are fantastic drivers of innovative ideas. What happens when you put the markers down and you need to start an actual project? When one implementation is successful, how can you scale it across units or across campus?
-- Web strategy. How can you take this from a pleasing buzzword to an actual work process that supports your institution’s educational mission? What are the common obstacles to this, and what are some proven ways to overcome them?
-- GA4. How do I keep this from ruining my life for the next year?