StudyWorld London marks one of its biggest events with industry launches and innovations.
A partnership scheme for agents and the expansion of English UK's small overseas fairs were launched at StudyWorld London last week – along with a stunning new format for the event's guide.
The 41st StudyWorld was one of the biggest ever, with 400 agents from 62 different countries attending the event, meeting over 300 educators. Record numbers of appointments were pre-booked, with 84 per cent of available slots taken before meetings began on Tuesday morning.
"There's been a really good buzz about the event this year, and agents and educators have been telling us that there's lots of good meetings happening – and they're very positive about the business they are doing," said Siobhan Baccas, English UK's International Events Manager and StudyWorld London organiser. The importance of the event to the international market was underlined by the presence of schools from Japan and Argentina for the first time, she said.
Sue Edwards, Chair of English UK, which organises the event, was also very positive.
She said: "People here are very buoyant about the future. I know there are challenges, but the message I am getting from agents and educators alike is that people are trying to deal with them. Schools understand how to ensure the visa system works, and agents are looking to find new ways of developing their businesses. This is anything but a depressed market."
The event's new sponsor, Unite, was also delighted. Rosie Nesbitt, head of sales, said: "This is the first year we've attended and it's been a fantastic opportunity for us to network with companies we haven't necessarily had contact with before. And we can talk directly to the world's leading agents.
"There's been a lot of interest, and it's been a real eye-opener about the business opportunities which are out there and we're really looking forward to working with the people we have met here in the future. We've done a lot of business."
The event guide and information pack got a radical makeover this year to create something containing all the information needed by agents, but which would also be user-friendly and eye-catching. In place of the bulky ring-binder full of event information and participant details was a glossy A4 brochure and a memory stick, sized to slip into hand-luggage.
Annie Wright, Deputy Chief Executive of English UK, said she was delighted with the fresh new look of the information pack. "We know agents have wanted something which was easier for them to get home, because they've asked us to ship the old-style binders to them after the event in the past. We're getting very positive feedback about the new format, and we're very proud of the fresh, modern look of the brochure," she said. Another innovation meant agents attending the event could relax or work in between appointments in a dedicated zone close to the meeting halls.
StudyWorld London also saw the official launch of English UK's partner agency scheme, which was attended by almost 100 agents interested in joining up.
In a busy week for English UK, the organisation also announced plans to expand its small international fairs, which have become an instant hit with agents and educators because of the increased opportunity to build deeper working relationships. A dedicated new website went live during the event, at www.englishukfairs.com.
And attendees also got a first look at Light Up Your Potential: Discover English in the UK, the new promotional film produced by English UK and the British Council.
Educators and agents alike reported a productive two days' business. Christine Goodwin of the Northumbria School of English said she noticed a new mood among agents. "Some of them are specifically looking for schools in the North of England – they said they were looking for something different to their usual schools in London and along the South Coast. It's the first time that's happened," she said.
Andreas Schweitzer of the College Internacional de Cannes was at the event for the first time. He said: "I think the agents here are more serious than at some other events. It's early to say, but I think it's gone well and I'm happy."
Renato Silveira of 2001 Travel in Brazil, said: "There's always something new here." He attends StudyWorld every year. And Anastasia Satarina, of Foundation Initiative in Russia, was also on a return visit. "It's very good – well organised, with good services. I've done lots of business, met some old partners and had discussions with new ones about new initiatives."
Notes to Editors
- English UK is the world's leading language teaching association, with 440 accredited centres in membership. It covers university and further education college language departments, international study centres in independent schools, educational trusts and charities, and private sector colleges. English UK is a UK registered charity (www.englishuk.com).
- StudyWorld London is now in its 41st year. It ran very successfully in Brighton until moving to its new London venue in 2007. For more information, contact Annie Wright, Deputy Chief Executive (Business Services) on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 20 7608 7960 (www.studyworldfair.com).
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