Marketing conference supports English UK members to make the most of opportunities
13 February 2020


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"Uplifting and constructive" marketing conference supports English UK members to make the most of opportunities

Student trends, Hungarian scholarships, coronavirus latest and motivational advice from an Olympian all took centre stage at this year's English UK marketing conference.

Over a hundred ELT marketers came from all over the UK to the Hilton London Tower Bridge to enjoy a programme focused on motivation, overcoming challenges and making the most of opportunities through social and digital marketing, insight and motivation.

The day began with a full briefing on the Hungarian scholarship programme, before moving into a feelgood plenary session with Tim Arthur, the man who transformed Time Out from a failing listings magazine into a global e-commerce brand. He gave six rules "to create amazing things together" while former kayaking world champion and Olympian Anna Hemmings closed the day with an inspirational talk on how small improvements can make a big difference.

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"There's been a real buzz about the day, and I'm getting fantastic feedback from delegates, so I think we've sent everyone back to work with plenty of useful information as well as inspiration and positivity."

- Jodie Gray, English UK's interim chief executive

Attendees thought there was a real buzz about the conference. Leanne Linacre of LILA* said: "It was fantastic, really good. I loved that we started with such a positive speaker, especially at the moment, and I feel genuinely optimistic now. It was very constructive and was great to have the Hungarian session as well."

David Blackie also thought there was a positive atmosphere. "It was very constructive. Life has its ups and downs and it is how people feel about it can make it successful. I feel today was quite uplifting because it was all about triumph over adversity and coming through."

Elective sessions during the day included the latest ELT figures and analysis from Bonard's Patrik Pavlacic, in which he saw signs of "consolidation" of the UK market. "There is anecdotal evidence that the UK image has improved… the point is that the more messages the UK can provide to the outside world the better. The return of post-study work rights is a good example, and the international education strategy. "This kind of messaging is really important."

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Patrik said one key takeaway was that we shouldn't forget that the UK is a primary destination for language students. Providers needed to be looking to diversify their student mix, with more from Latin America and Asia and looking for "organic growth driven by demand not scholarship."

Mark Henebury of the DIT explained how to find out and bid for tenders while in another well-attended session, Fraser Deas, head of education at the British Council, talked about how to attract and reach China's younger generations. He also answered questions on coronavirus, Fraser Deas, head of education at the British Council, talked about how to attract and reach China's younger generations. He also answered questions on coronavirus, saying: "Our advice is to trust and listen to agents. It's a challenging time in China."

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