Now that the light at the end of the long tunnel that is January is in sight, it’s time to look forward to the Spring and one of the highlights of my professional calendar – the CASE Europe Social Media and Community Conference.
Of course, I’m lucky enough to be co-chair of this awesome event – so I do have something of a vested interest. However, I’m genuinely excited about this year’s lineup and would love for plenty of you to join us in Brighton from 30-31 March.
With that in mind – and the fact that the early bird discount ends this Thursday – I’ve pulled together a list of reasons as to why you won’t want to miss out. Show it to your budget holder, get them to sign off your request and I’ll see you in a few weeks.
So, in no particular order, here’s why you really need to join us at #casesmc this year.
We’re back in Brighton!
It’s one of the coolest cities in the UK with a brilliant vibe and some wonderful little streets to explore. Also, it’s an excuse for a trip to the seaside – some of you might even like to continue the traditions of previous years and go for a run on the beach before day 2. I definitely won’t be joining you for that, but will gladly cheer you on from the breakfast bar.
Oh, one more thing – not to tempt fate, but this will be the third year we’ve hosted this conference in Brighton and we’ve not seen a shred of bad weather yet. Fingers crossed for more Spring sunshine!
A new co-chair!
I’m incredibly excited to have a new co-chair helping make this year’s event happen; Marie-Rose Delauzun from London Business School has been a pleasure to work with and has added some much value to this year’s event already – it’s wonderful to have her on board!
Two stellar keynotes
Onto the conference content itself and the two keynote speakers we have lined up are worth making the trip on their own. Kicking off the two days, and returning for the second year running, we have my favourite person from Iowa who isn’t a member of Slipknot…it’s the fabulous Eric Stoller. I can’t quite put into words right now just how excited I am to welcome Eric back – start prepping your Inbetweeners GIFs now!
Day two’s keynote is also a special one; we’ll be joined by Mi Elfverson – founder of the Vlog Academy. She’ll be giving us the lowdown on vlogging, from what it can do for your institution right through to giving you some tips on you can be at your most confident in front of the camera.
Parallel sessions that you won’t want to choose between
I’ll throw this out there right now – you’re going to be unhappy with the choices we’ve made for our parallel sessions. Why? Because they’re all so good you’re going to wish you could split yourself in two and attend them all. We’ll be covering student ambassadors, social media for postgrads, LinkedIn University Pages, connecting with alumni using Olympic champions, international social media and, finally, how one University Library is using social media to build real engagement.
Our lead for these sessions was your feedback on last year’s event, so I really hope you enjoy what we’ve come up with!
Sponsor sessions with takeaways
The showcase sessions from sponsors can sometimes be difficult to get right, but we’re working hard this year to make sure these sessions give you something to take away and learn from, rather than just be a sales pitch. Trust me, they will both be worth watching this year.
A workshop on infographics
I’m so, so pleased to be able to welcome infographics guru and all-round great person Caroline Beavon to this year’s event. She’ll be arming you all with the skills to make great infographics, which are a great way to make content come alive and are very shareable on the social web.
The lowdown on paid social
I’m also really pleased to have Matthew D’Arcy from Click-Recruit-Enrol joining us to fill our heads with knowledge about paid social media campaigns. Matthew really knows his stuff and I’m really excited and interested to hear what he has to share with us – whether you’re experienced in paid social or a complete noob, this session will be incredibly useful.
The unconference is back!
Once again we’ll be turning those potentially awkward networking drinks before dinner into something a bit more useful with the return of the unconference. If you attended last year, you’ll know how it all works…if you didn’t, don’t worry – all will be revealed. Just know that it is fun, a great way to network and will result in some of the best conversations you’ll have all conference.
Something special before dinner
Alongside the unconference, we’ve got a special treat planned for the first evening, before we sit down for dinner. As long as you have a head for heights, you’ll love it!
Something fun to finish
Finally, we’ve shaken up the closing panel for this year’s event because, I don’t know about you, but trying to think of good questions after two days of conferencing can be a real slog. So, we’ll be sending you home laughing this year with a special set of awards – with locally-sourced prizes – to round things off. You won’t want to leave early, that’s for sure!
So there you go…what are you waiting for? Join us at the Grand Hotel in Brighton from 30-31 March for a cracking two days of learning and meeting great people. Head over to the CASE website to book your spot – and don’t forget, the early bird discount ends this Thursday, so look sharp!
See you in Brighton!