The 2020 Unibuddy Global Conference was delivered entirely online earlier this month, on 20 October. With over 1,000 higher education professionals attending from across the world, it was a truly global event.
While the sector faces unprecedented challenges, the conference presented an exciting opportunity to come together and find solutions.
Across 36 sessions, delegates heard from experts from Times Higher Education (THE), global universities, QS, AMBA and even TikTok.
Unibuddy CEO, Diego Fanara, opened the conference, saying: “Today is about us – as a higher education sector – coming together to share our learnings and best practices from this difficult year. Many of you here, in the face of all this adversity, have done great things for the sector and for your students.”
New technology and partnerships
The whole conference was also a product launch like no other. It was hosted using brand-new technology developed by Unibuddy that will allow universities to host the next generation of virtual open day events. The conference allowed delegates to get a first look at the platform, so new that it doesn’t yet have a name.
“It’s been designed with versatility in mind,” explained product manager David Higginson during a session on the product, “so it’s perfect for an open day or open house, but it’s also a perfect fit for all the other events you usually host throughout the year. It works great for a fair – your alumni and staff can be represented on the event with their Unibuddy profiles, and you can link to resources.”
Unibuddy also took the opportunity to announce a ground-breaking new partnership in the U.S. Following the success of the company’s partnership with UCAS in the UK, Unibuddy has developed a platform for the Study in the USA website, attracting international students who are considering the U.S. for their higher education to chat with current students and hear first-hand what it’s really like.
Keynote sessions during the global conference were delivered by Patrick Hayes and Liz Shepherd of THE; Vivienne Stern, director of UUK International; as well as a panel featuring the director of communications at TikTok, Sophy Silver.
Delegates at the conference had a whole range of takeaways: from virtual events best practice, to international recruitment ideas and strategies for student ambassador programmes.
80+ speakers tackled the big questions in higher education, through sessions, workshops and panel debates. One session in particular asked how university marketing can truly be representative and diverse, with one in five students saying they don’t feel represented by university marketing.
Events Manager at Unibuddy, Poppy Fox, summed up the day: “You can imagine, getting 1,500 delegates onto a brand new virtual events platform for our first online conference was a bit nerve-wracking, but it was an incredible day! Thank you to all of our amazing speakers who shared their expertise and all our attendees.”
Want to see Unibuddy’s new platform for yourself? Book a demo of the Unibuddy platform by clicking here.
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