The American Marketing Association holds its annual Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education next week. I’m looking forward to being a part of a panel discussion on building a research-based brand strategy with Brad Bohlander of North Carolina State University, Stephanie Judge-Cripe of Butler University and Jason Simon of SimpsonScarborough. I’m also looking forward to learning a lot from colleagues and experts in the field.
Here are the five things I’m most looking forward to at #AMAHigherEd:
Great keynote speakers
I’m bummed that I won’t arrive in time for Richard Edelman‘s opening keynote Monday morning. (Edelman is president and CEO of the PR and marketing firm that goes by the same name, and I’ve written about him here before.) But the list of other keynoters is just as impressive: Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York System; James Kane, an author and researcher on loyalty (including, but beyond, brand loyalty); Ajay Nair, senior vice president and dean for campus life at Emory University; and Larry Vincent, the chief branding officer of United Talent Agency. If these keynoters are anything like those from past years — and based on their resumes, there’s no reason to expect otherwise — then we are in for some great inspiration, motivation and insight.
Learning from colleagues
High-profile and big-name keynote speakers are always a draw, but for me, some of the greatest lessons of a conference come from sessions presented by others in our field. Glancing at the conference program (PDF), I see plenty of promising sessions to choose from.
Let’s be honest: We all love marketing swag. The AMA and its business partners always bring great give-aways to the conference. A reason to pack light — because you’ll likely be hauling back some good stuff. For example:
There’s more than 1,200 people signed up for the symposium. So there’s no reason to not meet new people, or reconnect with old friends.
Meeting online friends for the first time
I’m looking forward to meeting two online acquaintances for the first time: Todd Sanders, a social media legend in higher ed who turned his Twitter talents and online connections into a winning formula for a Mercedes-Benz, and Liz Gross, a social media expert and author whom I’ve interviewed on this blog before but have not had the pleasure of meeting. Yet. See you soon, Todd and Liz, and about 1,200 other people.