A Virtual Conference To Help You Become A Better School Marketer!
The best value in school marketing and communication professional development, period. Introducing the VirCon8.
Introducing the VirCon8
A day long LIVE virtual conference for school marketing and communication professionals on October 17, 2020 starting at 8:00 am EST.
Can't attend live? No worries! ALL registrants will receive access to the video recordings.
There is still time to register...
Here’s What You’ll Get When You Register
9 expert training presentations with actionable tips
Lifetime access to the recorded presentations
Access to "pop-up" private Facebook group for participants and presenters
Access for you AND your entire team
Watch the presentations again and again all year long
Ability to ask questions live and in the Facebook group
VirCon 8 Speakers
Marketing Creative Director
George Fox University (OR)
With more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience, Vanessa Spier serves as marketing creative director at George Fox University. With a love for building brand assets and getting the most out of a small budget and even smaller team, she has expertise in strategic and executive communications, brand positioning, creative direction, digital marketing, social media, collateral development, storytelling, and content marketing strategy. Vanessa previously led the communications and marketing team at Singapore American School, an international K-12 school of 4,000 students, where she built the SAS visual brand and positioned the school to lead in a highly competitive admissions environment.
The SchoolHouse Agency (Singapore)
Alexander Manton is originally from New York City, but has spent most of his life in Asia. He comes from a long lineage of educators, starting with his great grandparents, who started nearly 100 schools in China over 100 years ago. He has been a photographer, videographer, and an entrepreneur. Over the past decade, he has focused on creating marketing videos for some of the top international schools in Asia and has done over 350 so far. This year he has grown his company into a full service digital marketing agency for international schools, relaunching as The SchoolHouse Agency, based in Singapore but working all over Asia.
Head of School
Sandy Springs Friends School (MD)
Dr. Rodney Glasgow is the Head of School at Sandy Spring Friends School in Maryland. With over 20 years of experience in education, Rodney also manages a group of dynamic educational consultants called The Glasgow Group, whose annual National Diversity Practitioners Institute is highly acclaimed. Rodney is the Chair of the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference and is a board member of Sheridan School and The Bishop Walker School for Boys.
He holds degrees from Harvard, Columbia, and George Washington University. Rodney is an independent school alum having graduated from Gilman School.
Vivien Valenzuela Mallick
Director of Admissions Operations
Phillips Academy (Andover) (MA)
Vivien Valenzuela Mallick has worked in the Phillips Academy (Andover) admission office for the past 20 years, starting as an entry-level admission counselor and working her way up to director of admission operations. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the office, as well as the administrative staff, event planning, and marketing/social media. Follow her on Instagram @andoveradmissions and on Twitter @Admissions01810.
Mallick and her family on the Andover campus in a girls’ dorm. She enjoys cooking and eating, and always plans her travels around restaurant reservations. She is a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, and the band Guster.
Founder & CEO
Interactive Schools (UK)
Simon Noakes is Founder and CEO of Interactive Schools, the world’s leading marketing and communications agency for independent and international schools. A pioneer of digital transformation, Simon is a global speaker on the #FutureSchool, social media, and strategic marketing. He is renowned for challenging traditional methods of communication and embracing new ways of thinking that align with changes in user behaviour and technological advances.
Founder & Social Media Strategist
Andrea’s passion is helping schools recognize their daily awesomeness and sharing that story with the world. She’s built a team that celebrates hundreds of schools across the country! #SocialSchool4EDU provides full social media management, personally coaches social media teams and individuals, and offers a vibrant online community that provides ongoing professional development for school social media champions.
Director of Communications
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD (TX)
Jason Wheeler is Director of Communications for the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District with 18 plus years experience in public education. Jason is a proud graduate of CFBISD and Texas A&M University, where he received a BBA in Marketing. Jason also holds a Certified Public Communicator Certification from Texas Christian University. Known for his entertaining, dynamic and knowledgeable speaking, Jason travels the country to share his insights on how organizations can use marketing and social media to engage audiences and drive results. Jason is married with two children, and has a strong passion for film and baseball.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Oak Knoll School (NJ)
Meghan D. Hodgin is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, a Catholic, Independent PK-12 school in Summit, New Jersey. She is a journalist-turned certified marketer who is passionate about driving traffic and increasing leads using an inbound approach. Hodgin is a Gold winner in the 2019 Education Digital Marketing Awards for blogging and recently presented during the 2020 AISAP Annual Institute on the topic of, "Lead Nurturing that Converts: Using Email Automation to Fill the Funnel." She holds a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication and a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications
Oak Knoll School (NJ)
After more than a decade in the world of print journalism, including a stint as court reporter for the Times of Trenton, James McEvoy was at a professional crossroads before finding a career in marketing and communications at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child.
Starting as a part-time communications assistant, James now serves as assistant director of marketing and communications, and beyond his initial trade of writing, has been able to explore digital media, marketing and social media.
James resides in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, with his wife, Dawn, and his two cats – Baby and Domino.
Inbound Marketing Manager
In her position as Inbound Marketing Manager at Finalsite, Kristen provides the strategy and creation of content across email, website, and social media communications. With over five years of experience in content strategy and digital marketing, Kristen has worked with clients around the country to develop their advertising, SEO, social media, and inbound efforts. She holds and maintains a number of certifications from Google, Hubspot, and Hootsuite.
I launched the first VirCon three years ago after I heard the same complaints from school marketers:
"Most conferences are too expensive for my budget."
"There is no specific track for marketing and communications."
"I can't attend every session and feel like I'm missing too much."
"I can't afford professional development for my staff and for me."
"How am I supposed to improve my skills as a marketer?"
I knew there had to be a better way!
While in-person conferences are fantastic for networking, they are not a great value for learning. I love networking as much as the next person, but, in the end, networking isn't going to make you a better marketer, and it certainly isn't going to attract new students to your school.
I was once told, "Try and take one to two ideas from each conference, and that will be a successful conference."
My issue is that if you add up the cost of airfare, Uber/Lyft rides, hotel rooms, conference registrations, food, alcohol (while you're networking), and gifts for your family, it could cost your school and/or you thousands of dollars for two ideas.
That formula doesn't add up anymore!
The VirCon was created to bring you the best school marketing experts and have them teach you how to attract new students and retain current students using the internet and social media, all at the best possible value!
Now enter COVID-19, and most conferences have gone virtual. While they offer the convenience of a virtual presentation, their registration cost hasn't decreased to a point where school marketing and communications professionals can attend with their reduced budgets. In the end, even during COVID-19, I've tried to make the VirCon8 the best value in school marketing and communications professional development, period.
What makes VirCon8 different from other conferences?
1. Action. Not Theory.
No boring talking heads here! These are new presentations conducted by experts who will teach and share their knowledge. You'll leave with actionable tips that you can begin using the day after watching the presentations.
2. Learning ALL Year
You'll have access to the presentation recordings forever. You can review the recordings again and again.
3. Incredible Value
No expensive registration fees, airfare, hotel costs, food, and drink. For one low price, you, and your team have access to incredible professional development training.
4. Professional Development for You AND Your Team
With your registration, you can share the recordings with any member of your team.
5. Interactive Learning
You’ll be able to ask questions of the presenters during the live presentations and in the private “pop-up” Facebook Group.
Saturday, October 17, 2020. All times are Eastern Standard Time.
Video Killed The Radio Star (Alexander Manton)
In our sometimes sterile digital world, we all naturally crave authentic interaction with people that we can relate to. It is one of the things that keeps us human. So it is no wonder that the marketing world has recently adopted video as its golden child, as it is the most effective tool we have in our marketing and communication toolbox. In this session, we are going to explore how we can effectively use video in every facet of our school's marketing and communication efforts, while avoiding some of the pitfalls that can come along. Our goal as school marketers is not just to create pretty videos that entertain people. Our goal is to combine video and technology to connect real people with real people. We aim to use the tools at our disposal to connect prospective families with your admissions staff with the end goal of creating trust and fostering conversations that turn into relationships. We will look at each step of the video marketing process from strategy and setting goals, to crafting brand messages and telling compelling stories, to using video as a part of a personalized journey, to finally talking what kinds of videos are most strategic. We will also examine the role of professional, in-house, and community sourced video and the importance of each of those in your video strategy. We will end with a "Ask Me Anything" Q&A session and we will start with a TikTok dance session to "Video Killed The Radio Star".
Finding The Time – How to Manage Social Media in Less Than One Hour Per Day (Andrea Gribble)
We all struggle with making social media a priority in our everyday work at the school. But it is important! This presentation will walk you through time-saving strategies that the team at #SocialSchool4EDU uses to manage social media for more than 90 schools across the country. Andrea will share tools, tactics, and boundary-saving sanity tips to help you make a bigger impact with your school's social media efforts, while also saving you a ton of time.
Why Your Admission Director Wants Their Own Instagram (Vivien Valenzuela Mallick)
Learn why one school has focused its social media efforts on Instagram and on an admissions-specific Instagram account separate from its main school account. In a year where many admissions offices are recruiting virtually, this is more important than ever! How do you get started? How do you create and cultivate content? How do you partner with your marketing & communications office so that you both win the social media game?
Creating an Immersive, Experience-led Marketing Strategy (Simon Noakes)
Do you deliver a cookie-cutter education? Of course not! Explore ways to craft a personalized, end-to-end experience for your community - from the moment a family first discovers you to graduation and beyond. The secret sauce? Authenticity and creativity. And don’t be afraid to experiment!
Walk It How You Talk It: Strategic Communications for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Heightened Times (Rodney Glasgow)
There is no doubt that these are heightened times for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The civil unrest around police brutality and the energy of the Black Lives Matter movement, the rise in xenophobia during this global health pandemic which has also highlighted domestic issues of systemic inequity, and the intensity of a most heated national election. Our schools are not shielded from it, in fact, we've seen a focus on private schools through the Blackat and other such social media campaigns from alums and current students who are looking for schools to be more inclusive. As schools navigate this terrain, how can they communicate better about incidents that occur within the school and also send important messages about the school's response to national climate? How can we market and communicate in ways that mitigate against and even challenge our personal and institutional biases? How do schools maintain a broad appeal and stay out of taking political stances while also not being unresponsive to the moment? We will explore these questions with a focus on key strategies for marketing and communications during our time together.
Creating the Competitive Edge—Even with Limited Resources (Vanessa Spier)
All corners of one campus with different logos, separate school colors, and different fonts. No two employees—out of 600—would have the same understanding of the school’s mission or story. A sorely outdated website. No real social media presence. No print materials to enhance admissions visits. No external marketing or advertising. All in an increasingly competitive environment.
Join Vanessa in this session to hear how during her time at Singapore American School the small communications and marketing team transformed dated and disparate branding into a world class visual brand, built a suite of digital and print assets, and went all in on content marketing--all with a small team and limited budget. By leveraging the talent and resources in the surrounding community and creating an innovative team atmosphere strongly guided by mission, the typical small school marketing team drew the attention of schools around the world and contributed to the school staying full when others were closing.
Every school’s reputation and enrollment demands effective communication or even the most valiant plans are at risk. More than ever, independent schools need to tell their authentic stories and tell those stories effectively across a variety of platforms. This is just one story of bringing all the pieces together.
If You Build it, They Will Come: 5 Changes You Can Make to Drive Traffic to the Most Important Sections of Your Website (Kristen Doverspike)
In today’s virtual-first world, your school’s website (or digital campus) is even more important than your physical campus. From the first impression all the way to the application process — and acceptance — a prospective family’s online experience can be the difference between choosing your school over another. But are there sections of your website that matter more than others?
In this session, you will learn which areas of your website are most important to capture and move families through your admissions funnel, with five key changes you can implement now to increase traffic and improve conversions.
Exciting Emerging Marketing Trends to Engage Your Audience (Jason Wheeler)
As more of our parents and students are jumping online, school districts have to market their districts using digital solutions. In this presentation, I discuss exciting marketing trends to delight your school district leadership team, board trustees', and your audience. Learn how your district can engage audiences and improve your marketing results. Jason will use real world examples to show how digital marketing will make a difference in your school district.
So, You Want to Start a Podcast During a Pandemic (Meghan Hodgin and James McEvoy)
When the world shut down in the spring of 2020 as COVID-19 spread across the globe, schools scrambled to keep communities connected and engaged from a distance. School marketing and communications offices worked tirelessly to meet the increasing demand to develop top notch content and promote the extraordinary educators at their schools providing emergency remote instruction. Reaching families in new ways became more important than ever before.
In this session, you will learn how Oak Knoll School started its podcast, Academically Speaking, to captivate families during the wildest summer in school history and walk through the steps to create your own podcast.
Don’t wait! Look at what past attendees have to say about the VirCon
Director of Stewardship, Social Media Coordinator, Photographer
Park School (MA)
Thanks for putting together the stellar VirCon team! I'm really excited to "up" my video game and am looking forward to hearing the afternoon prezzies. Thanks again for a wonderful professional development opportunity!
Director of Marketing & Communication
Lakeland Christian School (FL)
"I’ve done two VirCons through SchneiderB Media. If you’re involved in any part of school marketing, you need to sign up for VirCon6 today. Then you need to go online and purchase access to all of the previous VirCon content as well! Brendan gathers a group of experts in their fields to present a wide variety of sessions full of invaluable information and real-life examples from schools around the country. The best part is that you can watch the sessions live (from the comfort of your own home or office), and then you can access the videos in the future when you need a refresher."
Communications and Social Media Manager
Detroit Country Day School (MI)
"I have found each VirCon event packed with useful information and equal in value to that of a three-day conference but without the travel and extra expense! Speakers are very knowledgeable and generous with their expertise. I would recommend the VirCon series to any independent school admissions, marketing, and communications practitioners."
About The VirCon8
Hi, I'm Brendan Schneider. I'm the Founder of SchneiderB Media which includes the blog, SchneiderB.com, the MarCom Society, the upcoming SEO Coach Software, and finally the VirCon.
Can I let you in on a secret about the VirCon8?
I love learning. As a result, the presenters I invite to teach are people that I selfishly want to learn from. I can’t even begin to tell you all of the things I’ve learned in the past VirCons that I’ve put into practice. These presentations include actionable tips that you and your team can begin to implement the day after the VirCon!
I invite you to join us and learn together!
The best value in school marketing and communication professional development, period.
COVID-19 has changed the look of education for the 2020-2021 school year. It has also affected the finances of schools, especially those schools that charge tuition. Student enrollment at most independent schools is down, which has put pressure on school budgets. As a result, budget money has been cut in departments, and schools have reduced or eliminated professional development budgets. Additionally, other organizations have moved or will move their conferences online while still charging a high fee.
I started the VirCon to provide the best value in school marketing and communication professional development. With all of the monetary pressures at school right now, I felt like the right thing to do was to lower the price of the VirCon. While other conferences are charging hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a virtual conference, I've decided to lower the price of early bird registration to $97 for your WHOLE TEAM. My goal was to create a professional development experience that all schools could participate in.
Additionally, I've also bundled the VirCon8 registration into membership in The MarCom Society, my online community created expressly for marketing and communications professionals at schools. The MarCom Society includes a library of training, a new training each month, a private online community, and much more...
Think about it, for only $600/year, you can join the MarCom Society, add up to nine other members of your team, get access to over 70 trainings, AND get access to the VirCon8.
Whichever option you select, I hope you'll join us for the VirCon8 to learn from marketing and communication experts for schools.
EARLY BIRD PRICe
Registration Price for the VirCon8
+ VIRCON8 REGISTRATION
Annual Membership to the MarCom Society AND access to the VirCon8
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I can't attend the LIVE conference on October 17?
No problem! Everyone who registers will get access to the presentation recordings after the VirCon8.
How can I add my team to the VirCon8?
After registering you'll have access in your account to add up to five other members of your staff to the recordings. Each member that you add must have an official school email address.
How long after the VirCon8 will I get access to the recordings?
My goal is to have the recordings edited and uploaded for your viewing by Saturday, October 24.
Wait? If I register for The MarCom Society I'll also get access to the VirCon8?
Yes! That's correct!
What if I'm already a member of The MarCom Society?
First, thank you! Second, you'll automatically get access to the VirCon8.
How long will the "pop-up" Facebook Group last?
The VirCon8 Facebook group will close on December 31, 2020.