Conferences & Training
Programme - Alumni Relations Institute 2018

Please note that this is a draft programme. More speakers and sessions will be announced shortly. 

Wednesday 21 February 2018

10:30  Registration and Refreshments

11:10   Introduction and Welcome 

CASE Europe

11:20   Plenary 1: Getting the Best out of Every Opportunity! 

Find out why you are in the right role at the right time to have an amazing career.
Learn more about your faculty and how to make the most of your time at the institute.

Claire Kilner, Deputy Director and Head of Alumni and Donor Communications and Engagement, University of Manchester

12:30   Networking lunch 

13:15   Tutorial 1: Aims and Objectives for the Institute and Getting to Know Each Other

14:00   Elective Session 1 (choose one)

1. Alumni Relations 101 

2. Why Strategy Matters in Alumni Relations

Gain an understanding of the basics that everyone needs to know when they start working in this sector. Come away with enough tips and tricks to avoid too many ‘I wish I'd known that when I started out' moments. From the terminology through to the techniques, from useful conceptual models to understanding how everything fits together, this is a must for those just starting out.

Emma Jones, Director of Alumni Engagement, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Creating and communicating a strategy for your alumni relations activity is more important than ever. A successful Alumni Relations operation should be tied into the institution's larger goals, tangible, measurable, collaborative and ultimately, worth investing in. We'll demystify strategy and show how it can link to institutional goals. This session will explore how best to arrive at a strategy: what the components might be, how it lives alongside other institutional partners, how it is communicated and ultimately how it is measured. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of their institution's wider strategic plans as well as their Alumni Relations strategic plans (if they have them).

Christine Fairchild, Director of Alumni Relations, University of Oxford

David Williams, Head of Alumni and Supporter Engagement, University of Durham

15:00   Refreshments and networking break

15:30   Elective Session 2 (choose one)

1. "What's in it for me?"

2. Managing International Networks, Clubs and Chapters for Maximum Output

3. Think Tank: GDPR

Making your alumni engagement programme valuable for your alumni
• Benefits and services - what are good benefits and services and how much time should we spend on them?
• What's really of value to alumni - the things we've learned
• Alumni expectations - creating and managing them (when you're tight on time and limited on budget)

Phil Steel, Head of Alumni Engagement, University of Leeds

Claire Kilner, Deputy Director and Head of Alumni and Donor Communications and Engagement, University of Manchester

Few institutions can boast a completely local alumni audience. In fact, alumni communities are becoming increasingly international and it is a challenge to keep in touch and stay relevant to them the further away they get. The creation of a web of networks, clubs and chapters is often the solution to this. This session will address the issues to consider when setting up satellite alumni networks: how best to manage them, the guidelines for proper coordination, the joys and challenges associated with volunteer management and how to incentivise, reward and hold these groups accountable.

Claire O'Sullivan, Head of Supporter Engagement, University of Birmingham

Christine Fairchild, Director of Alumni Relations, University of Oxford

With the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and new Data Protection Act coming into effect in just over 3 months as well as alumni association practices coming under press and regulatory scrutiny in recent months, alumni teams are under pressure to focus on legal compliance to a degree that they may never have before. This session will explore the key issues that institutions face as they prepare for the GDPR becoming law on 25th May 2018 and beyond. We will look at why GDPR is important but not catastrophic; the key areas of impact on alumni activities; what the regulators are saying about the new rules (and crucially, what they are not saying); how organisations are changing their practices, particularly around donor communications and wealth screening; methods to comply with GDPR's 'accountability' requirement and how to get your team on-side with the new regime.

Kenneth Mullen, Partner, Intellectual Property and Technology, Withers LLP

16:40   Plenary 2: Creating a Communications Strategy

The traditional mainstay of alumni relations communications, the annual print magazine, is fast being complemented by other communications. More immediate, more up to date, more relevant, more interactive, more bespoke and just plain ‘more' communications. In this session we will explore what the new norms in the world of communications to (and with) alumni are and what you might expect to see in a communications strategy or plan, including what success might look like for your institution.

Claire Kilner, Deputy Director and Head of Alumni and Donor Communications and Engagement, University of Manchester
Phil Steel, Head of Alumni Engagement, University of Leeds

18:00 -19:00   Check-in to bedrooms and free time

19:00   Dinner and Post Dinner Speaker

Turi King, Department of Genetics and School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester
Bill Friar, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at University of Leicester


Thursday 22 February 2018

07:45-09:00   Breakfast

09:00  Plenary Session 3: Why Bother? Measuring Alumni Engagement and Impact 

How can we measure if our alumni are engaged with our institutions? What's the impact of engagement? And why does that matter to our institutional mission? This session will discuss developing alumni relations metrics and approaches to alumni engagement modelling, and why they're important.

Yashraj Jain, Research Manager, CASE Europe
Holly Palmer, Director, Holly Palmer Consulting

10:20   Tutorial 2: Making Sure you are on Track and Delving Deeper into What You're Learning

11:00  Refreshments and networking break

11:30   Elective Session 3 (choose one)

1. Making an Impact: The Power of the Printed Word

2. Engaging Students to Create Loyal Alumni

3. Think Tank - Identifying Survey Questions that we all Want the Answers to

Trends might suggest that we're moving away from print toward a more digitised communications strategy, but that isn't necessarily the case for educational institutions. The concept of the Alumni Magazine still resonates. This session will look at how best to maximize the impact of what might be the largest investment your office is making. We will address formats, content, calls to action - bring samples of your institution's magazine for a discussion of what works and what might need to be refreshed.

Christine Fairchild, Director of Alumni Relations, University of Oxford

Phil Steel, Head of Alumni Engagement, University of Leeds

Students are the alumni of the future and engaging them during their studies should lead to an engaged alumni body. In this workshop we will talk about what students need from alumni and how we can deliver this, how this can support institutional priorities and we will share examples of best practice - please bring yours!

Claire O'Sullivan, Head of Supporter Engagement, University of Birmingham

Emma Jones, Director of Alumni Engagement, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

A roundtable discussion for established practitioners focussed on creating an alumni survey that is itself an engagement tool and which works as a call to action. This session will look at how to construct surveys around the alumni and supporter journey in a way that both answers the questions that alumni relations professionals have about the audience and which gives the alumni themselves an opportunity to tell their institutions about their lives and achievements.

David Williams, Head of Alumni and Supporter Engagement, University of Durham

 

12:30   Lunch

13:20   Plenary Session 4: How Life can be Better for Everyone if Giving to Your Alma Mater Does not Mean Making a Donation 

Cherished volunteers can help you and your institution achieve amazing results. In this session we will help you identify your top volunteers, explore how to support and utilize the wonderful givers of time and, most importantly, how to retain their enthusiasm. A hands on practical session with 10 top tips to take away!

Emma Jones, Director of Alumni Engagement, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

14:40   Elective Session 4 (choose one)

1. Making the Most of Technology

2. Finding Lost Alumni and Other Common Challenges

3. Think Tank: Communication and Presenting Your Success

Digital and online products and platforms can help us to serve and connect with our global alumni more easily, responsively and cost effectively. In this workshop we'll discuss the important ways in which online learning enables us to retain alumni in further postgraduate study, new marketing channels to broaden University reach and the changing trends of students beyond graduation.

Rajay Naik, CEO Europe, Keypath Education


How do you fill those gaps in your database when you are starting, or redeveloping your alumni programme? And how ‘lost' are ‘lost alumni'?
An opportunity to talk through strategies to address lost alumni, and other familiar challenges to embedding and growing your alumni programme, such as
• Getting commitment and buy-in
• Resources - people, budget, and doing more with less
• Getting your priorities right

Phil Steel, Head of Alumni Engagement, University of Leeds

Building a successful alumni relations programme requires a network of champions across the institution, at all levels of seniority, who will give their time and evangelise on the benefits of working with alumni. This interactive session will cover how we identify, recruit and develop those champions and how we promote our success to colleagues to grow this network.

Claire O'Sullivan, Associate Director (Engagement and International Partnerships), University of Birmingham

15:40   Refreshments and networking break

16:10   Elective session 5 (choose one)

1. Managing Alumni Relations Teams (Including Those with Just 1 Person)

2. Getting to the Point of Events: Ensuring Your Events Help Achieve Your Goals

3. Think Tank: Starting to Think about an Alumni Brand

Alumni Relations is a people-powered industry, and very few institutions have enough alumni relations staff to service all the alumni programmes we'd like to offer.
This session will look at how alumni relations teams function, who they collaborate with to get things done, and how volunteers are a valuable part of the team. We'll be sharing different models for the ‘optimum' team structure - clue: there is definitely more than one!

Claire O'Sullivan, Associate Director (Engagement and International Partnerships), University of Birmingham

Claire Kilner, Deputy Director and Head of Alumni and Donor Communications and Engagement, University of Manchester

Do you know why you are running an event and how it links to your strategic goals? Your alumni might enjoy it, but do you know they value it? We'll work through how you manage and assess the impact of your events, particularly:
• Developing goals and outcomes for events
• Objective setting and measurement
• Quantifying evaluation

Emma Jones, Director of Alumni Engagement, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Phil Steel, Head of Alumni Engagement, University of Leeds

How to mobilise your alumni to be ambassadors and strategic influencers for your institution. Avoid the me-too-ism of alumni relations and develop strategies and programmes that recognise the uniqueness of your institution and of your alumni community. By creating authentic and institution-specific engagements, you can unlock the real power of alumni relations to the strategic benefit of your institution.

David Williams, Head of Alumni and Supporter Engagement, University of Durham

17:15   Tutorial Wrap up

18:15 - 19:15   Free Time

19:15   Dinner (pre-dinner evening activity to be announced)

21:15   Optional Networking Drinks


Friday 23 February 2018

Timings and sessions to be announced

07:30 - 09:00   Breakfast 

09:00 - 10:20   Plenary Session 5 - What it Means to Have an International Engagement Strategy

It's no longer acceptable to offer up a generalised approach to alumni engagement. Our constituents expect more. Results are much more successful when a segmented strategy is deployed. This session will address what it means to be truly global: the tools and resources available, subtle (and not so subtle!) changes to your programme that can help you to connect with different audiences and some examples of institutions that have successfully embraced and harnessed their global alumni.

Claire O'Sullivan, Head of Supporter Engagement, University of Birmingham
Christine Fairchild, Director of Alumni Relations, University of Oxford

10:20  Case Study Workshops 

It's all very well in theory, but how do you put what you've learnt into practice? Working in three predesignated groups (check the handbook for details) attendees will tackle different strategic scenarios and work together to apply what they have learnt in order to create a plan of action. Not only will this give a real sense of the kinds of strategic decision making required, it will also provide the added real life challenges of working in a group and under time pressure.

11:00   Refreshments and networking break

11:30  Feedback in Groups

1. Group 1

2. Group 2

3. Group 3

Claire Kilner, Deputy Director and Head of Alumni and Donor Communications and Engagement, University of Manchester

David Williams, Head of Alumni and Supporter Engagement, University of Durham

Claire O'Sullivan, Head of Supporter Engagement, University of Birmingham 

Emma Jones, Director of Alumni Engagement, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Christine Fairchild, Director of Alumni Relations, University of Oxford

Phil Steel, Head of Alumni Engagement, University of Leeds

13:05   Institute Wrap up 

Claire Kilner, Deputy Director and Head of Alumni and Donor Communications and Engagement, University of Manchester

13:30   Lunch (packed lunch available)


CASE Europe reserves the right to change the programme at any time

The dinner and drinks reception is kindly sponsored by: 

Aluminati