IH Directors' Conference ONLINE 2021

24-28 May 2021

After the success of our first online Director’s Conference last year - and with a lot more online event experience since then - we are looking forward to getting everyone together again online for the 2021 IH Directors’ Conference and AGM from the 24th – 28th May. We know we can achieve a lot together virtually!

Our programme follows the three themes of Resilience, Return and Re-Imagination that have formed our strategy in response to the crisis since May 2020.

Access the programme here >>

As always, there is a stimulating mix of ideas sharing, networking and expert guest presenters. You can find out more about our three plenary speakers in the outline below. 

We are delighted to welcome partners and sponsors who will exhibit during the conference. We also have several social events to allow directors to catch and see each other. 

Presentations will be recorded, but please join us live whenever you can! 

Conference Programme

Please note all sessions times below are UK time (BST). If you would like to check what time that is in your city, you can do so easily here - World Clock website

Monday 24th May – Resilience

12.30-13.00 – Pre-conference Coffee and Mingle

13.00-13.45 – Return and Re-imagination, Lucy Horsefield

A special welcome from Keith Segal President & Global CEO Guard Me

14.00-14.45 – Transient Advantage, Monica Green

14.45-15.00 – Discover LanguageCert Assessment Solutions - Andy Harrison, Business Development Manager 

15.00-15.30 – Coffee Break to Socialise and Meet Sponsor Exhibitors

16.00-17.00 – From cooperation to collaboration: Building and developing resilient communities of practice, Gabriel Maggioli This talk is sponsored by International House Montevideo

While the impact of the pandemic is still much present in all our lives, I would like to propose that we, just like the Greek God Janus, look back and look forward as a way to prepare for a new reality that is still being shaped. In this 45-minute plenary I would like to address the topic of communities of practice and how these can be strengthened and made more resilient through collaboration (as opposed to cooperation). Along the way, we will explore issues of diversity, flexibility in teaching, and informed decision-making (data-driven) as we set a path for teacher and institutional development.

Gabriel Díaz Maggioli is an educator who applies the lessons learned in the classroom to his roles as teacher of teachers, researcher, writer, and consultant. He holds a Doctorate and a Master’s in Education from the University of Bath and is a certified researcher at the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII). He is currently Academic Advisor in the Institute of Education, ORT University in Uruguay. Gabriel is the incoming President of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) being the first Latinx to be voted to that position in the history of the Association.

17.00-17.30 – Conference Room Open for Social Chat

Tuesday 25th May – Return

08.15-09.00 – Social Event - Magic and Mingle

09.00-09.20 – Phoenix - Our experience of creating our own CRM system, Alla Lipinskaya - InterPress-IH Almaty

09.30-10.00 – Sharing our tailor made app that allowed us to thrive during COVID-19, Marco Yammine, IH Rome Accademia Britannica

10.00-10.30 – Sink or Swim, Marco Faldetta - IH Palermo Language Centre, Mary Grennan - IH Galway, Peter Hayes - IH Manchester and Simon Harris - IH Sofia

10.30-10.45 – Blended learning essentials: Key lessons from British Council IELTS, David Coarsey, CEO of Guided e-Learning (GEL)

10.45-11.15 – Coffee Break to Socialise and Meet Sponsor Exhibitors

11.15-11.45 – Managing Difficult Conversations, Dave Cleary, IH Brno

11.45-12.15– Conference Room Open for Social Chat


14.00 - 14.45 Business Diversification Opportunities with Pearson Vocational Qualifications, Matt Evans, Pearson Vocational  

Wednesday 26th May – Re-imagine

11.00-11.25 – Questioning the Future with AI, Lucie Cotterill, IH Reggio Calabria

11.30-12.00 – Innovating ELT through Erasmus KA2 projects, Josip Sobin, IH Split

12.00-12.30 – A new concept of language school (21st Century Skills), Palmina La Rosa, IH Catania

12.45-13.15 – Go Hybrid, Robert Musker Martinez and Wouter Simpson – IH Santiago de Compostela

13.15-13.30 – Future of best practice hybrid training? Michael Ronitz – IH Dusseldorf

13.30-14.00 –Hybrid Q&A Panel Session with Robert Musker Martinez, Wouter Simpson and Michael Rönitz

14.00-14.15 – What's new at Trinity? Developments in TESOL and Digital Delivery - 
Alison Castle Kane, Head of Business Development, Language - UK and Ireland

14.15-14.45 – Coffee Break to Socialise and Meet Sponsor Exhibitors

14.45-16.15 – Coping in a Crisis, Simon Ward, Senior Educational Psychologist

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions.

This session will aim to help participants feel reassured and validated, have a deeper understanding of the psychological processes which underpin their wellbeing and develop an enhanced range of tools and strategies to help them cope.

 Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Discuss new strategies for dealing with the current challenges.
  • Share experiences in an emotionally secure environment.

Simon Ward is a Senior Educational Psychologist, his specialism is mental health and well-being. He has recently been project lead for the targeted mental health in schools in the UK. He has a particular interest in positive psychology and the factors that contribute to individuals, groups and communities flourishing.

16.15-16.45 – Conference Room Open for Social Chat

Thursday 27th May – Re-imagine

11.30-12.00 – Conference Room Open for Social Chat

12.00-12.45 – Inter School Educational and Social Projects, Beccy Wigglesworth 

12.45-13.00 – Test & Train Showcase, A new direction in official Cambridge exam preparation, Stuart Vinnie, Marketing Manager at Cambridge Exams Publishing

13.00-14.30 – Plenary - How to Price and Promote Your Platypus, David Abbott

The psychology behind how we make decisions is weird and wonderful. Whether it is deciding which language school to attend or whether the price for a course is fair, we think we approach these decisions logically... but in reality we are driven by our emotions.

Understanding how we make decisions can transform your sales and margins. In this session David will share an emotion driven promotion that increased sales by 800%, he will show you how one simple question can increase prices, and why precise prices make a big difference. His ideas can be easily implemented, and mostly at little or no cost.

His plenary session will be followed by a discussion workshop where we explore how to put the ideas into practice.

So how do you promote a platypus, and what price should you charge? You’ll have to attend to find out!

David is an international speaker, who helps audiences to discover simple ways to improve their pricing. After studying Engineering Science and Economics at Oxford he worked in marketing and business management. He ran a £56m mail order company where pricing is crucial, and has held senior marketing roles in a wide variety of industries. David applies psychology research into consumer behaviour to business and marketing, with real examples of marketing in action.

14.30-15.00 – Coffee Break to Socialise and Meet Sponsor Exhibitors

15.00-16.00 – How to Price and Promote Your Platypus - Group Discussions

 Workshop led by David Abbott

16.00-16.30 – Global Exam, Natasha Tanfara

19.15-20.30 – Social Event - There will be live music and dance performances with artists from around the world... you do not want to miss this spectacular online extravaganza!

Friday 28th May – Re-imagine

11.30-12.00 – Conference Room Open for Social Chat

12.00-13.00 – IHWO Environmental Sustainability, with special guest Christopher Graham

13.00-13.30 – Finance, AGM and Board Nominations

13.30-14.00 – Coffee Break Social

14.00-15.00 – Discussion Groups: Break Out Rooms for people to discuss what they have learnt or been inspired by during conference. With Feedback to IHWO

15.00-15.30 – Celebrating our Members

15.30 – End of Balloon Race


Thank you to our Partners

Thank you to our Sponsors