Our Managing Director, Emma Hoyle, and our Membership Services & Marketing Executive, Marta Robles Villarino, were in Berlin this week for the 2022 ICEF conference. After two years, it was great to be back in the hustle and bustle of one of the key events in the Study Abroad calendar.
It was Emma’s first conference as Managing Director at IHWO and a great chance for her to meet people in person as well as catch up with lots of familiar faces.
It was a jam-packed few days with back-to-back meetings with agents and schools. We spent time explaining how the IH network works and how IHWO fits into the organization. We showed off our schools’ portfolios and connected different agents with IH schools that best suited their markets. It was great to meet new people and introduce them to all that the IH name stands for: commitment to the very highest standards in language education face-to-face and online.
What people were talking about
There was a real sense of excitement amongst agents and schools around the news that the UK government have eliminated the visitor visa requirement for Colombian and Peruvian nationals visiting the UK. Previously, these groups had to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK for any trip of up to 6 months, so the lifting of this restriction opens up two new markets for Study Abroad schools in the UK.
What we got up to
Lots of IHWO meetings were centred around exploring relevant service providers for the schools in our IH network. As ever, the team were working hard to evaluate offerings from providers and analyse what products IH schools need at the moment and in the long term.
Along with several Spanish companies attending ICEF, Marta and the team at IH Madrid were invited to a drinks reception at the Spanish Embassy in Berlin. It was a great networking opportunity to meet members of the ministerial team in the country and other schools and agents from Spain.
With lots of the IH Study Abroad schools attending the conference, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to get together over dinner. It was the perfect time to reflect on how the conference had gone and the exciting opportunities for the future. We spent the evening with our partner guard.me International Insurance and directors and marketing teams from the IH schools; IH Madrid, France Langue, IH Dublin, IH London, IH Cape Town, Españolé IH Valencia, and CLIC IH Sevilla. As a valuable moment to catch up, we exchanged ideas over delicious food and good wine.
Our ICEF competition
We ran a competition during the conference with the opportunity for agents to win 5 free study weeks to use with International House Study Abroad schools. To take part, they simply needed to take a photo with an IH representative, share the image on Instagram or LinkedIn with the hashtag #IHStudyWeeks2022 and get lots of likes. We will be announcing the winner on 6th November, so stay tuned.
All in all, it was a very productive few days with lots of new relationships forged and exciting ideas in the pipeline.