Why You Should Attend #Digifest18 and #CASESMC

Important intersections in UK higher education

January 31, 2018

“Never the twain shall meet”...although perhaps they should.

This year marks the third in a row that I will be attending two events within the UK higher education sector that at first glance may appear to be unrelated (at least in terms of attendees). However, as is often the case in HE, both of these conferences definitely complement one another.

Taking place in March, Jisc's Digifest in Birmingham and CASE's Social Media and Community Conference in Brighton are fantastic stand alone events.

Each conference creates multiple opportunities for learning, sharing, and networking. However, if your professional development budget can stretch just a bit, I would highly recommend attending both events as they are a natural pair.

#Digifest18 starts the digital conversation by offering up the best in digital strategy (as it relates to learning/learners), the student digital experience, teaching/learning in a digital age, and a glimpse into the future with next-generation learning environments.

#CASESMC closes out the month with “a dynamic exploration of social media and its impact on education and beyond, from building communities to managing and engaging them.”

How much crossover will there be in terms of content? If previous conferences provide a guide for this year's events, there shouldn't be very much overlap. The content and networks from Digifest will flow perfectly into the strategy, insights, and conversations at CASE SMC.

What really matters is the intersection of attendees between both conferences. CASE SMC is usually attended by university marketers and communications professionals. Digifest is more of an edtech and technology enhanced learning crowd.

Each of these groups are part of what makes for a successful student experience. The edtech / TEL crowd uses digital in many cases just like those in the MarComm camp. Higher education is a team effort after all.

If you're in marketing/communications at a university, Digifest is a goldmine of interesting stories, tactics, topics, and colleagues who definitely have a part to play in supporting recruitment and brand efforts (even if they don't necessarily get out of bed each day with that in mind).

For the Digifest crowd, CASE SMC represents a different way of looking at all things digital as they relate to engagement and building community. If you want to enhance digital capabilities, you also have to know how to create connections and top notch communications on digital channels.

Both events generally attract distinct groups of attendees. However, the benefits of a cross pollination of ideas and networks would be epic.

Have you attended Digifest and CASE SMC in the same year? If yes, please feel free to post a comment about your experience as I've never actually met someone else who has been to both events.


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