Undergraduate | Graduate | Adult Learners

  • Want to share this?

February 21-24, 2017

At the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, CA

Register Now

Hurry! Only a few spots left.

Speakers

Big Speakers. Big Ideas.

barret baffert bio

Barrett Baffert

Director of Digital Marketing, The University of Arizona
megan thumbnail

Megan Bys

Vice President of Content Strategy, Converge Consulting
2016_04_27 Karen Clarke

Karen Clarke

Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Communications, Temple University
Jeff C.

Jeff Corral

Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, Southern California University of Health Sciences
brenda harms

Dr. Brenda Harms

Founder and CEO, Harms Consulting
ChristineHutchins

Christine Hutchins

Vice President for Communications & Marketing, Mt. Holyoke University
josh thumbnail

Josh Irons

Vice President of Strategy and Development, Converge Consulting
????????????????????????????????????

Scott Jeffe

Director, Aslanian Market Research
Jia TEDxAustin_Thumbnail

Jia Jiang

Founder and CEO, Wuju Learning
Jay bio

Jay Kelly

President, Converge Consulting
KeithLewandowski

Keith Lewandowski

Academic Operations and Administration Consultant
ryan thumbnail

Ryan Lindsay

Director of Web Strategy, Converge Consulting
debi_mitchell

Debra Mitchell Benavente

Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, Southern California University of Health Sciences
BobMoran

Bob Moran

Founder and President, Moran Consulting, Inc.
britney muller

Britney Muller

SEO & Content Architect, Moz
Brian Wm Niles.Color

Brian Niles

Founder & Chief Evangelist, TargetX
Ann-Oleson-Bio copy 2

Ann Oleson

CEO, Converge Consulting
MikePetroff_headshot

Mike Petroff

Associate Director of Digital Content Strategy, Harvard University
Luke Phillips

Luke Phillips

Executive Director of Marketing, Communications and Brand Management, Southern California University of Health Sciences
Power-Barnes,Marie_2016_300_dpi_4x6

Marie Power-Barnes

Director of Marketing Research and Assessment, Thomas Edison State University
MS Photo 2015

Michael Schinelli

CMO, Kenan-Flager School of Business, UNC
brendan

Brendan Sera-Shriar

Co-Founder and Conversion Strategist, DayChamp
Nikki Sunstrum

Nikki Sunstrum

Director of Social Media, University of Michigan
hayley thumbnail

Hayley Warack

Vice President of Digital Strategy, Converge Consulting
JoselynZivin2

Joselyn Zivin, PhD

Director, Huron Consulting
Overview

Why Attend?

Converge 2017 is the conference you don't want to miss.
Our third annual conference for higher education marketing and recruitment leaders will change your world.

icon-magnify
Recruitment Strategies

Are you charged with the responsibility to show an increase in inquiries, applicants and enrolled students? Hope is not a strategy.
 

Hover for Full Description »
Recruitment Strategies

Are you charged with the responsibility to show an increase in inquiries, applicants and enrolled students? Hope is not a strategy. Attend Converge 2017 to discover innovative ways to boost enrollment and retention at your institution.

speakers
Amazing Speakers

Meet some of the most brilliant marketing minds and thought leaders in the industry.

 

Hover for Full Description »
Amazing Speakers

Meet some of the most brilliant marketing minds from companies like Moz and TargetX to community colleges and ivy leagues. Data geeks, content strategists, analytics advocates and SEO buffs come together to provide the latest and greatest information on digital marketing trends.

ideas
New & Next Ideas

Learn to attract, convert and delight your target audiences with new & next ideas.

 

Hover for Full Description »
New & Next Ideas

Redesign your inbound website for the future of higher education marketing. Learn to attract, convert and delight your target audiences with search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, Google Analytics, social media engagement, digital advertising and all around great content.

recruit
Interactive Workshops

Take your marketing efforts to the next level during our pre-conference and master class workshops.

 

Hover for Full Description »
Interactive Workshops

Take your marketing efforts to the next level during our post-conference intensives. Whether you're interested in measuring data with Google Analytics, setting up an advertising campaign on Bing or writing for the web, there's a workshop for every member of your team.

network
Professional Networking

CMOs, academic deans, VPs of enrollment, web strategists, recruiters — connect with your peers in higher education.

 

Hover for Full Description »
Professional Networking

CMOs, academic deans, VPs of enrollment, web strategists, recruiters — connect with your peers in higher education. This conference is the perfect opportunity to brainstorm, problem-solve and leave with innovative ideas to improve your marketing and recruitment.

network
Professional Headshots

Our friendly photographer Dan Kempf returns to Converge 2017.

 

Hover for Full Description »
Professional Headshots

Our friendly photographer Dan Kempf returns to Converge 2017. He'll be capturing all of the important moments and highlights to share with you later. Say goodbye to your Linkedin #selfie. Stop by his booth for your next profile pic!

food
Great Food


 
 

Hover for Full Description »
Great Food
entertainment
Live Entertainment

Join us Wednesday, February 22, 2017 for a reception featuring special guests.

Hover for Full Description »
Live Entertainment

Join us Wednesday, February 22, 2017 on the 5th Fairway at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas for dinner and live entertainment.

location
Location, Location, Location

This sun drenched desert oasis vacation destination is returning to its glory days as a Hollywood playground.

Hover for Full Description »
Location, Location, Location

This sun drenched desert oasis vacation destination is returning to its glory days as a Hollywood playground, a central gathering spot for modern architectural design aficionados, musicians and artists drawn by nature’s inspiration, and an increasing crowd of cool-seekers. The pace is relaxed, the colors are saturated by the warm desert light, and the living is easy.

Location

Venue

This year’s Converge Conference will be held at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, a luxury hotel in the heart of Rancho Mirage, California.

The hotel is offering invitation clients a discounted hotel rate of $249 per night. The rate is available until January 6, 2017. The hotel is expected to sell out, so it is in your best interest to reserve your hotel room as soon as possible by using the dedicated booking site or by calling the hotel at 760.568.2727 and mention the Converge Consulting Conference.

If you have any questions regarding your reservation, please reach out to Paige Terlaje, Reservations Manager at 760.834.2150 or Email at Paige.Terlaje@omnihotels.com.

41000 Bob Hope Drive
Rancho Mirage, California 92270

(760) 568-2727

Book Your Room Now

Things to do

  1. Play, See, Do

    Stroll the weekly Palm Springs Villagefest, catch a polo match at Empire Polo Club, enjoy a hike through Indian Canyons or ride to the top of Mt. San Jacinto at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

  2. Put the 'Epic' in Epicurean

    Delight your taste buds at Workshop Kitchen + Bar, Spencer’s Restaurant or LuLu California Bistro, just to name a few.

  3. Pamper Yourself

    Relax and rejuvenate at Agua Serena Spa and Salon or enjoy natural hot mineral waters at Two Bunch Palms.

  4. Fill Your Suitcase

    Explore luxury brands and local shops on El Paseo Shopping District or find big savings at Desert Hills Premium Outlets.

  5. Explore and Learn

    Bust out of the tour bus and explore the San Andrea Fault with Desert Adventures Jeep Tours.

    Looking for more activities in Palm Springs? Here’s a full list (with discounts!) from our friends at the Palm Springs Visitor’s Bureau.

Schedule

Schedule

1:30 - 4:00 PM

Pre-Conference: Digital Advertising

Becky Bush, Agency Partner, Google
Hayley Warack, Vice President of Digital Strategy, Converge Consulting

Intermediate

1:30 - 4:00PM

Pre-Conference: Recruitment Bootcamp

Dr. Brenda Harms, Founder and CEO, Harms Consulting

Beginner
Are you charged with growing enrollment in your adult and graduate market? Struggling to achieve the enrollment numbers that were considered the norm of past years? Or simply looking to ensure that your current recruitment process is keeping up with your competitor set? If any of these scenarios sound familiar please sign up for “Recruitment Bootcamp” with Dr. Brenda Harms to immerse yourself in the process of improving your current approach! From communication flow, recruitment touch-points, and telephone scripts to the benefits of relational recruitment and the needed approach to convert digital leads this session will be a great starting point to taking a serious look at what you are doing and how you can build on (or create) your existing process.

1:30 - 4:00 PM

Pre-Conference: Google Analytics

Barrett Baffert, Director of Digital Marketing, The University of Arizona
Ryan Lindsay, Director of Web Strategy, Converge Consulting

Intermediate
This interactive session will provide you all of the resources you need to develop an institution-wide analytics strategy to prove marketing ROI. Barrett Baffert, Director of Digital Marketing at The University of Arizona, and Ryan Lindsay, Director of Web Strategy at Converge Consulting, will present methodology on ensuring you are tracking accurate and meaningful data while addressing resolutions to common challenges facing an analytics project. Participants will walk away with actionable next steps to begin their path towards data driven marketing.

1:30 - 4:00 PM

Pre-Conference: Building A Customer Service Culture in Education

Bob Moran, President, Moran Consulting, Inc.

Beginner
Learn how to build a customer service culture in this exciting and interactive session.  Participants will experience the Nine Components of a Customer Service Culture as well as the fundamentals of service excellence. Essential practices includes attitude of service excellence, identifying needs, thoughtful body language and words, customer contact points, resolving conflict, telephone, and email communication. This participant centered learning process creates positive behavior change and instills immediate improvement in Service Delivery and enhances positive work environments. Learn how to reinforce customer service Skills over the long run, where positive change stands the test of time. Experience the Service Essentials solution for Education!

5:00 - 6:15 PM

Keynote: Developing a distributed content strategy: Where we are now, and what's next?

Mike Petroff, Associate Director, Digital Content Strategy, Harvard University

How do you thrive in a digital world that is constantly splintering? In this presentation and Q&A, Mike will discuss how Harvard's digital team thinks strategically about distributed content models, storytelling on multiple platforms, and measurement. Bring your questions, stories, and aspirations to this engaging conversation!

6:30 - 7:30 PM

Meet Up Cocktail Hour

​Join us for the Converge 2017 Meet Up to kickoff our third annual Inbound Marketing Conference. Light appetizers and drinks will be served on the Sunrise Terrace. See you there!

8:00 - 8:30 AM

Welcome to Palm Springs!

Converge CEO, Ann Oleson, and company president, Jay Kelly, welcome attendees to beautiful Palm Springs.

8:30 - 9:30 AM

Opening Keynote: University Marketing and Communications in the Age of Digital Disruption

Michael Schinelli, Chief Marketing Officer, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

From student recruiting and philanthropic outreach to content engagement and brand positioning, higher education is facing unprecedented disruptions in the form of new prospect expectations, rapidly evolving technologies, and heightened competition. Surviving and thriving in this dynamic digital ecosystem requires challenging ourselves to not only adapt to change, but to lead it. In his keynote, Michael Schinelli, Chief Marketing Officer at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School will: 1. Provide an overview of emerging trends and challenges. 2. Offer strategic frameworks for navigating digital disruption. 3. And, highlight essential intersections between marketing, technology and data.

9:45 - 10:00 AM

Networking Break

10:00 - 11:00 AM

Track #1: Not for the Faint of Heart - Digging Deep Within Your OLD Lead Pool

Dr. Brenda Harms, Founder and CEO, Harms Consulting

While many schools believe they are in desperate need of more leads, smart schools are taking a deep look into how they can convert a larger portion of their existing lead pool by utilizing an intentional re-engagement strategy for those who do not move quickly to application status. Explore ways to maximize your lead conversion through intentional strategies focused on the OLD lead pool. In this engaging session we will discuss the myth of “qualified leads”, the glory of the 30-day recruiting cycle, and other remnants of recruitment left over from the late 90’s, and take a more realistic look at what it will take to create enrollment success in today’s sluggish adult and graduate markets through dialogue around industry benchmarks and observed successes. This is not easy work, but for those willing to engage you will find there are still nuggets of pure gold yet to be pulled from the leads of the past.

10:00 - 11:00 AM

Track #2: Content Q&A Panel

Val Fox, Chief Marketing Office, Bentley University
Brittney Dunkins, Director of Content Strategy, Converge Consulting
Megan Bys, Vice President, Converge Consulting

Marketing. Strategy. Amplification. Curation. You’ve heard all of the content buzzwords and then some. What does it all mean? How do we apply it? And, most importantly, how do we manage it all and measure the success? It’s cool. It’s complicated. It’s content. Join Val Fox, CMO of Bentley University and Brittney Dunkins from Converge Consulting for this 60-minute Q&A panel discussion on all things content. Megan Bys, vice president at Converge Consulting, will moderate the discussion.

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Keynote: Building a Powerhouse Marcomm Team from the Ground Up and Within

Christine Hutchins, VP of Communication & Marketing, Mt. Holyoke College

Discover how Mount Holyoke College's Office of Communications and Marketing reinvented itself from silo-centric units into a true integrated marketing and communications structure. Examine several initiatives that have transformed the department and campus.  Finally, learn from its challenges and opportunities in developing a powerhouse marcomm team for the future.

12:15 - 1:45 PM

Lunch on Your Own

1:45 - 2:45 PM

Track #1: Ready for Disruption?: Prospective Student Perspectives on the Higher Education Value Proposition

Joselyn Zivin, PhD, Director, Huron Consulting

Does your institution really understand what it must do to compete for a student’s enrollment choice in today’s competitive degree market? Huron Consulting Group’s Joselyn Zivin will share fresh market research data from a national study with prospective students (undergraduate and Masters) about what they expect in attaining higher education degrees today, and what colleges and universities must do to align to these expectations. Research findings will compare prospective student types with respect to their “readiness for disruption” – that is, their interest in non-traditional approaches (credentialing, outcome-focus, new delivery modalities) – and their brand and ROI sensitivity.

1:45 - 2:45 PM

Track #2: Using data to attract key targets, develop market driven programs and market your institution to drive enrollment growth in a highly competitive market

Marie R. Power-Barnes, Director, Marketing Research and Assessment, Thomas Edison State University

Demand is declining, costs are escalating, demographics are changing, and competition for students is exploding. How do you spend limited resources efficiently? What programs will draw the most students? Where should you spend your limited marketing dollars? This session will discuss why data driven decision making is critical in both strategic and operational planning, and will include specific examples of how it is has been used successfully that you can adapt for your own institution.

2:45 - 3:00 PM

Networking Break

3:00 - 4:00 PM

Track #1: The New Social Revolution

Nikki Sunstrum, Director of Social Media, University of Michigan,

Social media provides individuals and organizations the ability to engage billions of people across the world in a matter of seconds. Brand still solely focused on creating dynamic content or growing their followers are missing the bigger picture. How are you adding value to the online space and leveraging your influence to create better digital citizens?

3:00 - 4:00 PM

Track #2: Stories, Tips and Trips: A Father's College Search Experience with His Daughter

Brian Niles, Founder & Chief Evangelist, TargetX

After more than 25 years of working for and with hundreds of colleges and universities, this enrollment professional now finds himself on the other side as a father experiencing the college search experience. During this session, Brian Niles will share his first hand experiences as a parent shadowing his daughter, Sarah, exploring the mail, email, events and other attempts to get her attention while embracing (or not) the parent in the process. In typical fashion, Brian won't hold back in hopes to spur effective change in reaching today's youth.

4:15 - 5:15 PM

Keynote General Session

6:00 - 9:00 PM

Wednesday Night Reception

​We're hosting a California Beach BBQ and you're invited! Beat the heat with a cool drink on the 5th Fairway overlooking the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Hotel.

8:30 - 9:30 AM

Keynote: Why Rejection is Awesome

Jia Jiang, Founder, Wuju Learning

Jia Jiang knows first-hand how the fear of rejection can hold us back. The tendency to avoid it at all costs can be detrimental to our business, our careers, our lives. Determined to change that, Jia takes us down a path where rejection, instead of being avoided, is deliberately and actively sought. Jia's session will surprise you and teach you something you have never thought about before.

9:45 - 10:45 AM

Track #1

9:45 - 10:45 AM

Track #2

10:45 - 11:00 AM

Networking Break

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Track #1: Leveraging an Enrollment Management Lifecycle Strategy to Improve Student and Institutional Outcomes

Keith Lewandowski, Academic Operations and Administration Consultant, Pearson

Key findings from a qualitative research study that explores the motivations, experiences, and outcomes of graduate and adult learners are presented to provide insight into how to improve student outcomes and institutional performance. Within the framework of an enrollment management lifecycle approach, tactical recommendations will focus in three areas: academic program development, pre-enrollment advising, and career advising.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Track #2: Conversion Centered Design from Idea to Test to Optimize

Brendan Sera-Shriar, Co-Founder and Conversion Strategist, DayChamp

Designing an optimized landing page isn't exactly a cakewalk. If you want to achieve a respectable conversion rate, that is. With Conversion Centered Design (CCD) we can design experiences that are specifically targeted to achieve a single business goal: download, sign-up, buy, etc. In this presentation we'll look at 7 key principles that can help us to this with design, copy writing and advertising. We'll look at how to test and optimize to ensure the highest possible conversions rates!

12:00 - 1:30 PM

Lunch on Your Own

1:30 - 2:30 PM

Keynote: The Future Of Marketing For Higher Education

Britney Muller, SEO & Content Architect, Moz

Learn how data integrations can help your College or University find the right students (the right fit). We'll discuss strategic inbound content marketing, geo-targeting, social media and advanced outreach tactics that'll take your marketing strategy to the next level. The future of higher education marketing will integrate Data Science and Machine Learning (predictive marketing) and better make sense of big data.

2:30 - 2:45 PM

Networking Break

2:45 - 3:45 PM

Track #1: You Have the Power to Transform Team Communication without Scaring your Boss

Josh Irons, VP of Strategy & Development, Converge Consulting

With all the tools we have available, communicating with your team should be simpler than ever. But we know it is getting more challenging to maintain our teammate’s attention and even more difficult to create understanding and motivate people to take action. This does not mean communicating more; it means communicating efficiently. In this interactive session, Josh Irons, VP of Strategy & Development, at Converge Consulting, will share insights about re-energizing team communication culture using tools like Slack, Trello, Basecamp, GoogleDocs, and Evernote.

2:45 - 3:45 PM

Track #2: Implementation: Establishing New Marketing Strategies on the Fly!

Debra Mitchell Benavente, Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, Southern California University of Health Sciences
Luke Phillips, Executive Director of Marketing, Southern California University of Health Sciences
Jeff Corral, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, Southern California California University of Health Sciences

Colleges and Universities are often put in a position where taking measures for patch-and-repair, stop-gap, “lets-just-get-leads” marketing is the only option. You might be in a transition. Maybe you’re waiting until a new Marketing Director is hired. Perhaps the marketing ball is in your court unexpectedly but you’ve never had to drive leads before. Fear not! This presentation will help you start from scratch. Learn how to take little time and resources and accomplish big marketing goals by pulling the right levers at the right time.

4:00 - 5:00 PM

Keynote: Developing the Language of the C-Suite

Karen Clarke, Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Communication, Temple University

Enrollment drops, competition is fierce, budgets shrink, and you’re expected to do more with less. Sound familiar? The success of your branding and marketing efforts is impacted significantly by support from executive leadership. But it often seems that the C-suite is from Mars and marketing is from Venus. How can you gain support for your goals and needs? How can you balance the pressure of accomplishing everyday tasks to being respected as a marketing strategist? This session will help you incorporate data-driven decision making in both strategic and operational planning, and learn the language of the C-suite to enhance your credibility and gain support for innovative marketing strategies and success.

5:00 - 5:30 PM

Conference Wrap Up

9:00 - 11:30 AM

Master Class: Gain authentic confidence and become fearless

Jia Jiang, Founder, Wuju Learning

#1 best-selling author and rejection expert Jia Jiang journeyed through 100 Days of Rejection, beat fear, and became invincible. Now, he wants to help you start your own journey to gain authentic confidence and become rejection proof. Engage in conversation that will transform rejection as you know it and empower you to dream bigger, achieve higher, and do more.

Sign Up & Get Connected

Join our Converge 2017 mailing list to get all of the details as we plan our event.

Converge 2015 | New Orleans

See what happened at our last conference.
Big ideas in the Big Easy.

2015 Highlight Video

Register Now

Sponsors

As a Converge 2017 Partner, you will have unparalleled access and increased brand visibility to a select, targeted audience of people who are seeking innovative solutions to their inbound marketing challenges. They come to our conference looking for what’s new and next in higher education marketing and our amazing speakers and partners help us give them just that!

Questions about sponsoring Converge 2017?
Contact Phil Clemens: phil@convergeconsulting.org

Become A Sponsor

All Sponsors

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

February 21-24, 2017

At the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, CA

Register Now!

Hurry! Only a few spots left.