Guess how excited we are about this week’s CASE Europe Social Media and Community Conference?
Nope, more than that.
Even more excited than that!
Yes, safe to say we are pumped about heading down to Brighton this week for two days of learning and meeting some amazing people. As such, we’re thrilled to be there this year, not only as delegates, but as principal sponsors too!
With that in mind, here’s 14 reasons why Thursday can’t come soon enough…
A home from home
We have a lot of love for #casesmc here at TAP HQ; our co-founder Nik attended last year with a crudely drawn diagram of what morphed into The Access Platform, and it’s also where he first encountered our marketing and content manager Becca, who spoke at the event. Not only that, I was the event’s co-chair in 2016 and 2017 and I was a speaker in 2015 and 2018.
Essentially, a springtime trip to Brighton feels like going home.
This time it's personal
Every #casesmc has a habit of kicking off with a bang, in the form of a terrific opening keynote, and this year looks like it will be no exception; digital fundraising entrepreneur Howard Lake will be on hand to talk about why your personal brand matters and how all these digital things available to us can help. Nice!
Alistair Beech from the University of Manchester has become a leading sector voice in the importance of looking after your mental health – after all, in the fast-paced worlds of social media and digital, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. Alistair is giving a keynote about his mental health experiences and offering his advice for coping. Having interviewed him previously on the matter myself, I can guarantee it will be a cracker.
Last year, the ace Katy Duddell from York St John University pitched an unconference session about how to cope as a social media team of one. It was, by far and away, the most popular session – to the point where Katy is back to tackle the subject again for a fully-fledged presentation! It’s not to be missed – regardless of how big your social team is.
Talking of unconferences…
What has now become a mainstay of this event – the unconference – is running again and I will be facilitating. Never heard of an unconference? Basically, it’s a session on the programme where the agenda is shaped by the room, right there and then; people stand up and pitch ideas that they’d like to talk or listen about, and the room splits up accordingly. They’re great fun and this year will be no exception.
#casesmc used to have a reputation for delegates going for a bracing seafront run during the event. Now, we’re being told to jog on! We cannot wait to hear from Reading’s Tim Watkins about what it was like to go viral, quote Hot Fuzz on a corporate account and have it help fund an extra scholarship for a refugee – as well as all the work he did ahead of that to actually get his institution talking like a human on social.
Come dine with us
This conference’s dinner – and its associated extra-curricular activities - has built something of a reputation over the years, so we’re certainly looking forward to joining delegates for food, drink and enlightening conversation 😉
The weird and wonderful world of Reddit
Reddit is pretty darned daunting, right? So much potential – for good and bad. Where to start? How to carry on? Thankfully, a trio of highly talented bods – Andrew Youngson from Imperial, Jemma Cole from Cardiff and the already mentioned Tim from Reading – have formed a panel and will be revealing how they go about using Reddit and getting real value from it. Expect lots of learning in that one!
Parallel sessions at conferences are a mixed blessing – they allow for more great sessions, but they also make you wish you could be in two places at once. The struggle will be real at #casesmc this year, when we have to pick between hearing from Lancaster’s Cat Prill and Dr Carla Banks talking about how to super-charge researchers on social media, or The Student Room’s Hannah Morrish offering on tips on how to empower your academics to be brand ambassadors online. If you’re coming to #casesmc with a friend, definitely split up and swap notes afterwards!
Um, our flipping platform
If you want a demo of The Access Platform during #casesmc then drop us a line and we will gladly oblige. We might also have a few other things up our sleeve too - stay tuned!
Our own Becca and the fab Tony Sheridan from the University of Limerick are doing the conference equivalent of two gnarly punk bands releasing a split 7”…a joint session on awesome content! Becca will presenting our dead good Instagram report, while Tony is talking about our favourite subject; students as content creators. Yes!
The conference is being closed by Adam Koszary from the Museum of English Rural Life. If that name rings a bell, it’s because Adam wrote the ‘absolute unit’ tweet that broke the Internet last year. Who doesn’t want to hear that story? We certainly do!
A space for all of us
The best thing about #casesmc is getting to geek-out about Higher Ed social media for a couple of days and meet and load of great people doing great things. For that we can’t wait!
Check out the full programme now!