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IBSC Admissions and Marketing Conference

May 6 – 8, 2018

Montgomery Bell Academy
Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Keynote Topics

Eddie George

Creating Greater Compassion, Vulnerability, and Understanding in Boys
Sunday 7:30 PM

Coming soon!

Robert J. Massa

The Wacky World of College Admissions: A Five-Decade Perspective on College Admissions and Implications for Independent Boys’ Schools
Monday 8:45 AM

Effective marketing scares us into thinking we need something — and that if we don't get it, life as we know it will be over. Colleges are now engines of marketing in ways that would have seemed unimaginable 20 years ago. Join a veteran admissions officer who has seen it all to look at how college admissions has evolved over five decades: from counselors and gatekeepers, to competitors and discounters, to data-driven and digital. Explore the shifting complexion of the U.S. student and how increases in tuition, especially over the past 20 years, have called into question the value of higher education. Examine how colleges are adapting and what boys’ schools can learn from this experience. Then take time to reflect and discuss with colleagues.

Erin Rehel

Expanding the Enrollment Funnel: Best Marketing and Communication Strategies to Enhance the Prospect Pool
Monday 10:30 AM

With major shifts in demographics and the proliferation of attractive alternatives in K-12 education, independent schools face new challenges around admissions. A decline in the number of inquiries and applications and a softening in lower school enrollments mean schools must proactively reach out to prospective families and clearly articulate their unique benefits. Millennial parents increasingly “comparison shop” online, making it imperative for schools to tell a compelling story on websites and social media. Even among schools that continue to attract strong pools of well-qualified students, competition from new public and private school alternatives means that admissions staff must work harder to enroll students who would have been “sure bets” in the past. Explore research on the best practices for expanding the admissions funnel by identifying, targeting, and messaging all prospective families in a school’s catchment area. From having the right data to constructing the most compelling message, gain concrete tactics to transform your admissions office into a modern enrollment management enterprise focused on achieving targets for class size and composition.

David E. Taibl

How to Win Students and Influence Parents
Monday 1:00 PM

You see them when they come on tour. Admissions sends personalized emails, tracks website visits, and invites them to shadow current students. But do you know what really motivates a family to apply to your school? Given the myriad challenges facing enrollment leaders in today’s competitive market, it is critical that we make the admission process more accessible and family friendly. To aid enrollment leaders in this endeavor, The Enrollment Management Association surveyed thousands of parents following the 2016-17 application season. Gather to reflect on the data and consider the practical application of this information to achieve — and sustain — optimal enrollment.

Amy Burgess

Clarify Your Message to Grow Your School
Monday 2:45 PM

Most schools have a limited marketing budget, at best. We can’t afford to waste those dollars on marketing that doesn’t deliver results. By understanding a little about how the human brain processes information, we can start creating compelling messages that connect quickly with our ideal, mission-appropriate families. The StoryBrand 7-Part Framework can be used to develop everything from an ad campaign, to a speech to prospective parents, or a whole new website. The StoryBrand framework is a game-changer in the marketing world. StoryBrand trains 3,000 companies each year to clarify their messages and grow their businesses. It is exceptionally well suited to private school marketing. Learn more at

Christopher J. Gruber

Playing to Your Strengths
Tuesday 8:45 AM

Davidson College is unique in size, location, reputation, athletics, and academic prowess. The Davidson admissions staff is charged with finding ways to market these distinctive qualities to prospective students, parents, and high school counselors. All of us face a similar challenge. Get examples of Davidson's marketing efforts and explore how to effectively market your incomparable programs to your prospects.

Morey Hill

Leverage Social Media to Your School’s Advantage
Tuesday 10:30 AM

PR expert Morey Hill describes the best ways to use social media to your advantage when it comes to recruitment, alumni relations, and parent relations. Review best practices, layering in paid media, and how to work wisely when it comes to your school’s online presence.