Higher Ed Marketing Conferences you Don’t Want to Miss in 2020

Posted: January 17, 2020

Diane Kuehn Founder & CEO


Wouldn’t it be nice if all of the smartest minds in higher ed marketing got together to give you insider tips on what’s coming this year? Lucky for you, that does happen. Each year, the higher ed marketing world’s best and brightest come together to collaborate at various conferences held throughout the country. And no matter what discipline of marketing you’re most interested in, what your institutional priorities are, or which challenges you are facing, there is a higher ed marketing conference for you. 

Our Vice President of Marketing & Innovation, Josh Dodson, has served on a variety of higher ed conference boards, and he had this advice for those interested in attending conferences: 

“Higher ed conferences are excellent for getting to know others in the industry that share similar challenges and learning about new approaches for tackling them. The sessions are usually full of some great tips and insights. You can often learn just as much from the conversations during the breaks.” 

We’ve compiled a list of conferences that our own VisionPointers have attended and presented at throughout the years, and we’re confident these conferences will prove just as valuable to you as they have for us. 

2020 Higher Ed Analytics Conference

  • When: 2/12/20 
  • Where: Online
  • Who should attend: Those interested in improving their data-driven insights and digital marketing efforts through smarter analytics. 
  • How many attend: Participants from more than 80 institutions
  • Hashtag: #hea20
  • Register now! Registration closes on January 17. 

If you’re looking to make smarter decisions about your marketing strategies, guided by real research and results from data you already have at your fingertips, Higher Ed Analytics is the conference for you. As an entirely online conference, you can tune into the speaker sessions without having to factor in the cost of travel. And the insights you receive could be invaluable to returning results and improving your marketing ROI. With 12 focused sessions around 10 minutes each with a general Q&A, you’ll receive rapid-fire information from experts in higher ed analytics. 

Our very own Josh Dodson will be presenting at this conference on the topic, “How to Use a Decision Matrix to Take Action on Great Data.” By learning about the practical framework you can implement to make decisions and make the most of your optimizations, you can transform the way you approach your digital marketing this year. 

2020 Higher Ed Content Conference

  • When: 4/22/20 
  • Where: Online
  • Who should attend: Higher ed teams responsible for developing content for web, email, social media, and digital content. 
  • Hashtag: #heco20

The Higher Ed Content conference provides insights through ten-minute sessions on all things higher ed content: from strategy, to digital, to processes, to case studies. Submissions to this conference close on January 22, so if you’re interested in presenting your best practices in content marketing, submit now!

UPCEA – University Professional and Continuing Education Association

  • When: 3/18/20 – 3/20/20 
  • Where: Boston, MA
  • Who should attend: Those serving adult-learning and non-traditional student markets in professional, continuing, and online education. 
  • How many attend: 700+
  • Hashtag: #UPCEA2020

With an eye towards innovative change taking place in the higher ed landscape, UPCEA provides sessions on topics ranging from federal policy, to marketing and enrollment management; from instructional design, to alternative credentialing, all with a laser focus on the impact on non-traditional student populations. By learning focused strategies for these adult populations, you can spend smarter with less media dollars. 

You can find us at UPCEA exhibiting. Come find our booth – we’d love to share with you the digital marketing benchmarks we’ve earned for our client partners serving non-traditional students. Let’s start a conversation about your future marketing goals for your institution. 

NCMPR – National Council for Marketing & Public Relations

  • When: 3/22/20 – 3/24/20
  • Where: Orlando, FL
  • Who should attend? Marketers in the two-year institution field. 
  • How many attend: 400+
  • Hashtag: #ncmpr20

NCMPR is a conference dedicated to serving marketing personnel at junior, technical and community colleges with professional development and collaboration on how to best excel in their unique goals and challenges. At VisionPoint, we are huge proponents of two-year schools and the breadth and depth of the educational opportunities they provide to foster growth in their communities. NCMPR supports these institutions on a national basis, with seven district conferences nationwide that serve local marketers.

We have seen firsthand the way NCMPR supports two-year institutional marketing endeavors, as we had the opportunity to present at both the 2018 and the 2019 conferences with our client partners. The work we did with Colorado Community College System won two Gold Medallion awards at the 2018 NCMPR District 2 Conference and two Gold Paragon awards at the 2019 NCMPR national conference. Our work with Northern Virginia Community College also was five Gold Medallion awards at NCMPR’s 2019 District 2 Conference.

CASE Council for Advancement and Support of Education – Annual Conference on Marketing and Branding

  • When: 6/3/20 – 6/5/20
  • Where: New Orleans, LA
  • How many CASE members: 3,600 Institutions
  • Who should attend: Marketers interested in building, measuring, and sustaining long-term brand strategy for their institution. 

As longtime attendees of CASE’s annual conference, we can vouch for the return on investment we always receive from exploring the trends and recent practices of higher ed institutions – both on a regional and national level. From understanding the creative process to learning how to communicate the importance of brand strategy to your leadership, CASE will equip you with learning outcomes you can implement in your department to see your brand strategy come to life. From research to implementation to consistency, CASE covers all things higher ed marketing and branding.


  • When: 8/3/20 – 8/5/20
  • Where: Salt Lake City, UT 
  • Who should attend: Higher ed marketers and web developers responsible for managing and marketing their institution’s online presence. 
  • How many attend: 400+
  • Hashtag: #eduWeb20 

With a focus on the online presence of marketers in the higher ed space, eduWeb brings together experts to discuss everything from design, to development, to marketing, to strategy and implementation. Your team will gain insights into a variety of online marketing practices at this conference, including content and email marketing, web and mobile design, social media strategy, and more.

High Ed Web Association

  • When: 10/17/20 – 10/21/20
  • Where: Little Rock, AR 
  • Who should attend: Digital-focused marketing teams in higher ed marketing. 
  • Hashtag: #heweb20

In a world gone digital, High Ed Web gives its attendees an inside look on smarter strategies for marketing online. With sessions on everything from digital media best practices to content strategies, High Ed Web promotes the professional development of those in the growing online marketing arena. 

AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education

  • When: 11/15/20 – 11/18/20
  • Where: Chicago, IL 
  • Who should attend: Digital-focused marketing teams in higher ed marketing. 
  • How many attend: 1,300+
  • Hashtag: #AMAHigherEd

American Marketing Association Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education is one of the best investments into professional development and growth that higher ed marketers can make. As staunch supporters of the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, we can highly recommend the industry-leading keynote sessions, breakout groups and round table discussions had every year. In addition to growing your knowledge of trends and new practices in higher ed marketing, AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education offers phenomenal opportunities to network, recruit future colleagues, and plug in more deeply to the higher ed marketing community.

The strategy for making the most of your time at higher ed marketing conferences

Focus on learning one to three things that you can take back and implement at your institution. While you will likely have a ton of amazing ideas, focus on the most actionable things you can do that will have the biggest impact on  your work. If you can leave a conference with three good ideas that you can act on, then that more than pays for the price of admission.

What conference will you be attending this year? Know of any that we didn’t list? Let us know, and we hope to learn with you in 2020!