The College Marketing Network’s Conference offers new insights and inspiration giving you new ideas to take away and work with in your college.

The one-day event brings together expert speakers and workshop hosts to showcase and discuss innovative ideas and practice.You will leave the conference feeling inspired, having new skills and insights that you can start using straight away. There will also be plenty of opportunities to network with breaks during the day – hospitality will be provided including lunch in the hotel restaurant.

When? Monday 29 January 2024, 9am-4.30pm
Where? Crowne Plaza Hotel, Birmingham City Centre

The conference is supported by a range of workshop hosts and exhibitors, including: Forward & Thinking, Prospectus Plus, Go Live Data, Pathways, Glued, Purlos, Print Data Solutions, College Videos by Media Partnerships, Circyl, Bluestorm, Concept4, Itineris, Smart Distribution Solutions, Hybrid, Milton Keynes College, The Manchester College Group and Gower College Swansea.


The conference will be opened by Michelle Dowse, Principal at Heart of Worcester College. Michelle has been in the further education sector for many years and was once a Marketing Manager herself. Her wealth of experience is a true inspiration, and she will share her insight about the FE landscape and what the future holds.

As a delegate, you can select five workshops to attend during the day. The conference will close with an insightful keynote speaker, well versed in the education sector and passionate about marketing.

The programme is being updated reguarly. Please check back for the latest updates! Workshops will cover a range of hot topics, from digital marketing trends to student recruitment strategy. Workshops are delivered by professionals from the sector, including your fellow college education marketers.

How to Book

To book your place at the conference, please complete the online Booking Form

If you want to attend the FE First Awards on the evening, after the conference, you can select this on the same form.

You can pay via PO or online by card.

Once we have received your booking form we will send you a link to book your workshops. 

Ticket TypeEarly Discount*Price
CMN Member – Conference – 1 Ticket£295 pp£325 pp
CMN Member – Conference – 2 Tickets £280 pp£300 pp
CMN Member – Conference – 3+ Tickets£265 pp£280 pp
Non-member – Conference NA£425 pp
* Discounted rate available until 30.11.23

Accommodation & Travel

If you wish to stay the night you can book a room directly with the Crowne Plaza hotel, or you may find it cheaper on travel sites. If booking direct, the rate for B&B is £147 pp.

Alternatively, there are other hotels near by offering cheaper rates.

Travelling by train: Birmingham’s Grand Central station is only 0.2 miles from the hotel.

Travelling by car: Please be aware of Birmingham’s clean air zone. There are three car parks located near the hotel:

  • Crowne Plaza Car Park – Arena Central Car Park, Holliday Street, B1 1TQ.
    £21 for 24 hrs payable at hotel reception.
    Limited parking – you can only park in bays WITHOUT numbers
  • Mailbox Car Park – Q-Park Mailbox, Royal Mail Street, B1 1RD – 5 minute walk from Crowne Plaza.
    15% discount when staying at the Crowne Plaza
    £22.50 for 24hrs
  • Town Hall Car Park – Town Hall Parking Brunel Street, B1 1TA – 5 minute walk from Crowne Plaza.
    £16.30 for 24 hrs payable at location

Conference Workshop Hosts & Exhibitors:

Forward & Thinking are an experienced team of education marketing and media experts, working with over 50 higher and further education clients across the UK. Forward & Thinking understand the education landscape and pressures faced, particularly around funding, allocation of resources and recruitment targets, we work hard to ease these burdens by offering exceptional multi-channel campaigns that deliver results by expertly planning media that engage and convert audiences.
Forward & Thinking will be exhibiting at the conference

Prospectus Plus is a digital tool that provides a sustainable and personalised solution for creating prospectuses. We prioritise sustainability by offering an eco-friendly alternative to paper prospectuses.
Users can create a personalised copy of your prospectus, showing the most relevant content to their needs and interests all in one place. And in turn, creating a higher conversion rate.
Our built-in analytics enables you to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your prospectus. This helps you to optimise their prospectus design and content to improve overall performance. Prospectus Plus is revolutionising the way educational institutions approach prospectus creation, offering a comprehensive solution that delivers measurable results.
Prospectus+ will be exhibiting at the conference

Pathways is a suite of career tools that help students see the link between your courses and careers. It brings high quality careers information into your website and shows prospective students and their parents possible career options after studying on your courses.
Pathways is an affordable solution, set up is easy, it requires no extra work from your IT team and helps fulfil Gatsby Benchmarks and Ofsted’s careers criteria.
Pathways will be exhibiting at the conference

Go Live Data will be exhibiting at the conference

Purlos helps post-16 education providers increase learner engagement by decreasing learner drop-out, replacing outdated methods of communication like email and phone with modern channels like WhatsApp.
Currently we are focusing on the start and the end of the learner journey, whether that’s converting more learners during enrolment, or tracking learners into their destinations more effectively once they leave an institution.
Purlos will be exhibiting at the conference

Glued are a research, design and marketing agency with strong credentials in further and higher education. Although we do get involved in student recruitment our strengths lie in the marketing of non-core propositions, such as: services to businesses, alumni, internal communications, branding of specialisms and institutes. Our approach is driven by recognising, articulating and promoting valuable difference.
Glued will be exhibiting at the conference

Founded in 1998, we have gained an incredible amount of experience in all our service areas. We continue to grow and evolve, seeking new ways to create long-term client value by offering design, print, merchandise, fulfilment and logistical solutions, underpinned by our online management system, PDS+.
Print, design and sourcing can be a complex and costly process to manage; by combining them under one roof, PDS is uniquely positioned to help you save time, elevate quality and maximise your impact so that you can channel your resources towards core business activities.
Partner with us for projects that run like clockwork.
PDS will be exhibiting at the conference

Looking for video production? We help businesses generate sales through high quality TV and video marketing, produced by our Royal Television Society winning team.
College Videos is a a new service from Media Partnership, specifically tailored for education to help you attract new students, fill open days and increase course sign-ups.
Media Partnerships will be exhibiting at the conference

Circyl will be exhibiting at the conference

Bluestorm are a full-service marketing agency, specialising in supporting colleges across the UK in every facet of their marketing. From expertly web development that engages and informs prospective students to dynamic student recruitment strategies, targeted keep-warm initiatives, eye-catching prospectus designs, and beyond, we’re dedicated to enhancing your institution’s presence.
Bluestorm will be exhibiting at the conference

We’re a well-known name in college marketing, and we’re not scared to shout about it. Why? Because we design and build first-class college websites and apps.
Our team of seasoned account directors, designers and highly skilled web developers consistently go over and above what’s expected in the further education sector, delivering websites that push boundaries and achieve goals. We’ve built large scale powerful college websites with seamless integrations to MIS systems.

A multi award-winning digital marketing agency with over 20 years in education marketing. We work collaboratively with each client, delivering award-winning digital strategy, brand development, websites, SEO and marketing campaignthat deliver commercial results.
Our Mission: to partner with ambitious education organisations that want to grow and use digital as a tool to maximise their return on their investment, and in doing so make a real positive impact to students lives. Our team of 28 are a powerful mix of strategist, creatives developers, data analysts, marketing consultants, and project managers bringing together the right skills, experience to deliver digital solutions that drive commercial results.

SDS are offline marketing specialists, working with clients to build lasting customer relationships and help engage new audiences.
Our customer acquisition campaign planning and delivery covers a range of print marketing channels – direct mail, door drops and inserts.
Our SMART data and targeting allows you to reach more of your ideal students with fewer items – better for your budget and for the environment.
Whatever your target audience, we can help deliver your brand directly into their hands and homes.
SDS will be exhibiting at the conference

Media, content and creative specialists in education and technology. We leverage data, insights and a deep sector knowledge to influence a global community of students, educators, leaders, and innovators. Experts in social media, advertising and brand we’ve supported over 100 institutions globally to achieve their student recruitment goals. 

JCDecaux are the premier Out-of-Home (OOH) media provider across the UK, offering prime opportunities for audience engagement across transport, retail, and roadside environments.
Our mission is to empower our clients and partners by equipping them with an understanding of the power of the Public Screen. We are dedicated to facilitating their success by fostering collaboration, providing education, and maintaining an unwavering customer-centric approach.
Our vision is grounded in the belief that every client and partner can achieve their objectives through the impactful medium of the JCDecaux Public Screen. This vision is realised by granting access to a comprehensive suite of tools and knowledge, enabling the strategic planning and execution of the most effective campaigns.

College Workshop Hosts include:

Exhibition Space & Workshop Hosting

If you feel your business would benefit from attending the CMN conference and networking with further education marketing professionals from across the UK, there are options available to attend as an exhibitor and/or hosting a workshop. Click here to find out more.

Disclaimer: The College Marketing Network will do everything in its power to run the conference and awards as advertised. In the event of changes beyond our control making this impossible, we may either move the events online or delay them to a later date.
Covid-19: If you are booked to attend the conference and contract Covid-19, we would request that you do not attend. We will accept substitutes from your team if someone can take your place, but will not be able to refund your booking fee as commitments will have been made to the venues and payments made on your behalf in advance of the event.
We will endeavour to give all those participating as much notice of any changes as possible. Please note that booking for the conference demonstrates your acceptance of this statement.