They came, they learned, they drank the bar tab dry.The Annual Summit for Digital Innovation in Educationis over for another year, and what a year it was.

The 2018 version of our flagship event saw a truly stellar panel of speakers, a sold-out audience, fights over the best Natives swag bags to date, and education marketers shimmying for their lives to make the best boomerang.

Missed out, or simply want to relive the experience all over again? Here's how the day unfolded?


The ASDIE experience started well before anybody arrived at Kings Place, with an OOH campaign running on the digital signage in Kings Cross and St Pancras Stations.


Upon registration, attendees were delighted by their conference lanyards that doubled up as a charging cable!


Director of Education, Murray Simpson, kicked things off with a few thoughts on 'brand'. What constitutes a valuable brand? How can it be measured? And which is the top brand in UK Higher Education? To help answer these questions, Murray revealed a new project we're working on here at Natives Group; a brand benchmarking tool, similar to Edurank, which will measure brand strength amongst HEIs.


Simon Roberts of Stripe Partners reminded us that we are digital in a human age, not the other way around. Tech change is driven by culture, and as humans we are wired to be social and tell stories. That's why we're seeing a development in technologies that give people "communicative superpowers", such as AR and animojis. He also pointed out the shift from broadcast to narrow cast amongst a younger audience.


Meaghan from Google spoke about how consumers are becoming increasingly demanding and impatient. That's why we need to ensure our websites load in 3 seconds or less. (Test your site speed here!)

She also highlighted how mobile use continues to grow; the average person unlocks their phone 150 times per day.


The GIF booth opened for business! Coffee and biscuits were eaten.


Facebook's Lizzy dedicates her45-minuteslot to video. Why? Because there are 400 million daily users of Instagram Stories; by 2012, 78% of mobile traffic will come from video; video is how the world watches.

Alongside these fascinating insights into the future of content marketing, Lizzy gave some practical tips on how to make the most out of your video content:



Who better knows about university branding than an institution that has undergone two rebrands? Justin from the International School of Management, took a detour to London on his journey from California to Paris, to share learnings from his rebranding experiences with ASDIE delegates.


The moment we'd all been waiting for.LUNCH TIME.

Conference attendees are always the greatest food critics, and here's what ASDIE delegates made of our lunch options:

"FOOD WAS FAB!" - University of Bournemouth

"Food was amazing" - Cambridge English Assessment

"Great food" - University of Kent

"Fantastic food" - The Access Platform


What cana HEImarketer learn from a global beauty brand? Quite a lot, it seems?

Brand Retail Manager at L'Oreal, Mastak, spoke about the touchpoints their customers encounter when looking to purchase a cosmetic product, and gave examples of the type of content or ad they ran at each point of this customer journey. Can you imagine how many touchpoints a prospective student might go through before choosing their route of study?


The very first bus shelter advertisement was run in France in 1964, Gerard from JCDecaux revealed. But he went on to illuminate how very relevant out-of-home advertising still is amongst the digital innovations of the past five decades.

Gerard showed off all the clever possibilities OOH advertising presents, but no matter on your budget, scale or how fancy you can get with your ads, it still comes back to the basics...



To finish off the day, our friend Dave from The Native, brought along a panel of current university students for a grilling from the audience. In anutshellthey told us - WhatsApp is for Dads, Facebook is out but Facebook Messenger is in, and it's embarrassing when the university twitter accounts try to get inon campusbanter.

But luckily, we recorded the whole thing so you can listenword for word here. And if you want to know even more about what students think? Download the Student Hut Youth Insights Report here.


One last thing to do before we finished the day sharing our ASDIE stories in the bar - announcing the winner of our GIF booth competition with JCDecaux! The team from Bournemouth University had their 15 minutes of fame as their wiggles graced the screen of Kings Cross and St Pancras International.

Article by


Rosie Crompton

Events and Marketing Executive