On March 14, 2015, we held our second annual OpenApply Admissions Conference at KIS International School in Bangkok. We were thrilled to welcome over 70 admissions and technology professionals from 43 schools.

During our pre-conference on Friday, March 13, we held workshops for OpenApply and ManageBac, including company updates and support sessions. During the OpenApply workshop, we also heard from Linda Belonje, Director of Marketing and Development at KIS International School, on their OpenApply implementation.

On Saturday, February 14, the conference began with a keynote address by Dr. David Willows, Director of Admissions and Advancement at the International School of Brussels, which focused on re-imagining the future of school admissions. Major themes included challenging participants to find and tell the story of their schools, to go paperless with their applications, to re-think the admissions space, and to redefine the practice of international school admissions.

The next presentation was from Bronwyn Thorburn, Director of Admissions and Marketing at IGB International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She drew on her divergent experiences at TASIS in England and IGB in Kuala Lumpur to address enrollment management from four perspectives: admissions, retention, research, and management.

The morning ended with an interactive workshop from Linda Belonje, Director of Marketing and Development at KIS International School. She shared tips and practices from the Bangkok Admissions Group, and asked participants to think about their own biggest challenges. Participants were then split into groups to discuss solutions. Both the challenges and solutions were then shared in a collaborative GDoc for all participants to view.

Lunch was held on the school grounds, and followed by school tours from Linda and her colleague Rob Kawada, Business Development and Communications Manager.

After lunch, Ken Darvall, Primary School Principal and Ameen Jamal, IT Registrar from King Faisal School spoke on the challenges of running admissions in isolated locations. (Ken had previously worked at a school in Papua New Guinea.) Their presentation centered on solutions for admissions and marketing in areas of political unrest.

The conference concluded with an interactive workshop led by David Willows, where participants were encouraged to reflect on their experience of school admissions. After reviewing key competencies and strategies for their roles in admissions, every participant was left with a personal action plan for future professional development.

The day ended with sponsored dinner and drinks at amBar, the rooftop restaurant at the Sheraton Four Points, Bangkok.

Here are some photos from the conference:

For further information you can:

-View the conference schedule (Presentations are available in PDF attached to each session.)

Participants said:
“Thank you for organising the conference. It was most inspiring and really helped me focus on the direction of the story I want to tell about my school. I am certainly looking forward to future admissions conferences!”

“A very useful professional development opportunity!”