Session Agenda

Hand-picked sessions and speakers mean you'll learn about the best strategies from those who know best.

Finalsite University - Asia brings together the brightest minds in school communications, marketing, admissions, and technology. You'll learn from the world’s best school professionals, in one place. Browse the agenda to see what's on the schedule for each day. Please note, the agenda is subject to change.

Wednesday 23 JAN.

Please join us for a drinks reception at the conference hotel, Capri by Fraser, from 6 - 8 PM on Wednesday evening before the main conference.  After the reception there are plenty of restaurants in the neighborhood where you can join other attendees to get to know each other better.

Thursday 24 Jan.

Opening Remarks and Keynote 9:15 - 10:30
Conference Welcome!
Dr. Catriona Moran, Head of School SSIS

Dr. Moran has a long and distinguished career as an educator: Initially a teacher and Technology Coordinator in Ireland, then Principal of K-9 at Nishimachi International School in Tokyo, and Curriculum Director of Kyoto International School.  This was followed by a 17-year career at Taipei American School as the Lower School Principal and then Deputy Head of School. Catriona was named the "National Distinguished Principal of the Year" by the National Association of Elementary Principals and the U.S. State Department in 2013.

Keynote Conference Kickoff
Presented by Jon Moser, Finalsite CEO and Founder

Join us to kick off an awesome FinalsiteU! Finalsite's founder and CEO Jon Moser will share the latest product news from Finalsite as well as insights into the future of edtech.

Session One 10:45 - 11:30
Shanghai American School - The Next Chapter: Building a School’s Brand Through Storytelling
Presented by Kevin Lynch, Director of Marketing + Communications

Storytelling has long been employed as a classroom practice. But what about schoolwide? What if a school realized that every aspect of the institution could become a storyteller? From its website and merchandise to conference rooms and buses, find out how Shanghai American School makes decisions through the lens of story.


Hands-On: Getting Started with Composer
Presented by Meredith Kaplan, Head of International Client Success

Making your content stand-out is easy with our content management system, Composer. Learn about the highlights and resources to maximize your use of the system.

SEO 101: The Basics of Search Engine Optimisation for Schools
Presented by Red Abbott, Manager of Consulting Services

Organic search success in 2019 requires a mix of tactics. Join us for an overview of the four cornerstones of SEO and the things you can do now to snag the low-hanging fruit without deep SEO experience.

Session Two 11:45 - 12:30
Getting the Most out of Online Admissions
Presented By Mackenzie Hovermale, OpenApply Director and Katie Rigney-Zimmermann, Director Admissions and Marketing at SSIS

New schools and increasing competition demand an efficient, and for some a paperless, admissions office to rise above the market. An effective online admissions process streamlines the admin work so you can spend more quality time with prospective families. But are you using your admissions technology to its fullest potential? Join us to get the most out of your online process and attract the right pupils for your school!

Meet Finalsite's Client Success Team
Presented by Meredith Kaplan, Head of International Client Success

Meet with Finalsite's Client Success team to learn about all the resources available to you as client.  Ask questions and share ideas with other schools in this informal session.

Lunch 12:30 - 1:30
Session Three Round Table Discussions 1:30 - 2:30
We will break into smaller groups to discuss and share around topics such as parent communication, technology integration, SEO, Social Media, Online Admissions and more.  At the end of the discussions each group with share with the larger group.
Session Four 2:45 - 3:30
Ask Me Anything! Get a Peek "Under the Hood" at Communication at Singapore American School
Presented by: Kyle Aldous, Director of Communications

What is your biggest communication challenge? Have you ever wanted someone to break down exactly how they do it at their school? Are you looking for a template or possible model for a certain process or strategy? This session is a chance to have your specific questions answered by using Singapore American School as a possible model. Send your questions now to and this session will be tailored to YOU! You will leave this session with specific, detailed ideas and examples you can immediately use in your own context regardless of your school size or budget.

Digital Advertising 101: Where to Spend Your First Online Ad Dollar
Presented By Red Abbott, Manager of Consulting Services

With advertising options in search, social media, and display, it's hard to know where to start. We will provide a primer on the features of these three online ad media, as well as a framework for determining which is most capable of helping you achieve your admission, hiring, and/or auxiliary program recruitment goals.

Inbound Marketing on the Finalsite Platform
Presented by Lauren Barth, Chief Product Officer

Learn the basics of Inbound Marketing and how to get your inbound marketing strategy off the ground using the tools available to you on the Finalsite Platform! Lauren will share best practices for inbound marketing success, followed by strategies for filling your funnel using Finalsite Platform tools — including emails, forms, and landing pages.

Session Five 3:45 -4:30
Session Six 4:30 -5:15
Playing Nicely with Others
Presented by Dan Hudkins, CIO Taipei American School

One of the most powerful features of a CMS like Finalsite is how many people can contribute in how many different ways. The adventure is always in getting the team together and pulling in the same direction(s). Join Dan Hudkins in an exploration of how he has failed and succeeded in getting things done with Finalsite at two different schools over the course of 15+ years. Explore with him the different mistakes and successes he's had so you can make new and original mistakes of your own.

Google Analytics 101
Presented by Red Abbott, Manager of Consulting Services

A perennial favorite, this session cuts through the vast array of website usage statistics available to you in Google Analytics to identify the things that a school marketer can use to work smarter. Along the way, we will get you familiar with the GA interface and provide industry-wide benchmarks where possible so you know "what's normal" for school website stats.

Intro to the ALL NEW eNotify module
Presented by Lauren Barth, Chief Product Officer

Get a look at Finalsite's new bulk email module including new features including enhanced stats reporting, A/B testing and automated drip campaigns! Personalized, targeted email messages are the key to your digital marketing success. In this session, you’ll learn how to improve communications with parents, students, and alumni.

Marketing to Millennials
Presented by Max Eisl, Director of International Sales

A solid content strategy is the key to recruiting and retaining right-fit families at your school, but is yours up to date, organised, and targeted to the needs and concerns of your key personae? Join our inbound experts for an informative session that will give you practical content strategy advice to help you boost yield this admissions cycle and beyond.

Hands-On: Do Social Media Better in 2018 with a Peer Audit
Presented by Red Abbott, Manager of Consulting Services

Grab a new friend from the other side of the [street/country/world!] and make a plan to execute the peer audit we outline in this hands-on session. Key areas of analysis include: social account visibility and quality; competitor strengths and weaknesses; brand reputation. You'll both end up with valuable external feedback and a manageable number of concrete takeaways to improve your social media practices

Optional Campus Tour 5:15

Drinks and Dinner at the School 5:30 - 8:00

Bus Returns to hotel at 8:15

Friday 25 Jan.

 Keynote 9:00 - 9:45
Keynote - Designing the Future of School Communications
Presented by Dr. David Willows and Jon Moser

In this keynote, Dr. David Willows, Director of Advancement at the International School of Brussels, will introduce an innovative new framework for visualising the interconnected work of admissions, communications, and development in our schools: The Periodic Table of Advancement™. He will explain why he believes the future of school communications is rooted in UX, gamification and design thinking. And he will leave you with some thought-provoking suggestions about the future of school web design. Jon Moser, CEO of Finalsite, will share Finalsite's vision and product development as it relates to David's forward-thinking.

Session One 10:00 - 10:45
Re-imagining Admissions and Its Impact on Their Latest Website Redesign
Presented by David Willows and Suzette Parlevliet of the International School of Brussels

Three years ago, the International School of Brussels started to re-imagine their school admissions as a learning experience for families. This led them to design the ISB Experience Room - a state-of-the-art interactive experience that has revolutionised how they introduce prospective families to their school. In this interactive workshop, David Willows and Suzette Parlevliet will explain the story of the ISB Experience Room and how this influenced their latest, groundbreaking web redesign.

The Power of Posts: An Introduction to Posts for Blogs and News
Presented by Lauren Barth, Chief Product Officer

Get your community involved in and excited about creating content for your website with the Posts module! Come learn about all the Post features and best practices to support your school blogs, news and even teacher pages. 

Technology Panel Discussion: Department of Lessons Learned
Moderated by Jon Moser and Dan Hudkins

 A panel led by Jon Moser, including Dan Hudkins and other tech pros, will explore the challenges and opportunities of system integration with SISs, academic tools, fundraising platforms and a host of others. How can you find the best means for managing your data and communication within your community?

Session Two 11:00 - 11:45
The Value of Video and Authentic Storytelling
Presented by Jeff Nesmith, Digital Marketing Manager at SSIS

 Jeff believes that “marketing” is a bit of an antiquated, even inappropriate term, when it comes to schools. The stories are there; what is needed is a good storyteller. Corporations, nonprofits and startups look today for compelling video to make or break their case. Schools are fortunate and in a unique situation, unlike these others, as kids are doing amazing things, every day, and all schools need to know is how to portray these stories. Jeff will share how he uses videos to successfully tell authentic stories.   

Advanced PPC: Ad Extensions, Remarketing Tactics, and ROI
Presented by Red Abbott, Manager of Consulting Services

We'll talk in depth about three ways to take your online ad efforts to the next level from top to bottom. Ad extensions are an underutilized way to get more (and more appropriate) clicks. Remarketing to mid-funnel prospects can help plug your leaks. And the conversation around advertising ROI in most admin team meetings is far too squishy, so we'll talk about ways to set the concrete there.

Telling Your School's Story on Social Using Finalsite Feeds
Presented By Max Eisl, Director of International Sales

Whether you’re new to social media in general or use it personally but have just been handed the reigns of your school’s accounts, this session is for you! Our social pros will give you tips for managing the latest features of the big platforms, and insight into newer ways to engage on Snapchat, live video and more.

Session Three 12:00 - 12:45
Refresh Your School's Brand in One Year
Presented by Rebecca Lau, fromer Director of Marketing and Admissions at SSIS, Suzhou’s International School

This session focuses on ten essential components to effectively refreshing your school’s brand. Topics will be covered in a stepped approach outlining how SSIS started with an old logo and some lose guidelines and worked to build out full brand and identity guidelines. The session will review the essential components of a brand identity guide including brand messaging, tone of voice and logos as well as discussing how to deal with other key touchpoints that reflect a school’s brand. A case study and current examples from SSIS, Suzhou’s International School will be used.

Advanced Website Stats: 5 Things to Add to Your Google Analytics Routine
Presented by Red Abbott, Manager of Consulting Services

Maybe you've been doing a good job of tracking site stats for years - when was the last time you added a new arrow to your quiver? We will assume intermediate GA familiarity as we look at five things you should consider folding into your stats tracking habits to gain new insights and make smarter site management decisions.

Meet Finalsite's Client Success Team
Presented by Meredith Kaplan, Head of International Client Success

Meet with Finalsite's Client Success team to learn about all the resources available to you as client.  Ask questions and share ideas with other schools in this informal session.

Lunch 12:45 - 1:45
Sesson Four 1:45 - 2:30
Bringing Positive Change in Concordia Shanghai's Communications Strategy
Presented by Bo Hardegree, Director of Marketing, Concordia International School Shanghai

Sharing one school’s story towards achieving better community oriented communications, Bo Hardegree provides a detailed breakdown of how Concordia International School Shanghai partnered academic leadership, strategic planning, marketing, and parents to bring about positive change in Concordia Shanghai’s communications strategy.

Building Landing Pages that Convert
Presented by Lauren Barth, Chief Product Officer

What are the key elements of a good landing page whether in admissions, faculty recruitment or advancement.  Learn about best practices for creating landing pages for your campaigns and see what other schools are doing to succeed.

Closing 2:45 - 3:30 
Whats new and next, Q&A and Thank yous and Good-byes!
Bus Return to Hotel 4:00

Register Today!