Following the success of the largest ever Australia New Zealand Agent (ANZA) Workshop earlier this month, ICEF just hosted yet another record-breaking event. With 911 participants from 59 countries, the 2017 ICEF North America Workshop – Vancouver became ICEF’s largest agent networking event to be held in Canada. From April 23-25, 2017, North American educators, student recruitment agents, and industry service providers from 602 organisations held 8 612 pre-scheduled meetings at the Hyatt Regency, Vancouver.
Due to the improved performance in visa processing, global political and economic factors, Canada is expected to see a further boost in international student enrolment this year. Canada reported an all-time high number of study permit applications received for the period from September-December 2016. The year-over-year growth rate in student visa holders in Canada nearly tripled in 2016.
The number of both Canadian and US educators at this workshop was the largest ever with 386 in attendance, 11% were first-time participants to an ICEF event. “ICEF Vancouver was a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the world’s top international educational agents. UC Berkeley Extension was able to both rekindle old relationships and spark new ones with quality agents. It was an excellent three days of connecting and networking with a solid agent base,” said Emily Pacheco,
Partnerships and Outreach Specialist, University of California – Berkeley Extension, USA.
This year ICEF welcomed 377 agents from 56 countries with the top five being Mexico, Brazil, China, India, and Vietnam. An impressive 35% attended their first North America Workshop in Canada. This also marks the largest number of agents ever hosted in Canada. Such diversity created an atmosphere of excitement in true ICEF fashion. “I just want to thank ICEF for the outstanding organisation of the whole event. It was very productive and enjoyable. Definitely a must-attend workshop where educators and agents keep up with the industry and work together to find the best way to offer a better quality of education to international students,” said Eliana Gleide Vieira Silva, Director, Best Way Intercâmbios, Brazil.
Over 25 familiarisation tours and receptions took place both before and after the workshop. These additional events are extremely important as they allow agents from all over the world to develop stronger relationships with educational institutions by touring their campuses, and meeting with their staff. This familiarity with the institutions helps agents in pairing students with the best possible fit for their educational needs.
ICEF had an exciting seminar programme that featured 27 presentations delivered by 31 speakers. Some of the most popular presentation topics included study and immigration pathways into Canada, ICEF Agent Barometer North America findings, best practices for student recruitment online, recruitment in the US, and digital marketing strategy.
In addition to the formal part of the workshop, ICEF Vancouver provided its participants with plenty of opportunities to socialise outside of the workshop hall, hosting networking lunches, a welcome reception, and a dinner and dance at the iconic Commodore Ballroom with live music entertainment. Over the years the Commodore Ballroom hosted many award-winning and notable performers such as Nirvana, The Tragically Hip, U2, Lady Gaga, B.B. King, KISS, and Sting.
The next ICEF North America Workshop, in Canada, will be held on April 26-28, 2018, at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. Visit http://www.icef.com/en/workshops/icef-north-america-workshop-toronto/ for more information.
CEO, ICEF GmbH
Marketing and Communications Manager, ICEF GmbH