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The AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition brings together the further education sector under one roof to learn, develop, influence, exchange information and network. The highlight of AoC’s events calendar, the conference combines an impressive exhibition hall, keynote speakers in the main conference theatre space, plenary sessions and breakout sessions to inform and stimulate debate. VocalEyes had a significant presence at the event.
VocalEyes was showcased at the conference, thanks to the financial and resources support of Pembrokeshire College. VocalEyes occupied a stand in a high footfall area of the exhibition hall where personal contacts were forged with 30 English colleges along with the opportunity to distribute marketing materials to many delegates. Relationships were also made with other exhibitors, organisations and journalists.
The stand was strongly branded with a sense of place – Pembrokeshire and the coast, where much of the VocalEyes innovation is taking place.
This also ensured the stand looked and felt authentic and was attractive to delegates.
Our resident portrait artists Dave Lucas drew light-hearted caricature pen drawings as stand delegates posed for him, giving Peter Anderson and Sarah Hoss the opportunity to talk with delegates and introduce them to VocalEyes.
Our professional illusionist, Freddie Wilkinson, engaged with delegates circulating and drew them to the stand.
Marketing materials featuring a nautical and wildlife theme also ensured that delegates took up the opportunity to take packs away to their colleges.
The combination of an attractive beach-themed stand, deck-chairs and colourful postcard leaflets, alongside the stand support staff, ensured that the event created happy ‘holiday’ memories for delegates.
Those having their picture drawn also took them away. All portraits were drawn on branded paper ensuring that interested parties have our contact details.
On return from the conference, colleges are already responding to this initiative and being followed up by the promotional team.
In less than a month (Nov 19-21st to be precise) VocalEyes will be promoted by Pembrokeshire College to all the delegates at the high-profile AoC (Association of Colleges) annual conference which is being held at the International Conference Centre, in central Birmingham.
Peter Anderson, from VocalEyes and Sarah Hoss, from Pembrokeshire College, will be on-hand to meet college representatives face to face to discuss the added value of using VocalEyes in Further and Higher Education. They will be in the main hall (Hall 3) stand no 16.
A significant report into the success of innovating with technology by collaboration with tech start-ups and Further Education colleges is published today; providing insight into the challenges, difficulties and success of such activity.
The collaboration between VocalEyes and Pembrokehire College is cited as a positive case history in an in-depth report by William Jenkins, who has expertise in building networks of social and IT entrepreneurs and educators.
The report (See link) is particularly well-timed as leaders seek new ways of working collaboratively with large teams to bring such projects to fruition and bring new ways of working to colleges – in particular how to use digital technology to better engage with learners and also crowd-source strategy from the organisation’s most valuable asset – its staff.
Development partner Pembrokeshire College officially launched VocalEyes to their 500-strong staff team (of lecturers, managers, SMT and business support staff) at this year’s Institutional Planning Day, where staff were invited to a VocalEyes event held at the Merlin Theatre chaired by the Director of Learner and Staff Services Kathryn Robson (photographed below) and presented by Sarah Hoss, who works as an ambassador for VocalEyes promoting the system in-house and externally to other organisations.
Headline News: In Wales, the first Further Education College after Pembrokeshire College to adopt VocalEyes is the newly-formed NPTC Group – an organisation that now covers a vast geographic area of Wales – with the challenge of bringing people together; looking for efficient ways of engaging with students and staff over many campuses.
The work and collaboration between LocalEyes/VocalEyes and Pembrokeshire College has been recognized for its technological innovation in the public sector – both organisations announced as finalists in the DEA (Digital Entrepeneur Award) being held in Manchester in October.
The advantages of using VocalEyes in further and higher education has been recognized by professional body NAMSS (National Association of Managers of Student Services). Their chairman, Jim Busher, published a short introduction to the system on the NAMSS website recently.
VocalEyes is working in collaboration with SPAN (South Pembrokeshire Arts Network) to engage with the local community at their vibrant office space in Narberth.
VocalEyes is being promoted as an authentic and efficient system for capturing learner voice to educational institutions throughout the UK. Pembrokeshire College, the ‘test bed’ for the utility is taking the lead in promoting VocalEyes to UK colleges, universities, membership organisations, and groups in Pembrokeshire. The College is also developing its VocalEyes systems in-house, with training sessions for managers, drop-in sessions for staff and a focus on engagement strategies that includes face-to-face events alongside the digital platform.
From the Inventions Blog at Pembrokeshire College..
VocalEyes is a system that helps deliver grassroots involvement. That means, a simple, accessible method of getting ordinary people involved in running their own communities. And data that gives those in power an authentic mandate for assigning budgets and making changes; that people genuinely want and agree with.
A quote by Stephen Crabb MP in his recent visit to a local charity using VocalEyes