CASE Europe Annual Conference 2018

Over 1000 professionals and 200 inspirational speakers gathered in Edinburgh from 27-31 August 2018 for the CASE Europe Annual Conference, featuring sessions 'based on the knowledge, experience and expertise of professionals working in education and related organisations.' We spoke to Richard Nicholl, Head of Educational Programmes at CASE Europe to find out more about the annual conference and what attracted them to Edinburgh.



Please tell us about CASE Europe

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is a membership association serving educational institutions and advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education.

To fulfil our missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on-and therefore must foster- the good will, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers and other external constituencies. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with all of these constituencies by providing relevant research, supporting growth in the profession and fostering support of education. 


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The CASE Europe Annual Conference is returning to Edinburgh in 2023, what makes Edinburgh such a great destination and what are the requirements when selecting a destination?

Edinburgh offers a backdrop of a fantastic city that attracts delegates from across the globe to our annual showpiece conference.

The chosen destination must be accessible from the UK and Europe – as a European organisation (with a global focus) we must hold the conference in a location that offers an attractive proposition to our speakers and delegates.  


The event had over 1000 attendees and more than 200 speakers, including Lord Bob Kerslake and Ruby Wax. Were there any particularly stand-out moments and how did this year’s conference compare to previous years?

We took a focus on technology this year with a great conference app that proved a hit with speakers, delegates and sponsors alike.

Our closing plenary speaker using a slingshot to send socks into the audience (with Thor in the background) was as surreal as it was a fantastically energising end to a busy week. The surprise bagpipers at the back of the Pentland Suite to play people out was very well received. 

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What are the objectives of the conference?

This year’s conference theme (universities in their place) reflected the ever-growing challenge to the purpose and place of universities within their societies, economies and political systems.

When ‘what' we do, and ‘how' we do it is called into question from all sides, it is natural for us and others to question just exactly ‘why' we do things. Are we out of touch, or are we anchor institutions that can act as a stable, civically-minded institution that provides economic bulwark against the forces of globalisation? We aren't just going to ask questions, we aim to arm and empower you, as delegates, with the practical tools, understanding and inspiration to go and do something about it.

CEAC 2018 represented one of Europe’s largest gatherings of education advocates, communicators and story-tellers. Delegates come from different professional families, but all share a responsibility for articulating and defending the purpose of our institutions.

This breadth of professional expertise, combined with CASE’s ability to bring the very best speakers from North America, Europe and outside the higher education sector, is what makes CASE Europe Annual Conference distinctive.


Convention Edinburgh is here to help you bring your next conference to Edinburgh. The friendly team has extensive product knowledge, specialist skills and will support you at every stage of organising a conference in Scotland’s capital. Find out more about how we can help. 


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