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  • Call for Proposals: 2023 AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education

Influence the Future of the Higher Education Marketing Community

The American Marketing Association invites you to add to the conversation and engage with your community as a conference presenter at the 2023 AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. The symposium is an opportunity for marketers to connect with one another, increase their abilities to build and advance strong brands, improve reputation, achieve enrollment and fundraising success, improve competitive positioning and maintain financial strength.

Joining us as a conference presenter is an opportunity to advance the profession of higher education marketing, expand your network through an audience of peers and raise the visibility of your institution or company. Sessions focus on the practice of higher education marketing, provide ideas and offer solutions participants can apply at their own institutions.

All sessions will be in-person November 12-15 2023, in Chicago, IL. This year’s event will not include a separate virtual conference.

Who Should Submit?

  • Marketers and communicators at colleges; universities; and graduate, professional and specialized schools.
  • Diversity and inclusion leadership/subject matter experts.
  • University leaders and policy makers.
  • CMOs at colleges and universities.
  • Research and planning specialists.
  • Agencies, consultants and solution providers with experience serving higher education.

Suggested Topics by Track

  • New institutional policies that have a marketing impact
  • The evolving role of marketing professionals
  • Ongoing/Evolving response to societal issues
  • New efforts in and effectiveness of DEI initiatives
  • Embracing and amplifying the student voice

Using tools to understand and respond to audience needs and desires. Assessing if your efforts are working and refining execution based on qualitative or quantitative measurements.

  • Market research best practices or innovations – qualitative or quantitative
  • Market identification or segmentation
  • Competitive analysis
  • Dashboards and analytics
  • Measuring marketing performance – traditional and digital measures
  • A/B testing and optimization strategies
  • Program effectiveness assessments – academic or extracurricular programs
  • Refining marketing tactics based on research or assessment
  • Diversity and inclusion metrics (what to measure, how to measure, and how to align with and be relevant to university strategic plans and marketing strategy)
  • Mechanisms to capture student voice and perspective

Strategies for refining your brand promise, value proposition, messaging and approach to content delivery.

  • Brand development, launch and evolution
  • Internalizing the brand, brand as catalyst for institutional change
  • Building academic reputation
  • Innovative storytelling through visuals, messaging, media, experiential marketing and more
  • Incorporating and sharing the student voice with authenticity
  • Brand identity management
  • Ensuring brand alignment or co-development with strategic plans or capital campaigns
  • Licensing, sponsorship and merchandising
  • Branding for diverse audiences/populations

Delivering marketing messages whether in physical, digital or omnichannel spaces.

  • Advertising – traditional and digital
  • Innovative use of traditional or digital channels
  • Content marketing: planning, creating, distributing and evaluating
  • Social media management: engagement, monitoring and analysis
  • Use of emerging technologies for audience engagement and sharing
  • Use of channels that align with and showcase the student voice
  • Prospect marketing
  • Reaching and engaging specific strategic audiences
  • Employee communications and engagement
  • Board, stakeholder, volunteer, donor and/or alumni engagement
  • Inclusive audience engagement

Best practices for managing “up, down and across”.

  • Organizational and funding structures
  • Insights into recruitment and retention
  • Advancing an equitable and inclusive culture
  • Fostering incremental and radical innovation
  • Doing more with less—people, budget, time
  • Leading change
  • Crisis and issues management
  • Marketing yourself: advancing your career
  • Building marketing collaboration, buy-in and consensus on campus
  • Listening to and valuing student views
  • Case studies
  • Post-crisis communication best practices
  • Leveraging the student voice
  • Project management and techniques for improving the efficiency of a team
  • Tactical work
  • How-Tos (CRMs, social media calendars, video strategies, etc.)

How Do I Submit a Proposal?

The proposal includes four parts:

  • A basic form including session title, track, actionable takeaways, as well as presenters’ names, titles, and affiliations.
  • Session title (8 words max) and summary (100 words max): Encapsulate the session and its takeaways and persuasively present it to the selection committee. If the session is chosen, this will be its description in the conference program.
  • Full session description (400 words max) describing the session and your mastery of the subject. This will be a main point of focus of the committee during evaluation.
  • Biographies for each speaker (100 words max).

While the selection process is competitive, you can strengthen your 400-word description in the following ways:

  • Be very clear regarding value to conference participants.
  • Include key learning outcomes or takeaways.
  • Provide guidance on what learning level your content is geared towards.
  • Include a succinct, bulleted outline of your presentation.
  • Provide links to the work described in your presentation, if applicable.
  • Tell us whether you’ve presented at this or similar conferences before (include links for all non-AMA events).

How Are Proposals Selected?

Proposals are peer-reviewed and selected by the planning committee with a primary responsibility to curate high-quality symposium content. Preference is given to proposals from college and university professionals.* No more than one proposal from the same institution or firm will be selected, but multiple submissions are permitted. The planning committee places a strong emphasis on ensuring that the slate of selected proposals and presenters represent the diversity of higher education marketing professionals across our nation and world. Submissions by speakers from historically underrepresented groups are highly encouraged, as are presentation topics covering diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

The committee evaluates the quality of submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Relevant to current needs and interests of attendees, including evolving societal challenges affecting higher education marketers
  • Potential for audience engagement
  • Practical application of material
  • Content well-aligned with audience expertise
  • Speaker credentials and command of topic
  • Speakers who reflect the rich diversity represented in higher education

*Vendor sales pitches are not acceptable session content. Vendor-only proposals have a very low acceptance rate, but will be considered if they share proven methods across a number of successful clients or industry landscapes. To increase chances of selection, vendors should invite a higher education institution to co-present. If vendors do not wish to go through the proposal process and would like to present alone, they are encouraged to reach out to our Vice President of Alliances, Julie Schnidman, about a sponsored session slot:

University faculty and PhD students wishing to present research papers are encouraged to submit to our AMA Winter Academic Conference in February 2024.

Deadlines for Accepted Submissions

  • Call for proposal submission deadline: April 28, 2023
  • Decisions sent: Week of June 26, 2023
  • Finalization of speaker(s) biography and photo and presentation abstract: July 14, 2023
  • Finalization of who is speaking at the event: July 31, 2023
  • Draft of slide decks for review by committee: September 29, 2023
  • Feedback sent to speaker from committee: October 20, 2023
  • Final slides due: November 3, 2023


If you have any questions, please reach out to Christine Lucenta, Manager of Professional Communities at the American Marketing Association at