The Carnegie Dartlet Conference 2020 Lineup

Carnegie Higher Ed Oct 21, 2019 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

Something different. That’s what we hope to share with the attendees of the Carnegie Dartlet Conference each year. Going on our ninth year, our mission hasn’t changed: to be unique compared to the other great conferences in the higher education marketing space. Our goal is to include content about what’s next, not just what was six months ago—or even what’s now

With that, our team works to develop an agenda and speaker lineup that will inspire your marketing mix for the coming year. And, throwing humble out the window, we believe the 2020 lineup will do just that. This speaker list is unlike any I’ve seen at any conference, and we’re thrilled to share it with you.

Allow me to do some name-dropping with these amazing folks.

Conference speakers and sessions

First, we’re going to kick it off with Ross Simmonds. A true digital marketing expert, his published bylines include Forbes, Huffington Post, Venturebeat, The Globe and Mail, and more. He knows his stuff, and his energy will get our minds churning right away. Being named a top five marketing expert on Snapchat by Mashable, he clearly knows his stuff. 

Just recently we saw that he was at an Eagles game with previous #CarnegieConf speakers Wil Reynolds and Rand Fishkin. While we like the company he keeps, his choice in teams is questionable. We’ll chat with him about that.

Connect with Ross: Twitter @TheCoolestCool, YouTube, LinkedIn, and his website

Why let the energy slow down the first morning? We won’t. Jay Acunzo joins us right after Ross to talk about making innovation the norm and not such a scary concept. Jay is the author of Break the Wheel, a book about making better decisions—faster—when faced with marketing advice overload. A former Googler and start-up marketer, he’s a current podcaster that talks about this very topic regularly.

Connect with Jay: Twitter @jayacunzo, Instagram, LinkedIn, and his website

Now it’s time to get technical. And there isn’t anyone better to help us get there than Microsoft’s Purna Virji. Just awarded Search Personality of the Year for 2019 by US Search, she not only knows the current best practices but understands the future of search. The unquestionable power of search and online engagement makes this an absolute must-see session. 

Connect with Purna: Twitter @purnavirji and LinkedIn

Following Purna, we’re thrilled to have Talia Wolf join us. We promised ourselves that the topic of conversion would never leave this conference. The importance of converting all the hard work you’ve put into your marketing campaigns is too important to ignore. With that, Talia is coming all the way from Tel Aviv to share her expertise on conversion optimization and how to make those marketing campaigns successful. 

Connect with Talia: Twitter @TaliaGW and LinkedIn

Then we need lunch. After all this amazing content, I’ll be thrilled to join in lunch conversations outside, under the Florida sun

When we head back in, Andy Crestodina will inspire us. I literally got a message from an attendee saying, “Andy Crestodina is coming???” Yes. Yes he is, and we all win because of it. His accolades are impressive: Top 10 Online Marketing Experts to Watch, Forbes Top 50 Marketing Influencer, Entrepreneur magazine Top 25 Content Marketers, Express Writers/Buzzsumo Top 100 Digital Marketers, Brand 24 Top 10 Social Media Influencers to Watch, Social Media Explorer Top 50 Content Marketing Influencers to Follow, author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing. In sum: he knows content marketing and how it relates to SEO and social media. This session alone will make your conference worth it.

Connect with Andy: Twitter @crestodina and LinkedIn

Next we’ll have afternoon breakouts based on audience. We’re talking all things social media in two areas: traditional undergraduate (aka Gen Z) and graduate/online/adult. These audiences are different, and your social media plan for them should be too. 

After we talk likes, hashtags, and shares, it’s pretzel time. It’s our thing. Hot pretzels. Enjoy.

The second breakout of the afternoon will focus on personality and content. This is choose-your-own-adventure time, because both are critical. 

Finally—and I’m sure we’ve all felt this—Tiffany DaSilva will help us through our sense of “imposter syndrome.” We are all experts, but you might have had that sneaky feeling that you aren’t 100% confident in your ability to do a good job. Tiffany will help us all understand our legacy and how to get out of our negative heads. 

Connect with Tiffany: Twitter @bellastone, LinkedIn, and her website

And then day one closes out. While you’ll be ready for a nap, there’s no time for that! Grab your lanyard, get to the bus, and head backstage to Epcot for a reinvigorating dinner and dessert party under the fireworks of the brand-new show Epcot Forever. Connect with others and share stories about your marketing successes and struggles, and just have a relaxing time rewarding yourself for a great first day.

Thursday morning, we’re back at it. And we’re not just talking JV day two. This is an all-star day that we can’t believe we get to be a part of.

If you haven’t heard of Andrew Davis, then stop reading. Google him. Then get ready for a high-energy morning keynote about the “Loyalty Loop” and how there’s nothing more powerful than those who are already endeared to you. Andrew has produced for NBC’s Today, worked for The Muppets in New York, and wrote for Charles Kuralt—enough said. He’s known for his enthusiastic presentations and has been called “jaw dropping.” There’s no better way to start day two of the Carnegie Dartlet Conference.

Connect with Andrew: Twitter @drewdavishere, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and his website

The energy will be up for the second session about a topic we all engage with every single day: email. Michael Barber is an expert on email and its successful impact. His résumé is wildly impressive, and as all higher ed marketers know, email still matters and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. Michaell will help us all with his actionable advice and golden nuggets of ideas. 

Connect with Michael: Twitter @michaeljbarber, Instagram, LinkedIn, and his website

Following a quick break, we’re back with two more sessions that will fill your notebook. Kirsty Hulse joins us to get our creative juices flowing. From understanding what people want to see to what they will connect with, Kirsty will leverage her personal experience helping brands like Virgin Atlantic and IBM to help us understand the actions we can take to make our creative choices more effective. 

Connect with Kirsty: Twitter @Kirsty_Hulse, LinkedIn, and her website

You want proof? Angie Schotmuller will show us how to use reviews and feedback to gain valuable impressions. She’s been recognized as a top 10 online marketing expert to follow by both Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine, so we can certainly trust her content. 

Connect with Angie: Twitter @aschottmuller and LinkedIn

Then we break out again. Focusing on data and research from of the most comprehensive studies in the higher education market, we’ll look at trends and statistics about what matters to the students we’re recruiting. 

Coming back together one final time, we’ll all focus on you. Stay tuned for a closing session that will help you and your personal journey. You will not want to miss it.

Arrive Motivated, Leave Inspired

After two jam-packed days, our goal is to have you inspired to head back to campus, share the knowledge you’ve gained, and help lead your teams through your next cycle and beyond—all while having some fun, meeting some great people, and indulging in some powerful Disney magic.

Want more details? Check out the full agenda and speaker bios on the Carnegie Dartlet Conference page. I hope you’ll join us at the 2020 #CarnegieConf (and register by November 1 to save $100!). If you have more questions, feel free to connect with me on Twitter @meghdale or email me at

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