ebs Conference 2016: Blueprint for a New FE Landscape

On Thursday November 10, Tribal hosted its annual ebs conference at the East Midlands Airport Radisson Blu Hotel, with a record breaking number of customers attending from Further Education (FE) institutions across the UK.


The theme of the 2016 conference was ‘Blueprint for a New FE Landscape’, with a focus on looking at the rapid changes to the FE sector, what that means for us all and how FE can capitalise on this. Covering the area reviews, apprenticeship levy, new apprenticeship standards and much more there was also a chance to share and discuss where education is going for the post-16 student.

Customers, Tribal colleagues and partners were welcomed to the conference and took part in “Live from the Dev Zone’, voting on elements of the ebs products and features that they would like to see implemented, with a live link to the Dev Zone to start the development process.

Phil Sanders, UK & Ireland Sales Director of Tribal took to the stage for his opening remarks and welcomed everyone to the annual conference event. He introduced the newest addition to the ebs product family, ebs ontrack: buzz, a secure private social media network app branded for your college and fully integrated with your ebs system. The app was downloaded by customers and Tribal colleagues, who used it to join groups and chat about topics raised at the conference.

Expanding on the theme of the 2016 ebs conference, Phil said:

Further Education continues to be in a state of ‘review’ and the direct impact on the sector means everyone has to learn how to best navigate the fast-changing landscape.  The conference this year will focus on how organisations can adopt best practice, systems and processes to increase both student and funding retention.  Our vision continues to be one of developing the ebs solution, to give our customers the ultimate blueprint to enable them to be outstanding providers of education.”

Picture: Twitter @tribalgroup

The ever-popular Beej Kaczmarczyk, Director of Learning Curve group took to the stage as the conference guest speaker. A consultant, leader, trainer and acknowledged expert in post-16 education, Beej took us through his latest thoughts on the many changes within Further Education, and where this is all heading.

The conference offered many focused talks on product developments and the future of ebs from Tribal Product Managers, alongside specific breakout sessions and networking opportunities.

When asked about conference highlights, an FE ILT Development manager in attendance said:

“There were lots of highlights, one of which was meeting the support team and being able to network with colleagues from other education establishments which was great”.

Picture: Twitter @T5eventmedia

To round off the day, when asked what their overall opinion of the conference was, an MIS Manager said:

 “Very positive, thought provoking, plenty of ideas”.

After a busy day there was much fun to be had at the conference dinner celebration.

Picture: Twitter @tribalgroup     

Guests enjoyed the dazzling entertainment of magician Darren Campbell, who caused a stir with his mind-blowing tricks. Later in the evening The Beard Band entertained guests, the duo performed by request only from the Tweetwall, playing Michael Jackson, Queen, Eminem and everything in between.

Picture: Twitter @mike_beech

Picture: Twitter @JoanneShirley1

Friday November 11 acted as a catch up for breakout sessions, alongside focus groups where customers could have their say on Tribal products.

Picture: Twitter @Graham_Kenyon

A college IT Manager in attendance said:

“I’m glad to see a company who listens to its customer and acts on suggestions”.

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2016 ebs conference, we look forward to welcoming you again next year.

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