OpenApply was excited to host our sixteenth conference, and first in-person conference post-COVID, on November 18-19, 2022. We were thrilled to welcome around 100 attendees from 66 countries and 35 schools all over the world.

The theme of this conference was Charting your Admissions Journey, and the schedule was broken down into sessions led by Admissions Professionals and OpenApply. We designed the event to be as engaging and interactive as possible to encourage exchanges between all attendees. We aimed to bring the Admissions Community together to explore how to navigate the complex landscape of admissions with consideration for the big picture, and how all elements integrate as part of the end-to-end journey from discovery, enquiry, application and enrolment, all the way through to graduation, transitions and alumni engagement.

Charting this journey involves a deep understanding of how to proactively communicate with and nurture prospective families, as well as best-practice use of the right tools for the task at hand, and the conference was certainly thorough in covering this from both a practical as well as thought-leadership perspective. In addition to the presentations and workshops, the attendees enjoyed the networking opportunities, with active group discussions or one-on-one chats.

You can find an overview of the topics covered during the conference here, as well as videos from the first and second day of the conference below:

During the Welcoming Remarks, OpenApply Director and SVP of Systems, MacKenzie Murray shared a company update. See below to find out everything Faria and OpenApply have been busy working on and what to expect in the near future:


  • Arjun Puri from Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad kicked off the professional development with an inspirational introduction to their “Talent Identification Programme” where they recruit students from tribal and social welfare schools while working on the belief in advocating for equal opportunity, and taking risks to build platforms that create the leaders of tomorrow. 
  • Dr Robert Jackson from the American International School of Jeddah gave an insightful talk on keeping new families engaged after the acceptance letter and prior to the first day of school, as well as implementing a well-thought-out onboarding plan to integrate students and families into your school culture.
  • Claudine Hakim from the International School of London and Catalina Gardescu from Ideas Into Action SRL (and previously at the American International School of Bucharest), shared their knowledge and experience with how to plot a school’s admissions journey so that it integrates into a thoughtfully designed school experience and connects with various stakeholders.
  • Kellie Hammond from Tanglin Trust School (Singapore) led a workshop on ‘Standard Operating Procedures’, also known as SOP’s within Admissions, identifying the strengths of your team, and the importance of people-driven teams in a process-driven industry.
  • Bekah Dawson from Oasis International School (Kuala Lumpur) shared practical steps for increasing efficiency and customer service in your admissions process by using OpenApply to its full potential.
  • Alyssa Lorch from Uruguayan American School covered impactful ways to grow or sustain great retention numbers at your school through connection, belonging, memorable events and bonding experiences for students and parents alike.
  • Marko Mädge from Bavarian International School gave a fascinating presentation on how storytelling can attract new students by promoting the school’s philosophy, its DNA and its success stories, and thereby stand out from the competition.
  • Christina Decu from ACS International School Hillingdon spoke about the importance of regularly reviewing and evaluating our processes to maintain what works well and adjust what could work better. The informative session explored what and who is important for an internal audit in the Admissions Department and what processes and changes might be implemented to improve the workflow, customer experience, conversion rates and most importantly, the joy of working at a school.
  • A panel consisting of Claudine Hakim (International School of London), Catalina Gardescu (Ideas Into Action SRL), Joshua Clark (TASIS The American School in England) and Raquel Silva (UWC Thailand) reviewed a cohesive approach from marketing key messages to enrolment management and the successful transition of students from the admissions office to the classroom.

We greatly appreciate the contributions from all of the speakers, and all resources are shared with the attendees after the conference.

What some of our attendees said!

“Thank you again for the conference. It was really helpful for me and inspiring and great to meet so many from this field. It must have been exhausting for you and your team – the organization was perfect.”Melanie Sommer-Joest, Berlin International School

“Fantastic – my first OpenApply experience and learned more than ever expected. Going home full of amazing ideas! ”Natalie Ward, British International School Riyadh

“An amazing conference, it was lovely to see everyone again. The topic of the conference was great and managed to get around many aspects of the life cycle of a student from enquiry to retention.”Henriette Dorph Hyldig, International School of Luxembourg

“AMAZING!!! The whole OA team treated us like kings and queens and we all felt super happy, spoiled and VERY SATISFIED with the results of the conference and with the interaction with colleagues and other experts. The personalized treatment we got from OA members was the best presentation card we could all have asked for. A BIG THANKS!”Giorgio Aguilar, International School of Florence

“I am so incredibly thankful to have had this opportunity to be a part of this OpenApply conference. The people I met, the overall experience, the thoughtfulness of the OA team, the information and inspirations I gained were all just so amazing. Thank you!!!”Bethany Cohen, Anglican International School Jerusalem

We thank everyone who joined us for being generous with their ideas and experiences, and we hope to see you at our next conference!

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