Call for Submissions

Note the call for submissions is now closed!

About IWMW 2017

IWMW, the annual conference for web management and digital teams, will be held at the University of Kent on 11-13 July 2017. The theme of this year’s event is “IWMW 2017: It’s The End Of The Institution As We Know It (And We Feel Fine)“.

This year’s event will provide opportunities to:

  • Discuss and explore the challenges facing web management and digital teams in today’s turbulent times
  • Hear about the challenges and the implications for the provision of large-scale digital services
  • See how institutions are responding to these challenges

as well as provide an opportunity to refresh the technical and organisational skills needed to provide institutional web services.

This conference will be of interest to:

  • Managers of web and digital services
  • Web developers
  • Digital communications and marketing staff
  • Vendors and agencies which deal with institutional web and digital teams

Background to This Year’s Event

The Higher Education and Research Bill and rise of private providers, Brexit, changes to immigration rules affecting the recruitment of overseas students, uncertainties regarding EU funding for research and programmes such as Erasmus, legislation such as CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) and even the Trump presidency, are all significant events which higher education institutions are currently concerned about. Such issues affect mission-critical digital services which institutions use.

All of this follows several years of funding uncertainty as well as possible concerns regarding the ethical and sustainable use of Cloud and social media services together with, in the higher education sector, the potential decline of the institutional web site as the main information point for recruitment and the rise of centralised services such as Unistats and UCAS.

Members of institutional web and digital teams will need to be aware of the implications of this changing environment on the future of higher education institutions and on the digital services they use.

In addition to planning for uncertain futures the web community has a need to refresh their skills to continue managing their services and to learn from others as to how address shared challenges. We continue to welcome proposals which aim to share best practices for mainstream web management activities. We will ensure there is a mix of strategic sessions and those focusing on mainstream web management activities; the final programme will be designed to appeal to the broad target audiences and parallel sessions will be streamed accordingly.

The IWMW 2017 event aims to provide opportunities for those with responsibilities for managing the range of digital services used by higher education institutions to prepare themselves, and their institutions, for the future.

Call for Submissions

The call for submissions for talks, workshop sessions and other ideas for IWMW 2017 is open. The initial set of submissions was open until 1 March 2017. The submissions are currently being analysed in order to identify gaps in the topics covered. Details of specific areas we would like to see covered will be provided. However until this information is made available we will continue to welcome further submissions, which should be made before 17 March.

Submission Brief

This year’s event has four main strands: (1) change; (2) challenges; (3) community and (4) champions. We invite submissions for plenary talks and workshop sessions (or other formats such as debates, panel sessions, lightning talks, birds of a feather sessions, etc.) which address these strands.

Submissions are invited which address these strands. Possible topics include but are not restricted to:

Big picture

  • Changing economic, political and funding context

Institutional issues

  • Governance
  • Ownership
  • Strategic developments
  • Organisational change
  • Championing and facilitating change

Information management

  • Content strategies
  • Content Management Systems (CMSs)
  • Ownership of information
  • Multi-channel communications/marketing
  • Single source of information
  • User-generated content (e.g. blogs, wikis, social media services, …) including services themselves and legal, quality and related issues
  • Open content
  • Legal issues
  • Digital preservation
  • Responding to queries


  • Supporting key audiences (students, staff and researchers)
  • Supporting other audiences (media, local community, …)
  • Supporting current, prospective and former audiences
  • Responsibilities in light of changing expectations, “post-truth” environment, …
  • Preparing key audiences for the digital environment beyond the institution
  • Working with new sectors and organisations

User issues

  • User need analysis
  • User experience
  • Usability and accessibility

Technical issues

  • Cloud services
  • Social media
  • Managing non-institutional digital services (self-hosted web sites, blogs, …)
  • Supporting mobile
  • Beyond the web
  • Personalisation and segmentation (delivering different content to different types of student and ensuring that this is done right).
  • SEO
  • Technical innovations (e.g. VR, AI, …)
  • Security and privacy issues


  • Community-building
  • Examples of and evidence of value of community activities
  • Relationship between communications and other institutional services
  • Relationship between communications and academics


  • Demonstrating value
  • Promoting services
  • Outsourcing
  • Dealing with digital agencies
  • Staff development
  • Legal and ethical issues

Who Can Submit Proposals?

Most of the speakers and workshop facilitators at previous event have been practitioners who are members of institutional web and digital teams. There have also been contributions from commercial sponsors of the event (although these should not be product pitches). This year we also welcome submissions from representatives of key user communities (students, academics and researchers).

Submissions from Commercial Sector

Sponsorship opportunities exist for the commercial sector. The sponsorship options include opportunities for plenary talks and workshop sessions as well as opportunities to sponsor conference merchandise and social events. If you wish to discuss possible sponsorship options please contact Brian Kelly (email or Claire Gibbons (email, the IWMW 2017 co-chairs. Note simple product pitches are not accepted.

Submitting Your Proposal

Submissions can be made using the online form or by email.  If you send a proposal by email it should include:

  • Draft title and brief abstract
  • Proposed format plenary talk; workshop; panel; debate …
  • Your details (your name, institution, role, knowledge of IWMW events)
  • Relevance to event strands: change; challenges; community and champions.

Note if you wish to discuss a possible proposal (in particular if you have not spoken at an IWMW event previously) you may wish to discuss your idea with the event co-chairs: Brian Kelly (email: and Claire Gibbons (email: or a member of the advisory group.

Speakers and workshop facilitators will have a reduced fee for attendance at the 3-day events which covers all social events. Speakers and workshop facilitators who are not directly involved in institutional web management can attend the day of their session free-of-charge.