Call for Submissions


Phase 1 of the call for submissions closed on 12 February. These submissions have been reviewed in order to identify gaps in the programme and ways in which the event can be improved. Phase 2 of the call for submissions opened on 13 February and officially closed on 26 February. Although we have received a large number of submissions we do wish to have some further submissions which we can use if larger numbers of delegates book for the event than expected or if any of the submissions are withdrawn.

About IWMW 2018

The Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) is the premier annual conference for those with responsibilities for providing institutional web services and other digital channels. Our 2018 event will be held at the University of York on 11-13 July 2018.

Now in its 22nd year, IWMW is the ‘must attend’ conference for web and digital professionals across the UK Higher Education sector who have an interest in a wide range of topics, including digital transformation, website/digital governance, university strategy, digital strategy, UX, design, development, user-journeys and tasks, team management, leadership, content, measurement and analytics, change management, big data, student recruitment and retention, and communications.

This year’s event will provide opportunities to:

  • Discuss and explore the challenges facing web and digital managers, and their teams, in today’s turbulent times
  • Hear about the challenges and the implications for the provision of large-scale digital services in an increasingly competitive sector
  • Learn how institutions are responding to these challenges and improving their digital footprint to both meet the increasing demands of users, as well as reach their own organisational goals

The event also provides the opportunity for delegates to refresh the technical and organisational skills needed to provide institutional web and digital services.

This conference will be of interest to:

  • Managers of web and digital services
  • Web developers
  • Senior managers engaging with Digital Transformation initiatives at their institution
  • Digital communications and marketing practitioners
  • Vendors and agencies which deal with institutional web and digital teams

Background to This Year’s Event

The web has changed beyond recognition over the last decade, and so has the role of the institutional web team and the professionals within it. With new technologies and channels of communication emerging at a rapid rate, we’ve grown from mainly technical teams of web editors and programmers/developers into multidisciplinary digital professionals in a unique position to drive excellent user experiences and nurture our institutions’ digital footprints.  Our work is no longer standard and operational, but strategic, agile and responsive.

However, there’s still a long way to go.  Our time and resources are often stretched, and senior management and stakeholders are still unsure how the web, and associated digital channels, can help the institution reach its aims and objectives.

With the rise of omni-channel marketing and communications, Generation Z, Millennials, and Alphas, organisational restructures, and budget-cuts, how do we become experts in measurement and reporting, governance and compliance, and the voice of our users? And how do we get our expertise recognised?

Most of all, how can digital teams stay one step ahead and keep on doing more, in the most effective, user-oriented, and collaborative way?

IWMW 2018: Streamlining Digital will explore these topics, and more!

We continue to welcome proposals which aim to share best practices for mainstream web and digital management activities. We will ensure there is a mix of strategic sessions and those focusing on the digital practitioner. The final programme will be designed to appeal to the event’s broad target audiences to prepare them, and their institutions, for the future.

Call for Submissions

The call for submissions for talks, workshop sessions and other ideas for IWMW 2018 is now open. The initial closing date will be Monday 12th February.  After that we may accept submissions in particular areas if there is a gap in the programme.

Submission Brief

We invite submissions for plenary talks and workshop sessions (or other formats such as debates, panel sessions, lightning talks, birds of a feather sessions, roundtables etc.) which address the topics outlined in the background to the event.

If you have not attended previous IWMW events you may wish to take a look at the IWMW 2016 or IWMW 2017 programmes to get a feel for the format of the event and topics covered.

Possible topics include but are not restricted to:

Big picture

  • Changing economic, political and funding context
  • Increased competition
  • External legislation, e.g. CMA, GDPR

Institutional issues

  • Governance
  • Ownership
  • Strategic developments
  • Organisational change
  • Championing and facilitating change
  • Management and Leadership
  • Digital transformation
  • Communities of practice

Information management

  • Content strategies
  • Content Management Systems (CMSs)
  • Governance Management Systems
  • Ownership of information
  • Personalisation
  • 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 and archiving
  • Responding to queries


  • Supporting key audiences (prospective and 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 needs analysis
  • User journeys
  • 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?

We welcome submissions from a wide variety of experts and professionals, who feel that they have something to share with the HE Digital community.  Broadly speaking, our submissions come from:

  • Members of institutional web and digital teams
  • Representatives of key user communities: students, senior managers, academics and researchers
  • Commercial sponsors of the event
  • Submissions from the 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, and have a stand at the conference exhibition.

Our full sponsorship rate card will be available soon.

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 …
  • How your proposal matches with this year’s theme and background
  • Your details (your name, institution, department, role)
  • Details of any previous IWMW experience, be that as a delegate, speaker, workshop leader or sponsor
  • Previous speaker experience (IWMW or other event)

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 and Claire Gibbons or a member of the advisory group.

Submissions Review Process

Each submission will be reviewed by a small panel made up from IWMW 2018 Advisory Group members.  This panel will ensure that all sessions fit in with, and supports, the event theme, and its audiences.

Everyone who submits a proposal will be contacted by a member of the Advisory Group with the outcome of their submission.

Benefits for Speakers and Workshop Facilitators

IWMW provides the opportunity for speakers and facilitators to enhance their own profile within the HE web and digital community, as well as learn from others across this exciting and engaging sector.

Speakers and workshop facilitators will have a reduced fee for attendance at the 3-day events which covers all accommodation, meals and refreshments and 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.

Thanks to the work done by the IWMW 2018 Advisory Group we will be introducing additional support for those considering submitting a proposal.

All confirmed speakers and facilitators will be provided with a Speaker Handbook to ensure that both the speaker, and delegate, get the best out of each session.

New, and under represented speakers

We strongly encourage submissions from those who haven’t spoken at an IWMW event before, as well as from those groups that are traditionally under. This year, for the first time, we will have a Speaker Buddy Scheme for those that wish to join it, making sure that you are supported and encouraged at every step of the way.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Key Information