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IALC’s 30th workshop for owner operators

Representing a unique membership of owner-operated language schools from around the world, the International Association of Language Centres (IALC) held its 30th Workshop and AGM in Lisbon, Portugal last week – and cemented its reputation as an essential business forum for independently-operated language teaching institutions.

Almost one-third of agencies were first-time attendees

Education agencies in Spain told of a dip in the young adult market amid economic gloom

Describing the workshop – which brought 139 education agencies from 32 countries to meet and forge business with IALC members – as its most successful event to date, the IALC team in the UK HQ pointed out that 50% of agencies selected to attend had not selected an IALC event in the last three years.

The quality level of all IALC members was very tangible

“This is the biggest workshop we have had so far in terms of agencies, schools and exhibitors,” said IALC President, Alexandra Borges de Sousa, “and all the feedback so far has been really positive.”

During the event, which comprised seminars, social events, mini exhibition and workshop, agencies shared updates on trading conditions. Education agencies in Spain, for example, told of a dip in the young adult market amid economic gloom – although the parent-purchasing youth market is more buoyant. “I think last year and the year before, [young adults] paid using their savings, but now they have run out of money,” said Oscar Porras from Middleton School in Spain.

“That market is very slow,” he said, but he noted that high-end academic year programmes were also faring well.

Schools in attendance ranged in size from stand-alone schools to larger organisations with multiple programmes and with a new membership rule in play, schools affiliated to other networks, such as International House, were present for the first time.

Agent attendee Max Wey from Business Class in Switzerland said the quality level of all IALC members was very tangible.

Seminars presented included topics on social media marketing, market research and tribal leadership styles. For the first time agency and school senior managers attended the seminars together: a chance for them to share their business ideas and views on the industry.

The busy social programme took in some of the best sights of Lisbon as well as a visit to city-centre host school, CIAL. For pictures of the social highlights, see here.

Next year, the IALC Workshop is being hosted in Australia for the first time by Langports English Language College.


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