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The A-Z of NUS Strategic Conversation – aka how did we end-up in Popworld on a Wednesday at 3am?

What a great two days I’ve had in Cardiff with Chief Execs, customers and colleagues talking and listening about the future of the student movement. It’s been a few years since I last attended but it was just like old times with the same really positive vibes, despite the really challenging times SU’s are still tackling. So, what did I learn? I started writing an A-Z of my thoughts but no-one needs that, so here’s A-E: 

A is for Awards – It was great to see so many SU’s doing so well with the UnionCloud, Employee Engagement and QSU trophies being handed out on the first night. A lot of people were talking about the old NUS awards and how they were a great way to identify and share best practice – do you think we need to bring them back in some shape or form? How else do we identify new ideas and innovation?   

B for Budgets – It was heartbreaking to hear about how SU’s are really struggling post-COVID and how the Cost of Living is impacting operations and the student experience. We ran a well attended workshop about how the sector can counter this and there were loads of good ideas on things that could develop in 2023.

Strategic Conversation 2022 evening dinner

C for Collaboration – It was clear there was a renewed spirit for SU’s to work together to overcome some of these challenges. At native, we work with over 60 SU’s and I’ve got a long list of ideas to explore from bulk buying freshers tote bags to finding a national sponsor for the food and heat banks many SU’s have set up.  

D for Digital Innovation – And a big part of that is what more we can do in the digital space. Many SU’s still seem to be struggling to connect with students through the noise and traffic, despite students spending more time on their phones than ever before. I’m really excited to launch our 2023 program of content for SU’s really soon where we’ll have “thumb-stopping” events that will really connect with Gen Z students – keep your eyes peeled

And finally, E is for Energy – Probably the best thing about the people in the movement is the energy they bring when they are all in the same space. The passion and depth of knowledge is always really impressive and it’s easy to lose track of time once you get into a deep conversation about how to address some of the challenges ahead. Which probably explains how we all ended up somewhere very unexpected!

Get in touch to find out more about how native can support your SU next year – or who sang what at Karaoke!

Thanks for reading,

Tony Payne, Senior Sales Manager