In March 2020, Languages Canada received great news: the association had been awarded a grant from the CanExport – Associations program to run marketing activities along with members from April 2020 to March 2021.
Just as the LC Trade Mission to Thailand and Vietnam wrapped up and borders started to close due to COVID-19, the association and its members had to put a halt on all travel-related activities. This caused a shift in focus and efforts were then concentrated on creating solutions for online English and French course delivery as well as helping members navigate the many challenges of the pandemic.
Fast forward to October 2020 and, with the advocacy work championed by Languages Canada and partner associations, the Government of Canada reopened the borders to study permit holders. Languages Canada launched the Study Safe Corridor and, despite the difficulties and additional costs, students started travelling again—albeit in greatly reduced numbers.
Appetite for studies in Canada continued to be high and members needed more support than ever to show the world that Canada was ready to welcome students. At that point, Languages Canada pivoted its marketing strategy and created several initiatives to reallocate CanExport funding to support members’ international marketing activities through direct and indirect subsidies.
In January 2021, Languages Canada held its first-ever virtual fair, with 20 members participating. During the first quarter of the year, LC and 11 members attended three ICEF virtual agent workshops: South Asia, MENA, and Eurasia.
Additionally, during the first three months of the year, 19 members took part in a series of online marketing campaigns, such as paid advertising, web consulting, development of CRMs, marketing automation and student application software. Through these campaigns, participating members reached hundreds of thousands of students, of which thousands were converted into actual enrollments.
In total, the above member-focused marketing activities had a combined participation of 54 programs—one in four LC members! This was all made possible by the association's ability to repurpose CanExport funding, which was originally earmarked for face-to-face marketing activities.
Languages Canada would like to thank all those who participated! Through direct and indirect contributions, the following members were granted close to $200,000 in marketing subsidies through the CanExport program: