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Year in Review: Looking Back on 2023

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As the year draws to a close, it's time to reflect on our journey and the strides we've made in providing great products and services to our customers.

At Hannon Hill, our commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends and providing valuable insights to our clients has never wavered.

This year has been filled with successful events, insightful discussions, and meaningful connections.

From hosting conferences to engaging in thought leadership webinars, product updates to educational content, we've had a year brimming with learning, growth, and innovation opportunities.

Before we dive into the excitement of the upcoming year, let's take a moment to revisit and celebrate some milestones from the past year, starting with:

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As one of the leading higher education tech companies in the content management system space, it's only natural that we're fully invested in keeping up with industry trends and offering ways to help our clients stay up-to-date with those trends and the shifting landscape of higher-ed tech, web, and marketing. 

2023 Cascade User Conference 

We started the year with a bang when we hosted the 16th Cascade User Conference between February 20 and 22. CUC23 was a huge success that saw record attendance, with 300 individuals representing over 100 organizations.

The three-day event featured workshops, an array of content spread between technical and strategic sessions, the ever-famous Cascade CMS & Clive roadmap, and more!

To review the full 2023 Cascade CMS User Conference recap, take a look at our blog post.

Want to be part of the fun? 

Join Us At CUC24

Webinars

CUC23 was fun, and we didn't want it to stop! So, we decided to host a few more thought leadership events following our annual conference.

Seven, to be exact, resulting in 1,100 total registrations.

Artificial intelligence was all the rage this year and still is.

But, during the year's first half, a generative AI tool called ChatGPT swept the land.

That's why we kicked off the 2023 Hannon Hill webinar series with a round table discussion on Generative AI & ChatGPT on May 10 and asked the question:

"Is AI a friend or a foe for higher-end marketers?"

Bart Caylor, Caroline Dunn, Kyle Campbell, and Chris Rapozo tried to tackle that question by answering thought-provoking questions from the co-host of the Higher Ed Marketer Podcast, Troy Singer.

FRIEND? FOE? FIND OUT!

We subsequently held six more webinars between May and October, including:

Google Analytics 4 and Tracking for Higher-Ed on May 18, about two months before Google switched from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.

The round table discussion featured Andrea Cole, Jordan Burelson, Christy Phillips from Beacon Technologies, and Hannon Hill's Graham Lewis and Chris Rapozo.

Gavin Colborne from Little Forest, a UK-based Web Governance agency, joined the webinar series on June 14 to talk about accessibility and the importance of it for higher-ed websites.

On July 12, Matt Herzberger of VisionPoint Marketing and Hannon Hill's Charlie Holder educated participants on Mastering SEO for Higher Education Websites.

Todd Erkel, of Elliance, introduced his vision of "Web Smart Writing" to the audience on September 20 and shared how great content feeds a winning marketing strategy.

In the spirit of the baseball World Series, we closed out the 2023 Hannon Hill webinar series with a doubleheader on October 25.

First on deck were Monsido's Sterling Rose and Hannon Hill's Graham Lewis to present on the power of a well-managed website, followed by a talk on how to navigate the demographic enrollment cliff with Dr. Carrie Phillips, Ed.D., Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Hannon Hill's Chris Rapozo, and Kat Liendgens.

Watch the Webinars on Demand

Higher-Ed Conferences 

As much as we enjoyed hosting our own events, eventually, the road called us, and we answered.

We heard that Florida was lovely in the Spring, so Dean Smith, Craig Walters, and Chris Rapozo packed their bags along with our swag and headed to sunny Orlando, Fla., to launch the 2023 Hannon Hill Roadshow at the NCMPR Conference between March 30 and April 1.

Excited from connecting with current clients and meeting potential new ones at NCMPR, Dean Smith boarded a plane bound for Washington, D.C., with Hannon Hill's Senior Sales Engineer, Graham Lewis, in tow for the annual eduWeb Summit in July

This Fall, our entire Sales team, including our new Sales Manager, Rory Walsh, Dean Smith, Graham Lewis, and Craig Walters, flew to Buffalo, N.Y., for the HighEdWeb Annual Conference in October. Here is our takeaway from the conference. 

Chris Rapozo, along with Graham Lewis, finished our roadshow at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in Chicago last November.

We're already gearing up for the 2024 conference circuit and can't wait to see you there.

User Groups and Training

Hannon Hill's Head of Customer Success, Charlie Holder, hosted four user group meetings as well as a Product Updates Webinar this year.

Lead Trainer Sam Skinner stayed busy by hosting four Minicamps, three Groupcamps, one Velocitycamp, and one End-User Webinar.

In addition, Sam provided training to different types of users within the Cascade community.

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Our product team, led by Bradley Wagner, was busy this year creating a continuous stream of new functionality, publishing around 30 individual releases for our Cascade CMS Cloud customers as well as several Cascade CMS on-premise versions roughly quarterly, including v8.22, v8.22.1, v8.23, and v8.24.

A few of the notable product initiatives and updates included:

Web Governance and Accessibility

We know how vital web governance and accessibility are to our clients, and we focused on delivering several new features to help with that. 

This included an enhanced integration with Siteimprove to support prepublish checking of content and tools to help you better identify and fix broken links on your site with Allowed URLs and Valid Response Codes. 

We are in early discovery for a new in-product accessibility checker as well.

Improved editing tools and experiences 

Our product team updated the editing experience for end-users, added more drag-and-drop capabilities for working with content, and streamlined the content checks that run on submit.

We also introduced a new image editor supporting high-performance image formats like WebP and higher-quality edits.

Reporting and Analytics

To optimize business workflows, content management, and data analytics, the team added three new reports: a Workflows Report, an Unused Asset Report to help users identify unused content and improve SEO, and a new analytics report for Google Analytics 4.

Security & Performance

We know that application security is more important than ever. Our engineers and security teams were busy improving our services' overall security and performance and introduced more robust security controls to help you protect your systems.

We conducted several external audits, made numerous internal updates to security, and joined two cyber security programs—the Texas Risk and Authorization Management Program (TX-RAMP) and StateRAMP—to ensure we're delivering you the most secure product possible. 

For our Cascade Cloud customers, you already have access to all of the above. For our on-premise customers, be sure to download the latest release.

Download Cascade CMS 

We’re excited to share some of our upcoming product announcements for 2024. Stay tuned and be sure to check our conference, CUC24, for more.

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We continued our efforts to stay consistent with fresh, relevant content and posted at least one blog post a week. 

Some of the more popular posts included the 2023 version of the 14 Can't Miss Higher Ed Marketing Conferences, 10 Program Finders That Help Increase Enrollment, Higher-Ed Web Trends To Watch In 2023 and How Higher Ed Institutions Can Prepare For The Enrollment Cliff.

Case Studies and Spotlights

But what really gets us excited is to shine a spotlight on our clients and tell a story about the wonderful work they're doing while using Cascade CMS and Clive

Some of the Case Studies and Customer Spotlights include schools like:

Do you have a story you'd like us to share?

Contact marketing@hannonhill.com to set up a call to get started.

White papers

Our CEO, Kat Liendgens, in association with Mark Dirks of Beacon Technologies, Sandra Fancher of Stamats, Abu Noaman of Elliance, and David Poteet of NewCity crafted a thought leadership white paper on the Higher Education Web Trends: 2023 and beyond.

This white paper inspired the 2023 Cascade User Conference keynote roundtable discussion on the same topic. 

The second white paper of the year addresses an issue that's top of mind for just about every higher-ed marketing and enrollment professional. That issue is the demographic enrollment cliff.

In the white paper, Navigating the Demographic Enrollment Cliff - A Shift Towards Non-traditional Students in Higher Education Marketing, we explored the non-traditional student target audience and how to serve them.

The final webinar of the year with Dr. Phillips was based on the white paper.

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  • Our Support Team responded to 3,283 tickets, with a 19-minute median response time, and a remarkable satisfaction score of over 99 percent. 
  • Our Professional Services team worked with over 100 clients on projects ranging from implementations and QuickStarts, migrations, web services scripts, HTML, to various other website updates. 
  • Our customer renewal rate was over 97 percent.
  • Our Customer Success Team completed over 400 check-in calls and feedback sessions with our clients.
  • The seven webinars offered in 2023 helped 1,100 individuals reskill and upskill this year.

As we turn our gaze to the possibilities of 2024, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our customers, team members, partners, and peers for their invaluable contributions to a successful 2023. We eagerly anticipate further growth and shared successes in the year ahead!

Last Updated: Dec 28, 2023 11:00 AM