College admissions teams are out and about almost constantly—representing their university's mission and values to the masses everywhere from college fairs to high schools to athletic events. But with your most high-volume events, how can you capitalize on the level of attendance?
Here are a few ways to take advantage of heavy foot traffic at college events.
Every soon-to-be college student is inundated with branded gear—t-shirts, lanyards, tote bags, etc.—from virtually every college with whom they come into contact. But when it comes to a high-foot-traffic event for your college or university, it pays to personalize. Err on the side of specificity—if it's an event that traditionally garners you a host of new student leads, create branded gear specific to the event. And most of all—get creative and have fun. Don't simply brandish a t-shirt with your logo—say something that will be meaningful to the young attendees of the event, rather than meaningful to just your staff or existing students.
There's no better way to draw foot traffic to your admissions team to more likely strike up natural conversations about college selection than by offering something of value—and convenience. Transform your standard booth you tote to college fairs and major athletic events into a charging station with USB outlets—or a wi-fi hotspot for those looking to curb their data consumption. (Just remember to make it known who is providing this helpful service and why for recallability after the fact.) And if it's an outdoor event during warmer months, a cool drink can go a long way.
Especially at competitive events where multitudes of other colleges and universities are represented, simply handing out brochures and viewbooks and offering conversation is a tough sell for gaining share of the attention. Take it to the next level by introducing interactive elements to your station—whether it's a VR tour of your campus, a game for worthwhile giveaways or something as simple as a step and repeat for Instagramming. Move beyond pamphlets.
This one maybe feels like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how few admissions teams offer seating during events at which they're exhibiting. Offer seating areas with surfaces for no-strings-attached breathers. And curb how aggressive you get with sales-pitching to those who stop. Lead with a table-tent or a branded tablecloth or some other table-topper that shows how amazing your college experience is. Let those who stop come to you whenever possible to indicate buy-in to what you're selling.