Today's propspective parents and students are obsessed with safety. On a recent trip through Concourse A at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, we spotted this CVS vending machine. At a time when everyone is freaked out that they won't have access to healthcare items when needed, should you ponder putting a similar vending machine on campus?
If you've been following Render(ings) for the past year, you know we've mentioned the increased emphasis and attention today's parents place on dining, residential life, and student services during campus visits. Specific to residence life, how do you reveal the breadth and experience of residential living on campus when you show a generic showroom? And does it have to be high-tech?
Recently, I joined some friends as they searched for a new home. A new home, like a residential college experience, is both an intimate product choice and investment.
I really liked how they had these large boards (imaged and finished on a nice solid board) revealed models; photos on one side and floor plans on the other. I watched as the salespeople used them, as did potential buyers. Putting these "in-hand" allowed a tactic sensory moment and also made it more real (vs. digital).
How can you emulate this approach on your campus?
A board could have one side listing all the types of halls (community, suite, apartment), who lives there (first-years or upperclassmen), a map of where it is on campus, and exterior and interior (community spaces) photos.
The other side could have floor plans of the building/hall as well as the floor plan of room(s) and photos of current students' rooms.
Bonus points for putting them on the walls of your showrooms to help turn the space into a true residential sales center.
Who is visiting campus? What do they want from the campus visit?
The answers to these questions have changed in recent years, and we have found that too many institutions are not adjusting their visit to correspond with those changes. In the latest issue of Octane, enrollmentFUEL's quarterly magazine, Jeff Kallay responds and offers up a solution to those struggling to keep the attention of visiting families. Disrupt Your Campus Visit Experience makes the case for flexible tours and relevant content tailored to the GenX parent and Gen Z student now in the college search process.
The article provides the basics of what families are asking while on campus and includes three best practice examples from our clients that have "disrupted" their campus visit to better suit prospective families.
Is your campus visit relevant to today's audience?
Recently, at the start of their spring break, we passed through Birmingham-Southern College's campus.
At the gate of campus, their awesome Campus Police officers (or "CamPo" as they are known at BSC) set up an "auto check" station for students who were beginning drives to their spring break destinations. Students could get their air tire pressure, fluids, and more checked by the very helpful officers.
In a world where parents are looking for institutions that keep students in mind and staff will have their children's backs, this is a hit! Kudos to BSC for making this happen!
We call it the "seismic shift"—from Boomer "helicopter" parents and Millennials in your enrollment funnel and touring campus, to GenX parents and Homeland/GenZ students. This article from AdWeek gives key insights into understanding and connecting with the often-overlooked GenX parental units.