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Washi Tape: Not Just for Taping

Aesthetics matter. Every time we're on a campus, we take loads of photos for our clients of positive, negative, and missed cues, many of which are rooted in the aesthetics of campus.

We often think that investing in aethetics of building interiors is going to be expensive. Installing art, painting, designing and installing large graphics, wrapped windows... it's can be a daunting task (but well worth the effort).

But during our travels, we've started to see college students take aesethics into their own hands. Without big resources to make interiors more fun and festive, they are turning to a cheap option to spruce things up - washi tape.

Check out some of the examples from our travels. Can you invest in washi tape and let your students take it from there?

Three Cheers for Chalkboards

Why do displays for your Welcome Centers have to be overly designed, stuffy, and outdated the moment you print them?

Three cheers for our clients who've chosen to install chalkboards and use them in fun, purposeful ways in their daily campus visits! They're modern, timeless, and, again, FUN.

(Also included: a few of our most recent favorite chalkboards in our experience excursions!)

Latest Attention Getters: Balloons?

While visiting Saint Joseph's University (PA), we were touring the dining hall when...bump...we hit a balloon. Tied to the end was the note below from one of their sororities advertising an upcoming philanthropy event.

Need to advertise when ambassador applications open? Or need volunteers for an upcoming open house?

Have you ever considered...balloons?

Look at them all! How can college students avoid grabbing a balloon and looking at the note on the bottom? Brilliant!

Look at them all! How can college students avoid grabbing a balloon and looking at the note on the bottom? Brilliant!

The note was attached to the bottom of the string.

The note was attached to the bottom of the string.

Experience Economy: Yeti

You know the Render Experiences team is all about the experience. And The Experience Economy (our manifesto) tells us you can charge a premium price for a product or service as long as you're staging an experience.

During our recent travels, we were able to experience the new Yeti flagship store in Austin, TX, which is thriving due in large part to their incorporation of many tenets of The Experience Economy.

Three things you should know about this space:

  1. It is the only place (physical or online) in the country where you can customize your Yeti cooler and products with your choice of buckles and latches.

  2. They don't just want to sell you a cooler but also the lifestyle of owning one of their coolers (the bar, cornhole, boat, etc).

  3. In a world where technology is difficult to manage and maintain, they threw people at their customers. Lots of staff around to help chat with you about their products and help you customize your experience.

Biggest missed opportunity: They didn't set expectations about how to best experience the store or why we should explore all the experiential pieces.

Memory we'll have forever: We overheard them tell a customer from Illinois that if he were to customize his Yeti cooler, he'd only be 1 out of about 20 people in the entire state of Illinois to own a customized Yeti. Talk about captializing on the values of discovery and provenance!

Sidewalks: Not Just for Walking

Let's face it: our faces point down when walking these days. Mostly because we're all walking with a supercomputer in our hands. 

So why do we keep putting up expensive wayfinding on signage? Many businesses and colleges are moving to sidewalk graphics and paint to make announcements and get visitors where they need to be. 

Can you start using your sidewalks more?

Confirmations with Pizzazz, Please!

Recently, a friend of Render's had an unexpected surprise hit her inbox after a little online shopping.

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How festive is this confirmation email?And once Celesta's package shipped... 

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If Native can make buying and shipping deodorant this fun, how can you rewrite your campus visit confirmation emails to be more inviting and celebratory? Your visitors are taking the time to invest and visualize themselves as part of your community. Let's have some fun with our emails in an authentic, genuine way that reflects how grateful we are to see them on campus. 

Lobby Conversation Starters

Ever sat in the lobby of a doctor's office? Us too. It's quiet, uncomfortable, and the only noise you typically hear is the shuffling of magazines and papers.

Breaking this quiet is tough. Music, good furniture, ambassadors and staff floating in the lobby, and good hospitality can all help. But getting families to converse with each other/breaking the ice is the toughest part.

Recently, we were at a restaurant where conversation starters were stamped right into the table. They were provocative, funny, and definitely broke the ice.

What can you do to help start conversations between families?

Yes, I'll have a side of feelings with my burger. 

Yes, I'll have a side of feelings with my burger. 

The Student Experience: Birthdays

Our name is Render Experiences, which means we spend time pondering the overall student experience beyond the campus tour into their time as a student and beyond.

College campuses celebrate student birthdays in a variety of ways (and if you don't, you should be). Recently while traveling through Asheville, NC, we saw the display below at their airport. If you are traveling on your birthday and bring your ID to Guest Services, you can pick a gift from the airport! How fun!

We know Admissions can't control everything (nor do you have the budget for everything), but could something like this be a collaboration between Admissions & another office on campus?

PS: I definitely would have picked the koozie. You?

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Disrupt Your Campus Visit Experience

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 OctaneenrollmentFUEL'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?

Something for Everyone

There are many reasons why we all love our monthly delivery subscriptions. Its fun; and excitement is built for several days before delivery because you never know what's coming. One of the Joyce family favorites is BarkBox. With two dogs and 1,000 square feet in New England, we utilize all the animal entertainment options possible.

One of the things we love about Barkbox is that there are just as many options for humans to enjoy the experience as there are for your animals.

We pondered - what does this mean for your communication plan? Most of our clients heavily utilize email - one plan for reaching students, one for parents. But, in a world of monthly delivery services, should you consider a family-inclusive monthly delivery to their home?

Fun for children, funny for adults, tasty for dogs.

Fun for children, funny for adults, tasty for dogs.

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