February 2018

Every month we round up all the best things we've read, watched, or experienced and share it all with you! 

If you just can't get enough, check out Render's Experiences. Join Jeff and Brittney at a Courtyard in Michigan talking about yield season, personalization, and HQ trivia.

”Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
— George Addair


The Best Brands Are The Ones That Build “Belonging”

As humans, we crave belonging, but we now live in a world full of social isolation. Great brands are tapping into the need for connection by actively building a tribe, therefore; creating brand loyalty. Real connections are more inclined to take shape with in-person interactions.

“If you want to make a society work, then you don’t keep underscoring the places where you’re different – you underscore your shared humanity”
—Rachel Yehuda, Mount Sinai Hospital, from Junger’s Tribe

How are you as an institution creating those shared experiences to build a tribe with your prospective students?

Personalization Is a Priority for Retailers, but Can Online Vendors Deliver?

Retailers, both brick-and-mortar and online, are rethinking how they personalize their guest experiences. Higher education should follow suit and think about personalization in the campus visit.
Key takeaways for personalization:

  1. It has to be relevant

  2. The future is to enable the journey not create it.

  3. Make it easier for them to do what they want.

Most colleges and universities craft campus visits that showcase their best side. Some offer a litany of menu items (class visit, meet with faculty/coach, lunch) but rarely do they ask what the prospective family wants. 
Personalization isn’t about the options you can offer. It’s about asking “What do you want?”



HQ - Live Trivia Game Show

Everyone’s favorite trivia show app. Chances are your students are playing. It’s been a fleeting fancy for many of the Render team for both fun and discussion.
The concept is simple: answer 12 questions correctly and win money. The questions get harder as the game progresses. Oh, and sometimes you are playing against half a million people from all around the globe. The game is broadcast live at 3 pm and 9 pm EST via the app. It’s not recorded so you have to watch/participate live to see that day's game. 
Things we’re pondering:

  • After decades of asynchronous viewing (VHS/CD/DVR/Streaming), HQ goes back to a live broadcast at a dedicated time. Will this flip become more of a trend?

  • What gamification can be created for the admissions process and campus visit?

Download, play and see for yourself.


Hotel EMC2

This Chicago hotel brands itself as the intersection of art and science. Yes, the name is a nod to Albert Einstein's equation related to special relativity. It is surrounded by hospitals and research labs making the design theme all the more apropos. With bathrooms patterned off wet labs and a restaurant lined with bookshelves and surrealist artwork, this hotel is an experience indicative of the upcoming trends in boutique hospitality. 

They also have Leo & Cleo, hotel robots that deliver room service or any number of items guests may request through the Amazon Echo Dot in their room.



Let's talk about Spring Break. Don't we all wish we could back to college, if only for that week off in the spring! Where would you want to go for Spring Break this year?