All your great career dreams and plans can go by the board if you can’t find the right mentors to show you the ropes, and you can find some of the best mentors at college. This is what motivates most highschoolers when they visit an education fair, and having your college participating in these fairs is a great opportunity to scout out some of your future star students. At the very least, it is important to keep your college, your brand if you will, visible at all times. But don’t assume that people will flock to you if you put up a big sign and hand out brochures. It will take much more than that.
Before You arrive
You need to develop a promotional strategy in advance, anddo pre-event research. Advertise your attendance through email and social media if possible. Think of it as an investment for which you need to ensure the maximum return.
Education fairs can be enormous eventswith hundreds of exhibitors, and when all of you are trying to sell the way you teach, competition is tough. But even if it’s the first time your school exhibits here, it can be a fantastic boost to your credibility among your future students. Consider renting a smaller booth for starters. Always make sure you know the details of the allotted space in order to organize everything. Here are some essential do’s and don’ts to chew over.
Gauge the amount of promotional material right, as you don’t want to run out of them halfway through. Don’t pile up the clutter too much, your school logo and your enthusiastic student representatives should be in clear focus. Display whatever it is that you know makes your students proud – be it their football team, their A Capella student group, or the best auditorium you have.
You will engage in face-to-face communication, but you will have to grab attention to your display stand. Start off with a minimalistic but bold display stand that stands out, and deck it with banners, giveaways, literature, and other material – but not too much! If you are holding a presentation, you need tobe well prepared. Keep it short and sweet, the attention span of a teenager is a marvelously short one.Consider holding a contest or a prize drawing to motivate people to drop by.
Your booth is not your little den, so don’t leave food and drinks around while you doze off in a chair. Be sure to wearyour school colors, and surround yourself with the most charismatic students on campus. You want the type of people teenagers aspire to be. You want superstar students, but you also want smart students who make your school proud.
The Right Approach
Be friendly and outgoing. Make sure that your student representatives feel comfortable to be there, and supply them with all the information that may be required of them. They should roll up their sleeves and talk to people.
You also need to size up your competition. Pay an unassuming visit to the rival booth, see how they are doing. Fairs are a playground for little spy games, so be cautious when approachedby well informed and too curious visitors.
Investment in the Future
Exhibiting at aneducation faircan be a big investment of money and time, so you should make the most of it. Done right, it can be an effective method of flaunting your school colors. Focus on quality, not quantity. The number of leads might not be worth a dime if you missed talking to the right highschoolers in a way they care about.Attendees should stillcome to your booth in large numbers, so keep them occupied and well informed.
Most importantly, always be yourselves, and never imitate other colleges. You have your own way of doing it, and if there was ever a time for individuality, it was in college.