5 Travel Season Must-Haves

It’s a familiar time of year for enrollment offices across the country – a season filled with the smell of rental car air fresheners and the sound of tires rolling down the highway. Travel season is here, and your friends at Clark have pulled together a list of our Top 5 travel season must-haves to help keep your team sane and productive as you ramp up recruitment for your institution’s next class!

1. iPad and CRM Access

Admissions counselors must always be online. In addition to tasks between fairs like checking your email and calling back a parent, it pays to have access to the internet and your CRM during college fairs too.

  • If you’ve already been in conversation with a student and they stop by and visit you at a college fair, you can look up their application status in real-time. You may even get a transcript while you’re physically at their school.
  • If you’ve already collected a list of inquiries at a given location, you can spend some time beforehand reviewing their file for talking points like major of interest, extracurricular involvement, or notes on any of your previous conversations.
  • It can be helpful to research alumni who may work at or have children at the location you’re visiting – leverage all the information that’s available to you in order to make valuable connections!
  • Don’t forget to snap some pictures and videos to share with your social media coordinator!

2. The Signature Rolling Suitcase

We’ve all experienced the familiar parade of fellow counselors scurrying through the double doors of at least 4 schools a day. Don’t find yourself as one of the poor souls that misses the rolling suitcase memo each year and is left fumbling with half-open cardboard boxes straight from the printer. Ditch those boxes in the trunk and pack your suitcase with just enough materials for each fair.

  • If your office requires a materials inventory for each of your stops, repacking the suitcase from your car in smaller quantities will help your inventory counts be more manageable.
  • No one wants to put travel pieces on the table with bent corners or dirty pages. Protect your investment and put your best foot forward by transporting smaller quantities each time you set up.
  • Maneuvering through the inevitable 12 flights of stairs you will encounter each day is more manageable on wheels.
  • In short, save some time and your back. The rolling suitcase is king.

3. Trash-Resistant Travel Piece

As you leave high school fairs, you will inevitably see those dreaded trashcans near the door filled with precious travel pieces. Make sure that your school’s collateral is making it out the door and into homes instead of the recycling bin.

  • Most practically, be bold in your decisions regarding print size and format. In a stack of 20 pieces, it can pay to be the one that takes on a varied shape or size and stands out in a world of 6 x 9” postcards.
  • Students may not know all the specific elements that create a quality print piece – paper weight, finish, design, and more. But, collectively, they do know quality when they see it and feel it. The same way a postcard finds the trashcan before a magazine at your local post office, a high-quality travel piece is more likely to be perused and less likely to end up in the trash at a college fair.
  • Content is always key. Make sure your visuals are striking, and your copy tells a story. Gen Z knows when they are being marketed to, so authenticity is the best way to increase your shelf-life.

Does your team need more tips on effectively engaging Gen Z or creating collateral that moves students to action? Find out more about our services.

4. Niche Extras

Every college fair table has a standard set up that usually includes a pennant or mascot piece, a travel piece, some inquiry cards, pens, and maybe one or two niche topic pieces about financial aid or student life. If you really want your conversations to make an impact on students long-term, it helps to have a stash of more niche information in your travel suitcase that you can pull out as needed. Examples include:

  • Major-specific information
  • Local scholarships
  • Parent piece
  • Transfer/Commuter topics

5. School Spirit

Above all, make sure you enter travel season with excitement – whether you’re an alum of your institution, had a wonderful college experience, or just love working with high school students, take time to remind yourself why you do your job. Students can sense whether or not you love what you’re selling, so dig into that school spirit, and get ready to find mission-fit students for your next class!

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