How to Get Started
Logging Into the Platform
Starting mid-July, each registered exhibitor will receive an email from NACAC with onboarding information. Once you log in, you'll be guided through an online set-up checklist. You'll have access to technical support through chat, email, how-to videos, and a weekly webinar. We want to ensure you receive excellent support.
Don't delay in getting started on the platform. You'll want your college to be visible when NACAC begins marketing to counselors and students.
Technical support is available through chat, email, and one-on-one meetings. Information will be provided to you as part of the onboarding process.
Do you have questions about the NACAC Virtual College Fairs program? Please contact us at email@example.com.
Billing and Account Support
Do you have questions about your fair registrations, billing, invoice, or account? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants in the fair (students, parents, counselors) will receive day-of support from NACAC at email@example.com and via the platform's chat feature.
You're invited! Join us for an upcoming webinar to view a demo of the platform and to hear tips for reaching your student recruitment goals. The webinar is one-hour long, with 30 minutes devoted to Q&A.
The webinar is called "Top Ten Tips for Maximizing Your Leads at NACAC Virtual College Fairs" and features Pia Brown, director of the NACAC National College Fairs program, and Sujoy Roy, founder and CEO of VisitDays.
Recordings and Slides
Registration is now open for the next webinar:
- Thursday, August 27 at 11 a.m. ET - Register here
The questions that came in during the first webinar were terrific! Time didn't allow us to answer them all, but we are posting the answers here in this FAQ section. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions.
General Virtual Fair Questions
Q: How do we get started?
After you register as an exhibitor, you'll receive a welcome email from NACAC and an onboarding email from VisitDays, our technology provider. The second email will provide you with login information. Once you log in, you'll be guided through an online set-up checklist.
The exhibitor contact is the one who receives these emails. If that's not you, please check to see that they've invited you as a user to the platform or ask them to do so. You can also contact us at email@example.com.
Q: These fairs are eight hours long. Are we suppossed to have content for the full eight hours?
Not at all! This is a key difference between NACAC's virtual college fairs and an in-person fairs.
At an in-person fair, a college representative needs to be at the booth for the entire time. At a virtual fair, you can split the work among several staff and you'll be "manning" the virtual booth from your office (or home).
In a nutshell, we recommend that your college offers 2-4 Zoom sessions of 30-45 minutes each. We also recommend that you offer enough "Schedule a Meeting" slots to cover the fair hours. Outside of this schedule, students can view your videos and profile page and contact you for more information.
Q: How early do students and counselors have access to the fairs?
Counselors will have access to virtualcollegefairs.org starting July 29 when counselor registration opens. Students will have access starting Aug. 17 when student registration for all four fairs opens.
As soon as they have registered, counselors and students can view and favorite college profiles, explore the Zoom sessions offered and add them to their virtual itinerary, watch and favorite vidoes, and book meetings. Zoom sessions happen only on the day of the fair.
Q: How early in advance should we have things set up?
At a minimum, we recommend that you add your college's photo and description as soon as you receive login access. This is because counselors will have access to the platform starting July 29 and are key to recommending these fairs and colleges to students and parents. Students will have access starting Aug. 17.
Because of the way the platform prioritizes Zoom sessions, you'll get extra attention if you have these set up sooner rather than later.
Q: When is the last time we can make edits before the fair?
We recommend that you be ready to go and not make any additional edits starting 24 hours before the fair is set to begin.
Q: How long will students be able to see the content we’ve added for a fair?
As soon as a fair ends, it is “closed” and will no longer appear as an option on virtualcollegefairs.org. The list of exhibitors and the list of sessions associated with that fair will no longer be displayed.
That being said, the Videos tab never goes away and any videos you’ve added will continue to be searchable and viewable. Also, if an individual has “favorited” your college’s profile page or videos, those will always be available to the user via their Favorites tab. If a person has a direct link to your profile page or a video, that too will bring up your content.
Q: Is the content that we create "wiped clean" from fair to fair?
No. The content you add – photos, videos, descriptions, PDFs, and users – will stay on the platform from fair to fair. What doesn’t stay on the platform are the Zoom sessions – those drop off as the dates and times expire.
The one-on-one meetings also drop off as the date/time for each meeting passes. Since some of these meetings may be scheduled for a date post-fair, those will continue to be accessible from your college’s profile page until the date passes.
At the moment, NACAC has no plans to "prune" college content (such as videos) after a certain amount of time (such as a year), but may revisit this later and would give you plenty of notice if so.
Adding Additional Staff
Q: Can we invite other admission staff members to the platform?
Yes! Just add them as a user. Invite as many staff as you wish. Once added to the platform, you can assign them to offer a Zoom session or to cover a "Schedule a Meeting" slot. The person's photo and contact information can also be added and viewed by students. Note: As a security measure, only staff with the same ".edu" email address as you may be added.
Q: Are all users able to edit the exhibitor profile information?
Only users with their permission setting set to "School Administrator" have the ability to edit exhibitor profile information.
Q: If a representative from an academic college will be presenting a session, should we add them as a user?
It depends on your university's practices. If a professor, for example, is added as a user, their name and contact information will appear alongside that session for students to see. This may not be a good idea if you want students to contact an admission representative first and not the faculty member directly.
Instead, a staff person from the admission office could be listed as the session contact and the faculty member prominently mentioned in the session title and description. (By the way, it's great that you're offering a session with a representative from an academic college!)
Questions About the Zoom Sessions
Q: How do I set up a session?
Q: Can the sessions be pre-recorded or do they have to be live?
You are welcome to show a pre-recorded video as part of your session.
You’ll still need someone in the Zoom room, though, to tee up the video for students who are there and to answer questions during the video and afterwards.
Q: Can we create sessions that overlap time-wise so long as we have different Zoom accounts for it?
Exactly! You’ll be fine offering overlapping sessions as long as you have a different Zoom account and link.
Q: Can we add more than two staff members per session?
Yes, more than one user can be added as a presenter for a live session. However, the session may only be associated with one Zoom link.
Q: Should we use Zoom webinar or Zoom meeting?
Q: Is there a maximum number of sessions we can host?
We recommend offering 2-4 Zoom sessions of 30-45 minutes each for each fair.
Questions About Meetings
Q: How do I set up a meeting?
Q: What's the difference between a session and a meeting?
A session is either a small group or large group presentation or discussion. Anyone on the platform can drop into a Zoom session by clicking on a link.
A meeting is a one-on-one appointment between a college admission representative and a student. Students are not able to drop in. They do not receive the Zoom link until they register for the meeting.
Q: Is "Schedule a Meeting" only available during the fair hours?
You can offer meeting slots during fair hours and also before and after the fair. However, we recommend focusing on offering as many meeting slots as possible on the day of the fair.
Q: So, will we be able to use the platform to schedule meetings throughout the fall?
You can. (We haven't built in limitations for this yet).
Q: Do we have to use Zoom for our individual meetings?
Yes. To provide students with as seamless an experience as possible, we think it's important to choose one video meeting technology. For the Fall 2020 season of virtual fairs, we chose Zoom for the platform for both sessions and one-on-one meetings.
Q: Do we have to use Zoom Pro for our individual meetings, can we use a free Zoom account instead?
The virtual fairs platform has been configured to take advantage of the convenient meeting features built into Zoom Pro. It will be much easier for you to offer individual meetings if you use Zoom Pro and will provide a better experience for students.
For example, if a staff person indicates that their availability is four hours, the platform will automatically divide this length of time into 15 minute meeting slots with 15 minutes flex time. The staff person can use one Zoom link for the entire four hours. If a meeting goes longer or shorter than 15 minutes, students can be admitted from the waiting room.
This capability is not available with the free account which allows a maximum length of 40 minutes. A staff person would have to set up a separate Zoom meeting link for each one-on-one meeting. In addition, Zoom Pro is available at a very reasonable monthly rate and large discounts are available for higher education.
Q: When someone books a meeting, how will we be notified?
The user who is assigned to cover that meeting slot will receive an email notification each time a person has signed up for a meeting. They'll also receive an email notification if a person cancels their meeting registration.
Q: If we create meetings for the entirety of an eight-hour event, would that be 16 meetings?
Yes. To make sure you have someone available to cover requests for meetings throughout the fair event, you would make available 16 slots (every half hour). You can offer more than 16 slots -- just use a different Zoom link and assign a different person to offer meetings occurring at the same time.
Q: Should we use the waiting room function in Zoom.
Yes. We highly recommend you use the waiting room function. That way you can control when to let a student into the meeting, for example if they arrive early or late.
Q: Can I change the meeting time to be more or less than the default 15 minutes?
Students will see that that their meeting is 15 minutes even though the time slot is 30 minutes. We have built in 15 minutes of flex time that you can use however you want. If the meeting goes longer, you can use this flex time to continue meeting with the student. Or, if you need a break, you can take one. If the next student has arrived early, you can go ahead and meet with them.
Our biggest suggestion is to use the waiting room feature on Zoom so you can control your meetings.
Q: Are students put in a queue if all the meeting slots are filled?
No. If there are no meeting slots available, the "Schedule a Meeting" function is not visible to students.
Q: So, if no student signs up for a meeting, we don't have to click on the Zoom link?
We recommend that if you're responsible for a meeting slot, that you have Zoom open on your desktop during that time period just in case a student wants to meet. If you use the waiting room setting in Zoom, then you can let the student in when you see someone has arrived.
Q: How long after the start time can a student sign up for a meeting?
Students will not see an open meeting slot open once the start time has passed.
Q: Even though meetings are 1:1, can parents also be included?
Definitely! They can share a screen and appear together to have the meeting with you.
Questions About Videos
Q: How do I add a video?
Q: In what format will videos need to be in to be added to the platform?
Your videos will need to be uploaded to YouTube. The videos can be set to "public" or "unlisted." Copy the link and add it to the platform.
Q: For the videos to generate a lead, does the student have to watch the entire video?
No. As long as the student starts the video, that counts as a lead.
Questions About the College Profile
Q: How do I start creating my campus landing page?
The first time you login, you'll be taken step-by-step through the process for creating your college profile page. Also see the information in Part 3 of this guide, Your College's Virtual Presence, and the following three, short, how-to videos: Creating Live Sessions, Creating Meeting Availability, and Uploading Videos.
Q: What is your recommended length for the exhibitor bio?
One or two paragraphs is enough. You don't want to crowd your page with text and take away from the more interactive things you're offering, such as the videos, sessions, and meetings.
Questions About PDFs
Q: Can we upload PDFs and documents?
You can add links to PDFs and other resources. Attachments can be added in two places — on the page for your live Zoom session and on the page for your videos. These are intended as additional resources that complement the content of the session or video. See the section on Attachments for more information.
Questions About Student Engagement
Q: How are students reminded?
Students are sent regular text message reminders about the fair, the Zoom sessions they've added to their itinerary, and the meetings they've signed up for.
Q: Is there a way for students to chat?
Currently, there is not a separate chat function for students to ask colleges a quick question. Students who attend one of your Zoom sessions can ask questions, either by using the chat or by unmuting and speaking up.
There will be a chat function available on the platform for students to ask questions to NACAC counseling experts about the college admission process.
Questions About Student Leads
Q: Will we be getting contact information for students who registered for the larger fair event?
No. You will receive leads information for students who engaged with your college in one of five ways. Please see the section on Lead Retrieval for details.
Q: What kind of contact information for student leads will we have?
Please see the section on Lead Retrieval for information on the fields that will be collected and provided to you.
Q: Will the report show where a student lead came from (whether from a meeting or live session, for example)?
Not at this time.
Questions About Search
Q: How do students find colleges?
The search bar allows students to search by college name.
Q: How do students find colleges they have not heard of?
The platform prioritizes Zoom sessions that are happening now. In this way, students will discover interesting sessions and colleges they might not have heard of before.
In addition, there is a powerful filter function that allows students to see sessions and videos based on criteria such as where the college is located, what programs are offered, tags, type of school (4-year, 2-year, public, private), school size, and other characteristics.
Offering Sessions With Other Institutions
Q: Can we offer a joint or themed session with another institution?
Yes. You are welcome to invite representatives from other institutions to co-present a session with you. You can include the name of the institution in the session title and the name of your co-presenters in the session description.
However, security concerns require us to limit who you can invite as a "user" to your college's dashboard. They must have the same ".edu" email domain as you. In addition, we only allow one lead contact per institution to access student information. How that information is shared depends on your institution's data privacy policies. Please see the section on Lead Retrieval for more information.
Adding or Changing Your Registration Information
Q: How do I register for additional virtual fairs?
The virtual college fairs sell out quickly. Go to https://hub.nacacnet.org/eventseasons to register.
Q: How do I cancel or change my registration?
Q: How do I change how my college is listed?
You may want to change your college's name (e.g., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University versus Virginia Tech).
To do so, log into https://hub.nacacnet.org/myexhibits. Look for "My Exhibits" on the left. Click on the "detail" button for the fair and add your preferred listing to the "Signage Override" field. If you registered for multiple fairs, you'll need to update the signage information for each fair separately.
Q: How do I change the exhibitor contact?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to change your college's exhibitor contact for a virtual fair. This is the person who receives information from NACAC about the virtual fairs program. By default, this person also receives billing information.
Q: How do I add a separate billing contact?
To designate a separate contact for billing, please email email@example.com.
Q: How do I change our leads contact?
We recommend that the same person be designated as the Leads Contact for all NACAC college fairs (both in-person and virtual). To view who is currently listed as your leads contact, log into https://hub.nacacnet.org/myexhibits and click on the "detail" button for the fair. To change your organization's Leads Contact to a different person, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Who do I contact for general questions?
If you have other questions about the NACAC Virtual College Fairs program, please contact us at email@example.com.