General Virtual Fair Questions
Q: How do we get started?
The Exhibitor Contact will receive an onboarding email from VisitDays soon after registering with NACAC. They will receive login information and can then invite "users" (other people from your office) to also use the platform. If you're the Exhibitor Contact, please check to see that they've invited you as a user to the platform or ask them to do so. (See also Logging in for the First Time).
Q: What if I never received the onboarding information?
Please see the section called No Onboarding Email From VisitDays?
Q: These fairs are eight hours long. Are we suppossed to have content for the full eight hours?
Not at all! This is actually a key difference between NACAC's virtual college fairs and in-person fairs.
At an in-person fair, a college representative needs to stand behind the booth 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 believe that no more than four sessions of no more than 30-40 minutes each will provide the most benefit to most colleges. In addition, offering at least one session within the suggested time block for your region allows students to more easily find information for colleges in the same geographic area.
We also recommend that your college offer several "Schedule a Meeting" slots during the fair hours so students can set up one-on-one virtual appointments with an admission representative. How much staff time you devote to this will depend on how many students you think you will attract. Most NACAC Virtual College Fairs are held on Sundays, which requires staff to be available on the weekend with their Zoom link open and ready to talk with students who set an appointment prior to or during the fair. Although students are sent several text reminders about their meetings, some may not show up.
Outside of this, your institution will collect prospects from students who view your college profile page and videos and attachments.
Q: How early do students have access to the virtual college fairs?
As soon as we annouce each season (fall or spring), students can sign up at virtualcollegefairs.org (if they haven't already) and register for any or all of the fairs that will be offered. The Fall 2020 season opened up for student registration in August.
As soon as they sign up on the platform, students can view and favorite college profiles, explore the Zoom sessions offered and set a reminder to add them to their My Schedule tab, watch vidoes, and book one-on-one 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 ask that you add a beautiful campus photo and description as soon as you receive the onboarding email from VisitDays and login access. Because of the way the platform prioritizes Zoom sessions, you'll get extra attention if you have these set up sooner rather than later.
You shouldn't delay. NACAC is marketing to students and families regularly. You'll want your college to be visible when they visit virtualcollegefairs.org. If you don't have anything up on the platform, you can't get any leads.
Q: When is the last time we can make edits before the fair?
As for anything technical, last minute changes may introduce errors. 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 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, 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?
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 dates and times for the meetings pass. 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. Depending on how many students you expect to attract, you could schedule meetings right before, during, and after each fair.
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.
Q: Will we have IT support during the fair?
Yes. If you run into an issue, please email email@example.com.
Note: At a minimum, colleges should have an exhibitor profile set up at least four days before their first fair. We won't be able to help you get started on the day of a fair ― it will be too busy and the window for that type of technical support will have passed.
Q: We originally signed up for three virtual fairs and just registered for another. How long will it take for the new fair to show up on the platform?
The new fair will be added to your account on the platform within one business day.
Adding Additional Staff
Q: Can we invite other admission staff members to the platform?
Yes! You may invite as many staff as you wish. Just add them as a user. 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: By default, and for security purposes, you can only add staff with the same email domain as the Exhibitor Contact (for example, @college.edu). However, users with "School Admin" permission on the platform can add additional domains if needed.
Q: How many staff should we assign to each virtual fair?
We suggest that at minimum you assign three people to be on hand on the day of a virtual fair. They don't have to be available the full eight hours of the fair though.
It's best to have two people to handle the Zoom sessions, one to be the presenter and one to manage questions that come in via chat. Another person can be available for one-on-one meetings during the fair ― the number of slots you make available and the time commitment you require of this staff person should reflect the number of students you think will be interested in meeting with your college.
Q: Are all users able to edit the exhibitor profile information?
No, 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.
Live Zoom Sessions
Q: How do I set up a session?
See the information in Part 4 of this guide, Your College's Virtual Presence, and watch the short, how-to video called Creating Live Sessions. Additional information about Zoom is in Part 1 of this guide under Technical Requirements.
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?
Yes! You’ll be fine offering overlapping sessions as long as you specify a different Zoom account and link for each.
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: Can everyone on our admission staff just use the same Zoom account?
We don't recommend this. Your photo and name shows up when you use your own account. This gives the student a more personal experience with each admission counselor.
Q: Should we use Zoom webinar or Zoom meeting?
Zoom meeting. It allows you to be more interactive.
Q: Is there a maximum number of sessions we can host?
We recommend offering 2-4 Zoom sessions of 30-40 minutes each for each fair.
Q: Should we use a password?
No. Please do not add a pasword.
Q: Will we know ahead of time how many students are signed up for a session?
No. There is no registration for the live and interactive Zoom sessions so there's no way to know ahead of time how many students will attend.
Students will click on the "Join" button that will appear when the session starts. Students can set a reminder for your session and receive text messages that lets them know when the session will begin. We are working on being able to let exhibitors know how many reminders have been set for your session to give you a sense of what attendance may be like.
Q: Our university won't allow us to use Zoom. Can we participate?
No, we're sorry you won't be able to participate in these virtual fairs. The live sessions via Zoom are a key component.
Q: Do you recommend holding the same session more than once?
You may want to offer a general session more than once and also a highly engaging session. There will be a lot of competition for students' attention.
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 that has started by clicking on a "Join" link that will appear.
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. We recommend focusing on offering several meeting spots on the day of the fair so the many students who will be on the site that day have an option to meet with an admission representative one-on-one if they wish.
Q: So, are we able to use the platform to schedule meetings throughout the fall?
Yes, 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.
We don't believe cost is an issue as Zoom Pro is available at a very reasonable monthly rate and large discounts are available for higher education. However, some institutions may not allow the use of Zoom.
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 when a person signs 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 for meetings occurring at the same time.
How much staff time you devote to this will depend on how many students you think you will attract. Most NACAC Virtual College Fairs are held on Sundays, which requires staff to be available on the weekend with their Zoom link open and ready to talk with students who set an appointment prior to or during the fair. Although students are sent several text reminders about their meetings, some may not show up.
Q: Should we use the waiting room function in Zoom.
Yes, definitely! 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 indicates that your college "doesn't have any upcoming meeting availability. Please check back!".
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 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 side-by-side for the meeting with you.
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" on YouTube, your choice. 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.
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 4 of this guide, Your College's Virtual Presence, and watch these 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 probably 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 sessions and meetings, which appear after this text.
Q: Can we upload PDFs and documents?
Yes. 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 information in Part 4 of this guide, Your College's Virtual Presence, for more information.
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?
Students can chat with NACAC member volunteers and staff during the fair.
But there is currently not a way for students to ask colleges a quick question via text chat. During your live Zoom sessions, students can ask questions either by using the Zoom chat feature or by unmuting and speaking up.
Q: Will we be getting contact information for ALL students who registered for the fair?
No. You will receive contact information for students who engaged with your college. One of five actions will count a student as a prospect for you. Please see Part 1 of this guide and the section on Prospects Export for details.
Q: What kind of contact information for student leads will we receive and in what format?
Please see Part 1 of this guide and the section on Prospects Export for details.
Q: Will the report show where a student lead came from (whether from a meeting or live session, for example)?
Yes! This is a new feature that is now available on your prospects report.
Q: How do students find colleges?
For each fair, there is a "College" tab and a "Live Sessions" tab. Within the "College" tab, there is a search box where students can find colleges by name. There is also a Sort A-Z and Z-A feature. The Filter section allows students to narrow the list of colleges by location, private or public, and other factors.
Q: How do students find colleges they have not heard of?
Offer an interesting Zoom session or upload an engaging video to attract the attention of students who may not have heard of your college.
We also recommend that colleges offer at least one live Zoom session within the time block for your region. This allows students to more easily find information about colleges, both well known and lesser known, that are located in the same geographic area.
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 exhibitor 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 Prospects Export for more information.
Changing Your Registration Information
Q: How do I register for additional virtual fairs?
The virtual college fairs sell out quickly. Please see the Exhibitor Registration information page for details.
Q: How do I cancel or change my registration?
Q: How do I change how my college is listed?
You are able to change how your college is listed on the platform (e.g., to change Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to 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 name to the "Signage Override" field. If you registered for multiple fairs, you'll need to update the "Signage Override" 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 and should be the one "doing the work." By default, this person also receives billing information and is designated the Leads Contact, but these can be changed.
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.