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Exhibitor Success Guide: Part 4

Your College's Virtual Presence

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Your College's Profile Page

As soon as students sign up and enter a fair, they'll see a list of upcoming Zoom sessions in chronological order. Also available is a real-time list of exhibiting colleges which links them to colleges' profile pages.

By default, your exhibitor profile page is empty. It includes a generic blue box where a cover photo should go and no information.

You'll want to enhance your college's profile page as soon as possible after you receive log in information for the platform. At a minimum, add a beautiful campus photo and description (exhibitor bio). You can also add videos. PDF links to viewbooks and campus maps can be added as attachments for your Zoom sessions and videos.

Note that you can't save your profile information in the platform without all of the required pieces, otherwise you'll receive a "Please check for errors" message: 

Behind the scenes, your college's profile page is associated with information imported from NACAC and IPEDs. This data allows students to filter and search for colleges by type of school (public or private, two-year or four-year), majors and programs, location, and school size.

 

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Live Sessions

The NACAC Virtual College Fairs platform strongly highlights live and interactive Zoom sessions offered by colleges.

This is because students value access and engagement, and one way to provide this is through relevant and interesting sessions. When students enjoy an experience, they tell their friends. Word-of-mouth and "social proof" is key!

Our expectation is that each exhibitor will offer at least two sessions that students can attend on the day of a fair.

Adding Your Session to the Platform

Zoom is integrated into the platform so it's easy for you to manage the sessions through your exhibitor dashboard. You and your presenters should be very familiar with how Zoom works. You will be using your own Zoom account.

Additional information is available in Part 1 of this guide under Technical Requirements and on the FAQs page

Note that you can't save your session information in the platform without all of the required pieces, otherwise you'll receive a "Please check for errors" message.

 

Staffing Your Sessions

You will want to staff each of your Zoom sessions appropriately. We recommend that two staff members be at each session, one to present the content and one to answer questions that come in via chat.

 

Session Formats and Length

We recommend that each session be no longer than 45 minutes. 

You can choose how many, what type, and what time to offer sessions. You also choose who on your staff will be responsible for presenting and can even set a limit on the number of students who can attend each session. 

Depending on your goals, you may want to offer:

  • Presentation - A Zoom session organized as a lecture, with an admission representative speaking to a large audience

  • Panel - A Zoom session on a particular topic with one or more guest panelists and an admission representative serving as moderator

  • Q&A - A Zoom session organized as an "Ask Me Anything" with the admission representative fielding student questions

  • Discussion - A Zoom session for a small group where the admission representative and students can have a conversation and ask questions among the group

  • Chat - You could certainly use Zoom to schedule one-on-one meetings with students, with or without video. But you might find that the "Schedule a Meeting" feature (see below) is more suited for this.

Presentation Tips

Engage. We encourage you to offer frequent interaction opportunities during your session and a Q&A. Monitor and quickly answer questions that come in via chat. Take every opportunity to connect with students.

Inform. NACAC requires that all presentations and promotional materials at college fairs be informational in nature. If you’re unsure whether something is appropriate or not, please contact virtualfairs@nacacnet.org. Similarly, please let us know if you notice a college or university that is not following this guideline.

Clear. Make sure your presenter has a good Internet connection, a good mic, and a clear voice.

Invite. If your session would benefit from it, we encourage you to invite current students or alumni to present with you.

Drop-Ins. Presenting via Zoom is its own art! For example, there's less of a norm for participants to show up to online sessions on time and so you'll want to build in five minutes up front to give students a chance to filter in. Students may drop in at anytime.

Swag. You can make an impression by including your college's logo in your Zoom background or by making sure college swag is within view of the camera.

 

Session Scheduling

All times on the NACAC Virtual College Fairs platform are listed in Eastern Time.

This can get confusing! Be sure to ask Google or use an app such as World Clock to double check what time you scheduled a session on the platform, for example, and what time you entered it into your personal calendar.

If one of your sessions is intended for international students, you'll want to consider what hours within the fair period is more convenient for their time zone.

Another factor is when other colleges are offering sessions. Plan to offer your session at a less busy time so students are more likely to have room in their itinerary to include yours. To assist with this, starting with the September fair, we'll post here updated information on the number of sessions currently scheduled for each hour of the fair.

We don't recommend that you repeat sessions unless you have a blockbuster. There will be a lot of competition for students' attention. You'll want to offer highly engaging sessions at different times.

 

Session Topics

The following are examples of sessions that admission departments might offer "in real life" that could be included in your Zoom session line-up. Feel free to be creative with your session ideas!

  • Q&A With Current Students

  • Ask Me Anything: Talk With an Admission Representative

  • How to Transfer to College

  • School of Computing: Information Session

  • Admissions Overview: How to Apply to College

  • Forging Your Pre-Med Path at College

  • Coronavirus and Applying to College

  • Student Ambassadors: Ask Us Anything

  • Inside the Honors Program

  • Financial Aid at College

  • Accelerated Programs: Six Years to a PhD

  • Playing Sports at College

  • Study Abroad Panel

  • Diversity and Inclusion at College

  • Student Life at College

  • Rock Star Faculty: Meet Dr. 

  • Where Are They Now? Famous Alumni

  • Greeks: Fraternity and Sorority Life at College

Session Recordings

You may choose to record your Zoom session (or not). If someone misses your session, they may want to view the recording and you could provide them with a link.

We don't recommend recording your session and then uploading it to the Videos section of the platform. The videos you highlight should be highly engaging and less than four minutes long.

 

 


Meetings 

The "Schedule a Meeting" feature connects your staff directly with interested students.

You decide how many virtual meeting spots to make available to students. We recommend that you offer at least ten meeting slots per fair. These should not be staffed by the same people doing the Zoom sessions as they will be busy with that aspect of the fair.

The one-on-one meetings are opportunities for members of your admission staff to talk one-on-one with students either before, during, or after the fair event. You set the dates, times, and staff person for each slot.

Students will see the available meeting dates and times on your college's profile page. With a simple click, the meeting gets added to their fair itinerary. We'll then send frequent reminders to students about attending.

Additional information is available on the FAQs page.

 

 


Recorded Videos

You may provide links to an unlimited number of videos. The videos will appear on your college profile page.

In addition, all videos will appear at the top of the site under Videos. The videos are displayed in alphabetical order by title. Students can use the "filter" feature to narrow this list by college location, size of school, and other factors.

We recommend that these be interesting and engaging videos that are under four minutes long.

Additional information is available on the FAQs page.

 

 


Tags

When you create a session or add a video, you have the option to add tags. We encourage you to do this. The tags help students find content that's relevant and interesting to them. Please don't be spammy and choose all of the tags, just those that are most relevant to what you're offering.

The following are the tag options:

  • Academics
  • Accessibility Services
  • Adult Learners
  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • Careers
  • Counselors
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Financial Aid
  • First Year Students
  • Gap Year
  • International
  • LGBTQ
  • Student Life
  • Study Abroad
  • Transfer Students
  • Veterans

 

 


Attachments

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.

Attachments cannot currently be added to the college profile page.

Note: Attachments are not uploaded, they are actually links to URLs that you have added. These can be links, for example, to viewbooks, campus maps, and other resources on your website.

Additional information is available on the FAQs page.

 



Exhibitor Success Guide » Intro | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6