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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 real-time list with the photo and name of each college exhibiting at that fair. Clicking on a college's photo or name will link them to the college's profile page.

For brand new exhibitors to the platform, the profile page will display a generic blue box and no information for your institution. You'll want to update your profile page as soon as possible after receiving login information for the admin.visitdays.com platform. At a minimum, add a beautiful campus photo and description (exhibitor bio). 

Behind the scenes, your college's profile page is associated with data imported from 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 offered, location, and school size.

 

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Live Zoom Sessions

The NACAC Virtual College Fairs platform strongly highlights live 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 is gold!

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

You will log into your own Zoom application to create a Zoom meeting. You will then add the Zoom meeting link into the VisitDays admin.visitdays.com platform along with a photo and session description.  

Review the information in Part 1 of this guide under Technical Requirements and the questions and answers on the FAQs page. Sessions may be added starting Dec. 1.

 

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.

 

Number of Sessions

For Spring 2021, colleges are able to offer up to six sessions per Signature Fair.

You may offer more than one session at the same time. Whenever you offer overlapping sessions, please be sure to use a different Zoom link for each.

We believe that no more than four sessions of no more than 30-40 minutes each will provide the most benefit to most students and colleges. The number of students likely to attend a session will vary by institution, and so the investment of resources in terms of time and staffing also needs to be considered.

 

Session Lengths

For Spring 2021, you are able to set the start and end time of your sessions. These may be the maximum length designated for that fair. Sessions at Signature Fairs may be up to 60 minutes long.

 

Session Formats

You can choose who on your staff will be responsible for presenting 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

Presentation Tips

Engage. We encourage you to offer frequent interaction opportunities during your session and a Q&A. Monitor and 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.

Make sure that the meeting link you created in your Zoom application has a start time that corresponds with what students see as the start time when they look at your session description on virtualcollegefairs.org (Eastern Time).

If you need to make a change, you'll want to do so both in your Zoom application and at admin.visitdays.com so that the session times correspond.

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.

 

Session Topics

The following are examples of sessions that admission departments might offer "in real life." Some of these may inspire an idea for one of the Zoom virtual sessions your college will offer!

  • 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 could contact you for a link.

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

 

 


Live Chat Available Soon!

We’re pleased to announce that Live Chat will be available to exhibitors starting with the Feb. 28 fair!

No doubt about it, chat is the most requested new feature for NACAC Virtual College Fairs. We heard you, and our technology provider VisitDays has been hard at work to make this happen for the Spring 2021 season.

Final testing is underway. While things are very close, NACAC has made a decision not to rush to roll out this new feature for the first fair on Jan. 31. We want to make absolutely sure that all t's have been crossed and i's dotted, especially when it comes to capacity issues. We'll let you know as soon as Live Chat becomes available and will also share a "how-to video" so you can easily get started.

In the meantime, we couldn’t resist sharing screenshots with you! Here's a sneak peek at this exciting new way to connect with prospective students.

Overview

Live Chat is an optional feature that will be available soon. It will be managed from your VisitDays dashboard. Below is a sample screenshot of what you’ll see when you log into admin.visitdays.com. You’ll have the option to offer Live Chat or not.

 

In the sample, the center column is a list of individuals who have initiated a question or comment. Clicking on the person's name will display in the right column a rundown of the current chat conversation with that person.

Live Chat is not limited to the date of a fair. Your institution can make chat available before the fair, only during the fair, or not at all. We anticipate that most exhibitors will want to make Live Chat available during fair hours. 

If you're getting too many questions, you can turn Live Chat off at any time. An “away” message will display to let students know that chat is not available.

How Should We Staff Live Chat?

It’s difficult for us to make a recommendation about how you should staff Live Chat. 

One thing to consider -- students will only be able to access Live Chat through your profile page on virtualcollegefairs.org. On that page, a “Chat” button will be displayed above the “Book a Meeting” button (see sample screenshot below).

Large, well-known institutions usually have a lot of traffic to their profile page and, as a result, many individuals will see that chat is available. Smaller institutions may not see as much profile page traffic or chat traffic. 

If you participated in NACAC Virtual College Fairs in the fall, one way to gauge this is to view your Prospects Report. Look to see how many students became a prospect as a result of visiting your profile page and you’ll get a sense of expected chat volume on the date of a fair.

Some institutions may want to assign one person to be responsible for responding to all chat messages. Others may want to leave this task to “any staff person who is working the fair.” Mileage will vary.

 

From the admin.visitdays.com dashboard, anyone who has been designated a user on your institution’s VisitDay’s account will be able to respond to chat messages. If you want to put some limits on this, change a user’s permission to “Reader” and they won’t be able to reply to chats. 

What Kind of Messages Can We Send?

Live Chat has many of the same great features we’re all familiar with from texting on our phones. 

For example, both student and institution users will see messages appear in real time with a date stamp and “new” indicator. A profile photo will display for each staff person who is responding. And both parties will have access to built-in emojis and can also respond to chat messages with photos, video links, PDFs, and more.

Will Students Who Chat With Us Be Included on Our Prospects Report?

Yes! Because Live Chat is connected to your Prospects Report, you’ll receive full contact information for each person who engaged with your institution via chat. This allows you to follow-up with the student via email, text, or snail mail.

What Will Students See When Chatting?

A student who is logged into virtualcollegefairs.org will see a Hello message as soon as they click on the “Chat” button on a college’s profile page. 

Your institution’s logo will appear at the top of the Hello message. This logo is pulled from what was originally uploaded to admin.visitdays.com when your institution onboarded. The logo can be changed within the Exhibitor Settings.

If you have enabled Live Chat, students will then be able to send your institution a message. If you have not enabled chat, the student will see an “away” message.

To the right is a sample screenshot of how chat will appear to a student on a mobile device once conversations have started. Because a student may end up chatting with several different colleges, the conversations will be organized separately within the student’s chat window.

If a student leaves your profile page to visit another area of virtualcollegefairs.org, a “floating chat widget” will let them know if and when they’ve received a chat response from you or another college.

Questions?

We look forward to making Live Chat available to exhibitors. If you have any questions, please contact VisitDays technical support at support@visitdays.com.

 

 


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 and on what dates and times. Meetings may be added starting Dec. 1.

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. 

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 My Schedule tab. We'll then send text reminders to students about attending.

Additional information is available on the FAQs page.

 

 


Videos

You may provide links to an unlimited number of videos. The videos will also 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 also use the "filter" feature to narrow this list by college location, size of school, and other factors. The filter option is a little hard to see on the desktop, it's all the way to the right.

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 a college's 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