• JUser::_load: Unable to load user with id: 29663448

Spring College Fairs

Do you hear the sound of barcodes scanning and luggage wheels hitting the parking lot pavement? It’s time for the Spring college fairs! High school juniors and their families will be navigating large exhibition halls around Texas in the coming months, and we’ve got tips for both you and your students to maximize the college fair experience! Whether you’re a seasoned counselor or a fresh-faced recruiter, read on for our best practices.

DO bring enough fair materials. Thousands of students will be attending each of the NACAC and TACAC fairs, and a lot of them may utilize the “grab-n-go” method. Plan accordingly. Table pop-up? Banner? Business cards? Check, check, and triple check before you hit park at the fair’s location.

Check with your institution’s historical data to see how much interest was gauged in years past, and estimate the number of brochures and booklets to bring. If all else fails, have enough inquiry cards handy so prospective students can still get on your school’s mailing list even if you run out of brochures.

For high school counselors, advise your students attending to bring a backpack or bag to collect materials, and to plan their route before delving into the sea of booths.

DON’T skip restroom or water breaks. No matter your side of the booth, you’ll be doing plenty of talking. Use the facilities beforehand, and fill that emblemed-water bottle before the fair starts. There’s nothing worse than being parched mid-elevator pitch to a family about your institution!

DO know your audience ahead of time. Get an idea of the nearby high schools’ and region’s demographics before the fair. Are there certain student clubs you can highlight? Majors that are popular to a certain city? Brush up on relevant knowledge so you can share the data quickly and efficiently with your booth visitors. If you’re a high school counselor, see which colleges and universities will be attending. If you see a few that have popped up on your students’ wishlists, or even that you feel are good-but-lesser known fits for them, highlight them to your students! All too often, families flock to the more renowned schools, but national college fairs like these are the PERFECT opportunity to discover under-the-radar institutions that are looking for students like yours.

DON’T forget to register in advance. Both students and colleges can register for the fair (see below for registration links) well ahead of time. Students can receive a personalized barcode linked to their information, and take it to each of the different booths of colleges from which they’d like to receive information. Registered institutions will receive one scanner per booth prior to the fair’s start. After the fair is over, the registered attendee will receive the student leads in Excel/CSV format.

And for everyone: DO keep comfort and professionalism in mind. Wear some comfy shoes (honestly, none of us are looking that far over to judge your footwear) for the entirety of the fair. Bring a cardigan or light sweater, just in case the convention centers think summer started too soon and blast the A/C indoors. Remind your students that for many of them, this is going to be their first encounter with universities they may ultimately apply to, and a good first impression is key.

And lastly: you can never have enough antibacterial sanitizer or breath mints. Trust us all on this one.

See you at the fairs!

Dallas/Ft. Worth NACAC Fair
Monday, April 17, 2017
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas
Exhibit Halls A & B
500 West Las Colinas Boulevard
Irving, TX 75039

San Antonio TACAC Fair
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
6:00 - 8:00 pm
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Campus Recreation and Wellness Center

Austin NACAC Fair
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Palmer Events Center
Exhibit Hall 1-2
900 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704

Houston NACAC Fair
Thursday, April 13, 2017
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
NRG Center
One NRG Park
Houston, TX 77054

Rio Grande Valley TACAC Fair
Thursday, April 20, 2017
6:00 - 8:00 pm
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Field House - Edinburg

Share this post:

Comments on "Spring College Fairs"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment