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Using Your Event Calendar to Boost Recruitment
Let’s face it – most universities offer English 101 and Principles of Chemistry. When choosing schools, prospective students often look beyond coursework to the more ephemeral things that will impact their college experience. What is the football team’s record? How impressive are your faculty and alumni? Will there be others on campus of the same religion, race and socioeconomic status?
In the race to pick a school, your campus life and demographics are often one of the deciding factors. So how can you share a representative sample of the activity happening on campus? How can you let them explore events until they find the one that speaks to their athletic, social or academic heart?
This is where your event calendar comes in. Your campus has its own personality and its own benefits – whether that’s diversity of student groups, top notch lectures or a social life that can’t be beat. An event calendar showcases how unique your school is, and helps you stand out from the competition. In addition, the right event calendar can help you boost site traffic, improve your SEO rankings and enable you to share or repurpose your existing content without expending the time and effort to create new materials.
Centralized calendars like Localist help you shine a spotlight on all the things prospective students care about in campus life – whether that’s plays, rallies, lectures or sporting events. Consider an event calendar your new best friend when it comes to recruiting – by nature of displaying all of your campus life in one place, it does the marketing work for you.
Here are just a few of the things event calendars can highlight about your university:
Diversity of Students, Groups & Interests
More interesting, perhaps, than just the content of any one event, is the question of who’s hosting or who is attending it. Showcase the range of student participation across campus, whether that’s via events hosted by the Future Farmers of America or the Filipino Student Union. If prospective students see a group that fits their demographics – whether existing or aspirational – they’re more likely to see themselves as a natural fit for your campus.
Students love cheering for the home team. But popular televised sports like football and basketball don’t represent the totality of athletic life on your campus. Nearly half a million students compete as NCAA athletes, and that doesn’t even account for those students with a more relaxed interest in club or intramural teams. Whether athletic themselves or not, students love to feel connected to a team’s performance and to soak in school spirit. Highlight sports of all levels and types in your event calendar and make sure both students and prospective students know who’s on the scoreboard.
Think back on your favorite professor from college. Wasn’t too hard to do, was it? Almost more so than coursework and featured subject areas, your faculty are one element that sets your school apart from other schools of the same tier.
From faculty to guest lecturers, use your event calendar to highlight the academic caliber of your institution. Have a prospective student interested in archaeology? That recurring lecture on Near-East Cities may be the thing that makes them choose your college. But they’ll never know about it unless you show it to them – and that’s where a centralized events calendar comes in.
As enticing as lectures and coursework may be, however, it’s not the sum total of the college experience. When students are choosing their colleges, many factor in what their social and cultural lives will look like on campus. In fact, eLearners found that the sixth most important reason freshman selected when weighing their college choices was that the “college [had] a good reputation for its social activities,” coming in just behind questions of academics and cost. Use your event calendar to showcase theater, Greek rush, dance performances and more. These events may not be academic in nature, but they will have a big impact on a student’s day-to-day life.
One of the most compelling aspects of a university is seeing where alumni end up. Current and prospective students love to “walk a mile” in their peers’ shoes, picturing themselves in exciting locales and industry roles with some hard work and the same diploma. Your events calendar can easily spotlight these successes, displaying events ranging from alumni lectures to prospective student events held in distant towns (with alumni in attendance!).
Universities are often very similar in a number of areas, but they’re different where it counts. Highlight what makes your campus unique. Let your event calendar do the talking, sharing everything from time, date and description to attendees with prospective students. They’ll soon realize that they want to be a part of the action on your campus.