Summer is flying by, and preparation for the fall semester is in full swing at colleges and universities across the country. But there is still time to work on optimizing the experience, especially considering how important the move-in day experience is for a successful college career. These five last-minute tips can help.
1. Finalize Your Physical Footprint
At this point in the year, chances are you already have a comprehensive outline in place about how the move-in day experience will play out for your students. Now is the time to verify that those plans are in place and that everyone who needs to know is in the loop.
- Is the space for pickup reserved?
- Does the facilities department know about any parking restrictions and traffic flow?
- What about the staffing for individual residence halls and volunteers to help students and parents move their belongings?
Answering these questions now will make for a smoother experience and allows you to share confirmed information with your audience early.
2. Expand Your Communications Across Channels
Speaking of communications, chances are you’ve already let your students and parents know basic move-in day information and scheduling. Starting in July, it helps to push that information through multiple channels.
Post about move-in day on your social media channels. Send not just emails but text messages, as well. Create an informational box on your web home page and student portal. The more channels you hit, the less likely it will be for information to get lost.
3. Create a Simple Feedback Mechanism
No matter how well you communicate, students and parents will have questions. Part of getting the move-in day experience right is making sure it’s as easy as possible for them to find answers. Whether you establish a hotline or two-way texting, easy feedback mechanisms can reduce confusion and help everyone feel more comfortable about the big move.
4. (Re-)Share Important Information Right Before the Big Day
Yes, you’ve already told parents about the directions to campus. Yes, your students should know where to pick up their keys. And yes, all restrictions for parking and traffic on campus should have been communicated well before the event.
But once move-in day comes, they might still forget. That’s why it’s helpful to create some communications scheduled to send right before and even the morning of move-in that reiterate all important information and link to all the appropriate spots. For the majority of your audience, it might be redundant. But the few students and parents who just can’t remember will thank you for it.
5. Build Your Post-Move-In Calendar
Move-in day is all about the actual move. But that doesn’t mean it has to end there. You might have plans for residence hall get-togethers, bonding events, and more. Even parents may have informational events they can attend after their student has moved in.
Now is the time to add those events to your campus calendar and get the word out. And if that calendar dynamically integrates into your communications channels, then you’ll be even better off letting your audience know about these community-building events.
Bonus: Review and Optimize Your Interactive Map
Finally, it helps to spend the last 1.5 months before move-in day taking another look at your interactive map. Do you have a category set up for move-in day? Can you easily pull wayfinding pins to loading zones and parking areas? Are you highlighting all the extra resources students and parents can benefit from?
If not, now is the time to optimize. And if you need help, then we’re ready to jump in. Just contact us for any last-minute adjustments and optimizations that help you make the move-in day experience a resounding success for students and parents alike.