With the end of the spring semester, planning for the beginning of fall is already in full swing. For thousands of colleges and universities across the nation, that means finding the best possible strategies for communicating move-in day information.
New students moving to campus for the first time is not just a big event from a planning perspective. Studies repeatedly show that orientation participation, which typically culminates on move-in day, has a significant impact on student retention and persistence. These six quick tips for communicating move-in day can help your school leverage this important event to the fullest.
1. Communicate Early and Often
For your new students and parents, move-in day is a huge event that requires plenty of planning. Help them by starting your communications early in the summer. Send basic information about the logistics of the event and what both students and parents can expect on the day they move to campus.
Email, texting, and even physical mail can all effectively get the most important messages across. In fact, a mix of channels may be most effective in ensuring that your messages reach all audience members.
2. Logistics First, Quality Second
Speaking of messaging: Yes, you want to tell incoming students all about the fun events they can participate in and how move-in day represents their integration into your school’s family. All that information matters, but logistics have to remain your first priority.
Even if students and parents only know what day to move in, what they can bring, and where they need to park, this facet of communicating move-in day particulars should be considered a success.
3. Create a Move-In Day Informational Hub
If your communication is like that of most schools, you’ll likely send the most important information via email or in a welcome packet via physical mail. But don’t let it end there. An informational hub can help all of your information stay in one place.
In that hub, typically in the form of a webpage, you can include anything from the different move-in times and periods to parking, events to participate in, and more. Even better, once you’ve created that hub, you can link to it in all future move-in day communications.
4. Embrace Peer-to-Peer Communication
Most of the important functional information about move-in day will come from official university sources. But don’t underestimate the potential power of students talking to other students. In fact, you can facilitate it.
Social media groups on Facebook and other networks are still effective. They help your students and parents:
- Get to know each other
- Share important information
- Find roommates
If you moderate the group, you can even use it as another way to get relevant information out to your incoming class.
5. Leverage Your Interactive Map
Much of the information surrounding move-in day is space-based. Your interactive map, when built the right way, can go a long way toward reducing confusion related to any wayfinding or processes.
For instance, you can build a map layer that includes all relevant move-in information for your incoming class, including relevant parking, residence halls, traffic flow, and more. You can even showcase secondary information, like where families can stop to eat after having moved in.
6. Organize Your Move-In Day Events
How well are your move-in day events organized? More importantly, how easy is it for your target audience to learn about them? An event calendar solution can help you centralize the process while minimizing confusion.
On the calendar solution, you can add all move-in day-related events. Those events can then integrate into your website, informational hub, and even your interactive map. That way, there can be no excuses for missing any of the welcome events you’ve scheduled for the big day.
Communicating move-in day information is challenging, but the right platforms can help you simplify the process. Concept3D has worked with schools across the country to build effective interactive maps and integrate events through Localist. Ready to learn more? Contact us to start the conversation.