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20 smart ways to enhance student engagement at your events – using Gecko

The Gecko platform can transform how you run your higher education events in some pretty powerful ways. It can save you time, make the lives of your staff easier, and enable your events to run seamlessly and efficiently. All of which mean you can deliver a fantastic student experience, ahead of the competition.

In this post, we’re looking to bring to life some of the specific capabilities of Gecko that will help you create great student engagement at every touchpoint, from self-service itineraries to game-changing automation.

Creating a great first impression

When it comes to higher education events, you can only create a great first impression once. Gecko CEO and Founder, Matt Lanham, put it like this:

“What kind of impression do students get if they go to a college fair and nine tables have pen and paper and one table has an iPad? That school is the same one that sends them a text message 30 minutes after the fair finishes, whereas the other schools will take two weeks to get in touch with them. Sound technology helps you reinforce your brand at every touchpoint. That’s the competitive advantage an engagement platform can add.”

Whether it’s a campus event, recruitment fair, or high school fair we’re talking about, smart technology can be a key differentiator. So without further ado, here are 20 examples of how you can power up your events using the Gecko platform. Trust us, these features are potential game-changers!

1) Branded sign-up page

Want to create a seamless brand experience for students?  You can use Gecko technology to quickly create a branded sign-up page for your event that doesn’t have to live on your institution’s website. This is perfect for when you want to act quickly, when you’re running smaller events, or simply don’t need a dedicated web page.

2) Self-service event cancellation

How do students currently cancel their booking for your events? Gecko offers a self-service event cancellation and rescheduling functionality, which is proven to reduce email volume by over 40%.

3) Enable attendees to design their own event

You want students to be able to create a tailored event experience that works for them and the area of study they’re interested in, right? With Gecko you can create event registration forms with specifically designed fields that allow students to choose from a range of events/sessions when they book. It’s one simple way to level up personalization!

4) Self-service itinerary page

Put students in charge of their day with a self-service itinerary page that attendees can view from their own device. Using the Gecko app means you can create a personalized itinerary where students can view their agenda, learn about speakers, find the venues where the talks are at, and so on. Even better, they don’t have to download anything to use it!

5) Generate a unique ticket for every attendee

Email confirmations can risk the risk of getting buried in people’s inboxes. With Gecko you can create an event registration form that auto-generates a unique ticket for each attendee to check in with. What’s more, these tickets can also be downloaded to the student’s Apple wallet – which makes your institution look pretty slick when it comes to tech!

6) Custom-branded event widget

A custom-branded events widget sounds cool, but what exactly does it do? Well, it dynamically updates your website with upcoming events and automatically removes your past events. For your staff, that means you can set and forget your events page. For prospective students, they’re never seeing anything out of date on your events page.

7) Pre-loaded website forms

The last thing you want to do when you’re trying to encourage students to sign up to your event is to put blockers in the way. You may think those blockers are big things, but it could be as small as having to type out the name of their school. With Gecko you can preload your forms with drop-down data to avoid this and make it easy for them.

8) Dynamically programmed emails and texts

Take out the manual process of setting your events up with a fully automated comms process. When you use Gecko to run your events you can trigger all your pre-event reminder comms to go out x hours/days/weeks before an event or session starts. What that means is that you can set your event comms up in one go… and then forget about it.

9) Event check-in that works on multiple devices

Long queues = poor student experience = prospects have checked out before they’ve even checked in. Check-in using Gecko is a whole different story. Attendees can check-in from their own device, completely hands-free. This means that you can eliminate queues, maintain social distancing, and create a safe and seamless attendee experience.

10) Event registration that incorporates parents

What do you do if a parent wants to come to an open day or on-campus event but they don’t want to sign up – and receive all your follow-up comms directed at students? With Gecko you can easily create event registration forms that support adding guests.

Sound technology can help you reinforce your brand at every touchpoint. That’s the competitive advantage an engagement platform can add.
Matt Lanham
Gecko CEO and Founder

11) Send extra-personalised comms

Want to send out a follow-up email from the person who actually had the conversation with a prospective student at your event? You can! Gecko’s event data capture forms can tie data to the member of staff who captured it, allowing for automatic sending of ‘personalised’ emails and texts from specific course leaders or admissions team members.

12) Capture data without WiFi

Having to rely on WiFi when you’re attending recruitment events is not a good place to be – it also means that you may be missing out on capturing important prospect details. All of Gecko’s event data capture forms can work offline, meaning that you can go on capturing student data, even when you’re dealing with a dodgy WiFi signal.

13) Get your comms out ahead of the competition

If you’ve ever been to a recruitment event you’ll know it’s a race against time to get your follow-up emails out to prospective students when you’re still front of mind. When you use Gecko event capture forms you can sync your data to your CRM in seconds, enabling you to trigger your comms plan and reach students ahead of your competitors.

14) Add waitlists

It’s annoying when popular sessions during your event are at capacity and you know some people will drop out, but you can’t create a waitlist, right? With the Gecko event app, you can! Students can self-serve and add themselves to waiting lists for sessions within the app.

15) Link a bot to answer student questions

What happens when a student has some questions about their itinerary at your event, who do they ask? Is there anyone even available to ask, or are all hands on deck delivering the event itself? Syncing your event itinerary page with a Gecko chatbot means that students can get their questions answered quickly – without having to rely on staff intervention.

16) Track attendance at events AND sessions

Most people running higher ed events will be pretty well-versed with tracking attendees and non-attendees, right? But what about tracking individual sessions? How do you know what’s well-attended? How do you know what you should run more or less of next time? Using Gecko means you can track sessions and make smarter data-led decisions.

17) Trigger multiple workflows

What do you want to happen after your event? Using the Gecko platform, event attendance (or no-shows) can trigger multiple workflows. Want to add an attendee into a call campaign? You can do that. Want to send an alert to a named member of staff to follow up? You can do that too. You can also add specific tags to the student record as well.

18) Automated feedback forms

Feedback forms are another key part of higher education events, but sending them out manually is time-consuming and slow. With Gecko you can automate your feedback forms to be sent out after your event (excluding no-shows) and they also dynamically know which sessions a student attended – making that granular feedback much easier.

19) Map events to enrolments

What events have the biggest impact on applications and enrolments? Where are you seeing the biggest ROI and, on the other hand, which events are costing you more than they’re delivering? Utilising CRM integration you can have much greater visibility of the events lead to student applications and enrolments… and which ones don’t.

20) Create a year’s worth of events

We’ve covered how you can enhance individual events, but we all know universities are running hundreds of events each year. Good news: the Gecko events module is designed for managing a year’s worth of events and enables the smart duplication of events across dates. Create events playbooks with all your emails, texts, and automation!