Reflections from AACRAO #SEM19

Eric Stoller, GeckoEngage, Chatbots at AACRAO SEM
This year’s AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Conference was filled to the brim with sessions, insights, and networking opportunities. Our exhibit hall booth was perfectly positioned during the opening reception as everyone waiting in line had a chance to chat with us. Several attendees picked up multiple copies of our new book – The Ultimate Guide to Chatbots in Higher Ed…the purple-covered tomes were spotted all over the conference.

AACRAO SEM marked my first time giving a presentation as a member of Team Gecko. I had 60 minutes to cover as much as possible about chatbots within higher education.

Whenever I’m giving a presentation, I’m always hopeful that there will be a good amount of questions to generate a vibrant discussion. The 40+ strong AACRAO crowd did not disappoint as we ended up covering a plethora of questions about chatbots.

Attendees, representing higher ed professionals from the USA, Canada, Kuwait, and elsewhere, were very interested in the overall utility of chatbots to enhance the student experience in admissions/recruitment/registrars departments as well as within campus-wide environments. And, in an environment where the pacing of digital transformation can sometimes be a bit sluggish, there was palpable excitement about the “chatbot in a week” implementation timeline that GeckoEngage offers to all of our clients.

Whilst I was able to answer most questions within the presentation + Q&A, it was thrilling to have questions emerge for unique use cases as well as for complex functional requirements. It’s in those types of questions where Gecko gets even better at serving our clients because through a bit of dissonance always comes a welcome opportunity for learning and next-level innovation. Really, thank you to everyone who came to the session. For my first GeckoTalk, it was supremely enjoyable.

If you didn’t get the chance to attend my talk at AACRAO SEM, I’ve included the title, description, and slide deck below (and, if you’re interested in a talk about chatbots + the student experience + higher education at your institution, please feel free to get in touch):

24/7/365: Using Chatbots to Meet Students Where They Are

Chatbots are in use in practically every industry with front-facing customer service processes. For higher education, in a time when enrollments and institutional fit are everything, chatbots provide essential engagement functionality within admissions and recruitment. This session will feature a tactical roadmap for how you can bring a chatbot to your campus to maximize your enrollment growth to connect and engage with prospective students from a high tech, high touch perspective.


GeckoEngage provides live chat, chatbot and event management technology for higher education.  If you would like to find out more about our technology, why not schedule a demo?

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