The challenge is a big one: How do you sell one of Canada’s best on-campus experiences from the floor of a trade show?
It all starts with the people.
More than 250 Brock University faculty, staff and students from across nearly every department, program and service will spend some time at this weekend’s Ontario Universities Fair (OUF) in downtown Toronto.
Running from Friday, Sept. 28 until Sunday, Sept. 30, OUF is the biggest exhibition of post-secondary institutions in Canada, with more than 130,000 people expected to attend over the three days.
Only weeks after announcing record 2018-19 enrolment of more than 19,000 students, Brock is now turning its attention to future years. Recruiters have fanned out across the country and around the world in an effort to tell the Brock experience story, and OUF is the single-most-important event on the promotional calendar.
“This is all in a push to ensure that Brock is top of the list when students are completing their applications in early January,” said Beth Natale, Director, Recruitment. “Our momentum is evident — we hope to see our market share of first-choice applicants continue to grow and grow.”
Natale said the OUF audience is an informed one.
“The depth of questions we get is always astounding. Students and their supporters take the decision-making process very seriously and this is one opportunity for us to translate that Brock experience in a GTA setting,” she said.
That experience starts in the Brock booth, where video screens show what the St. Catharines and Hamilton campuses have to offer, and friendly staff members are ready to answer whatever questions may come up.
“We try to recreate the campus vibe and the sense of personalized attention you’ll get at Brock,” said Carly Dugo, Recruitment Officer, Campus Initiatives. “We tell the full story about the Brock experience being second to none and what that looks like in terms of academics and student life.”
Natale said brand awareness in the GTA has been bolstered by the continuation of Brock’s ‘Experience’ marketing campaign in downtown Toronto. This again includes a complete takeover of the Skywalk area of Union Station, a key thoroughfare between the city’s main transit hub and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where OUF is held, major entertainment venues such as the Scotiabank Arena and Rogers Centre as well as the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium.
“The GTA as a region is incredibly important to us. It’s one of the few regions in Canada that is growing, so it’s important for us to have that brand awareness,” Natale said. “If you aren’t familiar with us, the Brock takeover certainly makes you want to learn more. If you’re among our 100,000 alumni, it certainly makes you feel proud to see Brock’s name in lights there.”