USC Upstate Interactive Campus Map Screenshot

Open Your Campus Visit “Secret Menu”

Did you see the post last week on the TargetX iThink blog, The “Secret Menu” of the Campus Visit by Trent Gilbert?  Trent has been exploring college campuses getting his fair share of tours of the scripted nature.  In a short video clip Trent tells us, “There are all these things I could do… but I’m never invited to do them.”

Touring certain things like the football stadium might seem obvious to inquire for a football player, but why aren’t we given a menu of things available to see and then allowed to choose what we want to see and explore? Trent goes on to say that if we ask, then we could do those things, but we aren’t encouraged to do them and aren’t offered to do them in the first place.

“We all want what we want, when we want it,” Trent explains.  This is such an accurate assessment especially for younger generations.  With technology we are given more and more choices and can choose things a la carte.  Television today consists of hundreds of different channels, and if we don’t like what we find there is usually a collection of DVDs, TiVo recordings, NetFlix, Hulu and many other options.  Restaurants don’t limit you to a hamburger and a Coke anymore, do they?  Burger King promises its customers  “Have it your way.”  Shouldn’t we be able to give those who want to explore our campus the same options?

Library Campus Visit Menu Stop

An Interactive Campus Map Opens Your Menu

Technology and the web give us the freedom to open up our campus and let visitors choose to explore and learn what they want to about our campus.  A map allows you to create as many or as few “stops” as you see fit.  Let visitors explore buildings off the beaten path.  Have interviews of professors who teach in that building or let students who live in a dorm tell their stories.  These voices are not only so much more authentic than even the best admission tour guides, but they allow visitors to explore at their own pace and come back as often as they want.

Remember people want what they want when they want it. So although I might be interested in exploring your science facilities, someone else cares more about your religion department and a third prospective student only cares about the athletic facilities.  All these are valid and important inquires.  The more you can have on your campus visit menu the better!  Although it’s hard to give everyone a tour of exactly what they want when they want it you can accomplish a good portion of this through an interactive map of your campus.

Give your audience everything they could ask for and more, and you will build an experience that they will share with others, which will increase your own reputation.

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One comment

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