York engages with prospective students at the 2012 Ontario Universities’ Fair

A revitalized York booth, integrating the University’s new “this is my time” brand campaign and a re-envisioned presentation room set the tone for York’s focus at the 2012 Ontario Universities’ Fair (OUF) Sept. 28 to 30, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The fair is the largest educational fair in North America, welcoming more than 119,000 prospective students, parents and teachers over the course of three days. It brings together the 21 Ontario universities and is the key point of contact for York and Ontario high school students as they discern which universities to apply to by the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre application deadline of Jan. 16, 2013.

“Although our team has already been on the road meeting with students and parents, the OUF is the kick-off to our domestic recruitment season,” says Amber Holliday, manager of Canadian recruitment and on-campus events. “The weekend gives us an opportunity to meet with students one-on-one, and encourage them to apply to York.

York’s 3,000 square foot booth featured the “this is my time” brand campaign, the new Lassonde School of Engineering and an expanded Glendon section to reflect York’s two unique campuses. More than 450 students, staff, alumni and faculty volunteers from admissions, recruitment, service areas, student financial services and the Faculties staffed the booth greeting visitors and answering questions.

The York presentation room was re-envisioned this year, dividing the room to accommodate both a formal presentation and a lounge area with interactive zones. During the presentation, York recruiters focused on York’s strengths with a new energetic 15-minute presentation supported by new photography and videography. “In the presentation room, we created an individualized experience highlighting York’s excellence with the opportunity to interact with students and staff. We wanted them to have a similar experience that they would have when visiting campus,” says Holliday. “Attendance was up 46 per cent in the presentation room this year, which is encouraging. It means we’re moving in the right direction.”

After the presentation, visitors were encouraged to connect with students and staff throughout the room. Representatives from York’s recruitment team, York International, the Career Centre, Sport York, , York’s RED Zone, Glendon’s Lion’s Den and students and staff representing Research at York answered questions and provided a peek into life as a York student.

While in the room, visitors were also encouraged to have their photo taken in York’s “this is my time” photo booth. In addition to being printed on the spot, students could (with permission) have their photo strips posted on the York University Facebook page. Visitors were encouraged to tag themselves and share with their friends.

Capitalizing on the contacts made during OUF when students filled out reply cards and online info request forms in the presentation room and at the York booth, the Office of Admissions has sent information instructing students how to tweet their vision for a chance to win free tuition as part of the York-MuchMusic This is My Time contest. The winning student vision will be announced later this month on MuchMusic.

The recruitment team will continue their efforts on the road developing relationships with prospective students, engaging with the community and promoting upcoming events, campus tours,the Saturdays @ York program and Fall Campus Day set for this weekend.