Enhance Commencement with Mobile

Submitted by on Fri, 02/09/18

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Commencement is one of the most—if not the most—important milestones a student will experience in their years on campus. For all the effort it takes to make it memorable, smooth operations and thoughtful accommodations can make or break the day. There’s a lot to track throughout the week: picnics, parking, shuttle schedules, visitor information and alternate plans in the event of bad weather. Commencement is also a time to market your institution to out-of-town guests by showcasing the best of the campus grounds and facilities. A commencement module in your campus mobile app keeps people informed, engaged and on schedule and drives excitement around the entire weekend.

What makes a commencement app effective is that it’s more than just a bulletin board. It’s a central, interactive source that can be easily updated, providing real-time communications to students, families, and other visitors. Considering one for this year’s graduation events? Read on to learn how institutions worldwide are deploying mobile to enhance commencement ceremonies and related events, celebrate their students’ achievement, and set graduates up for a successful transition ahead.

1. Broadcast your events from a centralized hub. Create a full schedule of events within the app or pull from an existing calendar data feed. Send push notifications or use in-app banners to let users know what’s up next on the schedule or whether there’s been a change. From department lunches to the graduate procession, ensure attendees know where they should be and when.

2. Help visitors navigate campus. Share both indoor and outdoor maps that highlight elevators, water fountains, restrooms, and pathways between buildings. But also help visitors find what makes your campus special. Using beacon technology and one of Modo’s many integrations, direct visitors to favorite campus features, such as a historic quad, arts gallery, or even their graduate’s dormitory.

3. Disseminate crucial information. Help students get information on graduation logistics, like how to purchase and pick up their cap and gowns, and where to get their official diploma and transcript, by including need-to-know information in the app, viewable only by graduates.

4. Allow for more flexibility. Graduation season can be a tough time of year to plan for on the weather front. From muggy to rainy to blazing sun, help visitors plan for the conditions with up-to-date information on what to expect and timely push notifications if an event is moving indoors. Weather is a moving target—all the more reason to deploy a communication tool that can reach everyone on-the-go.

5. Streamline transportation choices. Provide directions to the most accessible parking lots and let people know where to park once those are full. Allow students and visitors access to shuttle schedules and pick-up locations, ensuring everyone has the tools to arrive on time to the main event.

6. Live stream for family and friends who can’t attend in person. A live webcast allows far-flung family and friends to share in the day. Embed a live feed of the main event directly in the app, giving an unparalleled view of the special day to anyone who couldn’t make it.

7. Build a legacy through social media. Bring together social media feeds, including commencement-specific hashtag, into a central module that drives people to engage. From this point forward, your graduates are alumni. Reinforce the sense of community they experienced while on campus with ongoing access to news, blogs, and updates on campus initiatives.

8. Encourage sharing the excitement. Many institutions are allowing students to upload photos of their experience directly into the app and making photos available for viewing by the community. This user-driven content strategy contributes to the sense of community throughout graduation. This option is available with and without moderation.

9. Welcome students to the alumni persona. Graduation is the start of a new journey—that of an alum. The app experience that supported students throughout their college journey to graduation, and friends and families at graduation itself, continues on to the alumni experience. Use graduation to encourage graduates to access the alumni persona in your app.

Now that we’ve covered some best practices for deploying mobile to enhance commencement, how are you getting the word out?

Ensure all graduating students and visitors know about your commencement app, whether you’ve planned it as a stand-alone presence or as a persona view or module within your main campus app. Promote the app on your website and other online materials and send push notifications to existing app users announcing the availability of the new commencement module. Utilize QR codes around campus to drive traffic directly to the app. Leverage existing student users to encourage downloads from family and friends. Include app download instructions on ticket envelopes and ceremony instructions.

The Modo Campus™ NSO Starter Kit is one of the easiest ways to quickly set up a fully functional special event module within your Modo Campus™ app. The out-of-the-box, highly customizable solution offered for New Student Orientation is efficiently applicable to Commencement as well as any other special events taking place on campus. Request a demo and learn how you can get started today.

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