Professional Development Budgets Are Precious. Why Choose Geeks on the Road?

Rick Newberry (Enrollment Catalyst) and I love getting emails from marketing and admissions professionals or school leaders considering attending a Geeks on the Road event. In most cases, they really want to go, but they’ve never seen an approach like ours, and they want to make sure it’s a wise use of precious professional development resources.

After all, a trip to sunny Orlando during the winter months can appear to be a boondoggle rather than a serious investment in a school’s enrollment management strategies. They need some assurance that they’ll walk away with real value.

So, I thought it would be a good idea to outline 10 reasons why a Geeks on the Road (GOTR) event is a smart investment for schools pursuing healthy enrollment. Here goes.

Your team needs a plan. You need a plan.

Rick and I have had the privilege of working with schools of all shapes and sizes. In our experience, very few have a plan for recruitment and retention. Most marketing and admissions teams are project-driven, deadline-driven, and event-driven. They don’t have clearly defined goals, consistent meeting rhythms, budgets, and timelines. Their recruitment and retention activities are reactive, not proactive, which means they aren’t sure if they’re working on the right things. At GOTR, we teach teams how to develop a Healthy Enrollment Plan — one that you’ll actually use. You’ll leave with a framework for setting enrollment goals, identifying seasonal priorities, and getting stuff done.

GOTR prioritizes healthy enrollment, not full enrollment.

“We’ve got wait lists in multiple grades. Why should we invest in marketing?” We get this question fairly frequently. At North Star, we recommend schools focus on healthy enrollment, not just full enrollment. Rick shares this perspective, and we’ve built this thinking into GOTR. We educate marketing and admissions teams on principles that inform their approaches to attracting, enrolling, and retaining right-fit families. Whether your school is not-so-full, sorta full, or beyond full, GOTR will help you think carefully about long-term enrollment health.

GOTR focuses on the Family Journey.

There is tremendous value in organizing recruitment and retention efforts around your customer’s reality. At North Star, we call this the Family Journey. The Family Journey has five phases: Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Evaluation, and Advocacy. At GOTR, your team will learn how to organize your plan around each phase. You’ll see real-world examples of Family Journey strategies and leave with checklists to assess your strengths and gaps to inform your plan.

Team alignment is priceless.

A lack of alignment can be expensive — far more expensive than the price of attending GOTR. When your team is aligned around an effective plan, using shared language and pursuing common goals, you reduce complexity and increase velocity. The approaches you’ll learn at GOTR will help your team avoid assumptions and miscommunication. #fewermeetings #winning

You don’t know what you don’t know.

High-performing teams have a growth mindset that comes in part through expanding their understanding of what’s possible. It’s easy for marketing and admissions teams to get comfortable with what they know and how they’ve always done things. GOTR will broaden your perspective, challenge your thinking, and inspire you to try things that could take your team to the next level.

You can learn with and from other schools.

Good things happen when you talk to people from other schools in similar roles. At GOTR, you can “give help and get help.” You have experiences that can help others make progress, and they have approaches and ideas that can help you. We’ve organized the agenda to give you time for intentional collaboration and networking.

There is value in a change of scenery.

Okay, it’s Orlando in the winter. That’s a plus. But the change of scenery I’m talking about is more than just palm trees and poolside cabanas. There is value in getting out of your office, out of your familiar environment, and into a place where you can work “on” your team, not “in” your team. GOTR is an opportunity to get above your day-to-day routine to think about strategic changes — what to start doing, what to keep doing, and what to stop doing.

One new enrollment will pay for GOTR.

Okay, you’ve heard that one before from other PD opportunities. But our take is a bit different. At GOTR, we focus on attracting and retaining right-fit families. And do you know what right-fit families do? They stay. Not for one year but through graduation. So, let’s say you take away a good idea from GOTR that attracts a new family with a third-grade student. They enroll and stay with you through graduation. How much revenue is that — $100,000? $150,000? More? We’re talking about a serious ROI.

GOTR is a long-term investment in your school.

Of course, there’s more than one way to think about ROI. What is the value of sustained focus on healthy enrollment, not just full enrollment? By attracting and enrolling right-fit families who want what you do, your culture gets stronger, and word spreads about the amazing things you’re doing. GOTR is an investment in your school’s mission, vision, and values.

You’ll benefit from Rick and Andy’s expertise.

Rick and I have been collaborating since 2004. We’ve learned with and from each other as we’ve helped schools get traction in their local markets. We’ve seen high-performing teams and dysfunctional teams. We’ve seen small teams (as in, one-person teams) crushing it and large teams hamstrung by internal politics and micromanagement. We’ve seen boards that get it and boards that are out of touch. And along the way, we’ve helped many schools get organized and achieve remarkable results. At GOTR, you’ll benefit from the thousands of conversations we’ve had over the years that have shaped our thinking and informed our methodologies. 

And…a BONUS Why: The Dad Jokes are worth the price of admission.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Enrollment Marketing Geeks event without some dad jokes and other nonsense sprinkled in. Bring your sense of humor. We may even stage a few GOTR laugh battles…

So, if you’ve read this far, good on you. And thanks. Of course, if you still have questions about what to expect at GOTR, please drop me a line. I’m happy to hop on a call or a video chat to discuss the particulars.

Or, if you’re ready to register, click here. I look forward to meeting you in person at Geeks on the Road!

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