This year’s Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) conference took place from June 5th to 7th at Rosen Shingle Creek in
Orlando, Florida. The year’s theme was “opportunity for all.” The three days included plenty of fascinating presentations, lots of networking opportunities, and hundreds of booths with lots of free swag. And to top it all off, there was even a concert from Kool and the Gang. Here’s a little recap of what went down at APSCU 2013.
What APSCU is All About
Every year the APSCU conference brings together thousands of individuals from higher education’s private sector to share ideas, discuss emerging trends, and work to advance the field of private sector higher education. Neutron Interactive was on hand for the 2013 edition to share insights on everything to do with lead generation in the education sector.
Kool and his gang aside, APSCU 2013 featured some big-name keynote speakers, including our Vice President of Education Services Carey Hilderbrand. Carey’s topic was ways to Improve Student Retention Through Proactive Outreach and the Development of a Student Success Ecosystem. Other presenters this year were retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, University of Maryland President Freeman A. Hrabowski III, and Former Governor of Indiana and current President of Purdue University Mitch Daniels. Governor Daniels’ speech was a definite highlight, as he pointed out the need for private sector education in America today, saying, “we need you.” He added that private sector colleges and universities need to stay focused on helping students achieve “upward mobility and greater success.” He also pointed out that the for-profit higher education sector is particularly well-suited to serving adult students, and highlighted the importance of marketing lower-cost online degree programs to adult students.
Lead Generation a Hot Topic
APSCU 2013 featured several breakout sessions on marketing and lead generation. Some of the questions and topics we looked at this year included: How to avoid hurting your school through bad social media marketing, how to spend your lead generation money more efficiently, how providers can better present data in order to maximize profits, and what kind of impact branding has on overall success.
The Growing Use of Mobile Technology
Another hot topic this year was the growing use of mobile technology (just as Neutron predicted!) Kristin MacGregor from Google was on hand to talk about how students find schools in a “four-screen” world. She provided valuable insight on some of the current trends in search engines and talked about what new media to look for on the horizon. Another session, called “Student Prospects Keep Changing the Channel: How to Make Sure Your Admissions Team Is Tuning Them Back In” presented in-depth research on how best to translate emails, phone calls, and texts to prospective students into enrollments.
Networking and Party Time
In addition to the informative breakout sessions and keynote speeches, one of the highlights of APSCU 2013 was the opportunity to meet with literally thousands of industry leaders. The exhibition hall was a great place to meet new people, learn about exciting new ideas, and score lots of free goodies. There were also plenty of “after hours” events that provided ample opportunity for networking, sharing stories, and shooting the breeze over drinks and some awesome food selections.
If you couldn’t make it to the APSCU conference this year, you’ll definitely want to add it to your calendar for next year. If APSCU 2014 is anything like APSCU 2013, it will be an event you won’t want to miss.