What Parents can expect on Graduation Day

So you’ve made it to and through college! Great! Graduating from university is a landmark event for any student. Having invested three or more years into a course, there’s a tremendous sense of achievement for having come out the other side stronger, wiser and qualified. So let’s see what parents can expect on Graduation Day.

For the parents of those students, it’s all about an overwhelming pride for what your son or daughter has achieved.

It can be an expensive, occasionally stressful, experience helping your child through the university experience.   However when it comes to seeing them graduate you’ll know that it’s all been worth it.

Most graduations take place at a venue near to the university, such as a theater, hall or cathedral. These establishments help reflect the grandeur of the occasion and provide an opportunity for friends and family of every student to share the moment.

The first to remember is that graduations are traditionally formal occasions. Graduating students wear cap and gowns, so it stands to reason that guests should avoid jeans and trainers.


Prior to the ceremony, your son or daughter will go to collect and put on their cap and gown. Some universities then provide a fake scroll with which they can be photographed. However, many others arrange the photography to take place after the ceremony has been completed and the graduates have their real scrolls in hand.

Many parents take this opportunity to present their child with a graduation gift. Jewelry is one of the most popular choices and by giving them something to wear, it can then form part of their attire for the ceremony. As many students are thinking about starting their own business, you’ll also see quite a few business-related items.

The ceremony

Most graduation ceremonies start with an opening address by the dean of the school before processions begin. Traditionally, names are called out in sections. These are usually split by the school to which their course belongs, such as humanities, arts, sports or mathematics.

Each student then walks across the stage, shakes hands with the dean (or, in some cases, an honorary guest) and smiles for a photo while accepting their scroll. Many parents choose to film or take photos at this stage of the proceedings like a team-spirit feeling.

After the ceremony, you’ll be free to meet up with your son or daughter and take a few more photos. Many people then head somewhere for a pub lunch or casual drink and to meet up with other family and friends who perhaps couldn’t get a ticket to the ceremony. Afterward, some graduates opt to meet up with fellow classmates for a night of celebration.

Either way, prepare yourself for an emotional and proud day and one you’ll remember for years to come.

Educational Trade Show – Be Engaging

It’s no secret that educational trade shows serve as an essential platform for colleges, universities, schools, and student service providers to create buzz and brand awareness for both their new and flagship programs.

In a typical business-oriented trade show setting, 80% of trade show attendees are there to make important purchasing decisions and, of course, you can learn a lot from earlier online promotion disasters.

Education based trade shows can often have an entirely different feel about them, but the end game is essentially the same; you want face time with as many vendors, professors, parents, and potential students as possible.

Attendees are there for a reason and are highly motivated to make decisions. All you have to do is figure out how to attract them to your booth, and then most importantly, how to keep them there long enough to remember your cause.

It should come as no surprise that a quality trade show display can be one of the most effective ways to get attendees to stop by your booth.

To be competitive today this is a must, but it is only the foundation of having a great booth presence. After all, a fishing lure is just a tease without the hook. Here are four easy ways to increase your booth engagement:

1) Appearance is everything
I’m not talking about your booth display anymore. I’m talking about your booth staff. Dress to impress. Pick those shoulders up. Make eye contact, and smile! There’s nothing that will drive away an attendee faster than a staffer who doesn’t want to be there. Say hello, introduce yourself and ask the attendee if they are familiar with your school or program. That’s the easiest way to get the conversation started. For information on financial aid and FAFSA deadlines, click here.

2) Get out and about
I was at a trade show a couple of years ago and would simply walk around the trade show with a branded bouncy ball that lit up every time I threw it at the ground. Take something with your logo and just walk around. If it is something that catches the eye, that’s even better. Remember, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I was amazed at how many people told me they were waiting to find out where my booth was so they could grab a bouncy ball!

Over-saturation, in my opinion, is negative in only soil and color; not for trade shows. Shirts, pants, hats, pens, paper, pillows, chairs, giveaways. Everything. Get your image out there and make sure people don’t forget it.

4) Have fun
This should be a given, but you’d be surprised how many times exhibitors waste their time, effort and money because they simply decided to be robotic about their entire presence. You have to be loose and give attendees an atmosphere that they feel comfortable in. The best way to do that is to provide a stress-free environment that knows how to have fun and also knows when to make the pitch.

In the end, all trade show efforts come down to a bottom line; did you get your program in front of as many people as possible? Did you acquire great leads? Did those leads convert into sales, partnerships or new students? If they did, chances are it’s because you have a great school or program and you were able to be engaging when given the opportunity to present it.