Ideastormers! That was the rallying cry for our event last week, the 2nd Annual Ideastorm Summit.

The session, held on the campus of Elon University in North Carolina (thanks again for hosting, Elon), brought together 14 different institutions and 25 enrollment leaders for a full day of rich idea exchange, discussion, trend reviews, and even a bit of soul searching. What we’ve learned over the years in regards to the relationships we foster with clients certainly held true for these schools as well – we can all have the most impact and be the most effective when we’re willing to share that we don’t know everything.

Participants represented schools with widely varying programs, profiles, approaches, sizes, reputations, and budgets, but the differences weren’t the focus. In fact, as we reviewed the expectations and hopes for the day, the similarities were staring right back at us from the dry erase board.

What’s the ideal frequency of Student Search?

Are we focusing too much on response rates?

How is your enrollment division staffed?

How do we avoid redundancy in the comm flow?

How do we do a better job of scoring our inquiry pool?

Ideastorm Class Photo

Back row: April Lewis (Converse College), Woody O’Cain (Queens University of Charlotte), Dave Kraus (Davidson College), Chad Spencer (Davidson College), Kyle Saverance (Coker College), Greg Zaiser (Elon University), Brian Kennedy (Samford University), Ben Austin (Lees-McRae College), Jason Black (Samford University)
Middle Row: Jason Hall (Campbell University), Ginger Hansen (Lees-McRae College), Lacey Satterfield (Reinhardt University), Kristen Setzer (Gardner-Webb University), Lois Williams (Catawba College), Kathy Phillips (Duke University), Elaine Holden (Catawba College), Sandy Pearman (Guilford College), Lisa Keegan (Elon University)
Front Row: Nick Haszko (Campbell University), Annie Freeman (Gardner-Webb University), Julie Fleming (Reinhardt University), Steffanie West (Catawba College), Erika Janak (Louisburg College), Joy Lowe (Catawba College)
HA ThirtyOne: Karyn Adams, Mike Wesner, Susan Klopman


From a rapid-fire Ideastorm session and a 30,000-ft. trend discussion to a collegial “fire-side chat” with our Senior Consultant (and Vice President, Emerita), Susan Klopman, our attendees left with new ideas, many questions answered, new questions brewing, and new plans. In fact, in just the first week post-summit the event spurred one school to invite another attendee to campus to review some activities with a fresh set of eyes. And another school has invited H·A ThirtyOne to lead their summer planning session. And we fully anticipate the idea exchanges and invitations to continue, and that’s our measure of success.

If you missed the action at this first event, we do still have a few seats remaining at our second Ideastorm of the summer, taking place on August 2nd at College of Charleston in South Carolina. For more information or to register for the event, simply email us at We’d love to have you join in the exchange.


Karyn Adams is vice president and creative director for H·A ThirtyOne, working closely with the enrollment leadership and strategic communicators on campus. Have some ideas you’d like to test? Contact Karyn at | 865.207.6944