If you’re a baker or have ever made buttercream icing, you know the moment the mixture of egg whites and sugar transforms from viscous egg and grainy sugar into a fluffy whip of heavenly meringue. You can recognize it even without seeing it, as the steady whirr of the mixer changes, in one quick moment, to a completely different pitch. And there, in the bowl, is the base of buttercream icing, ready for the next stage of butter, flavoring, and smoothing onto a layer cake.

That quick moment of change is just like the moment that took place during our presentation of The Best Enrollment Marketing Ideas at ACT’s Enrollment Planners Conference this July, and it’s the same type of moment that happens during the Ideastorms we host throughout the year. Participants share ideas, challenge perceptions, ask genuine questions – they drop anxieties and allow themselves to become vulnerable, helpful, and return to that thing that (strangely) can get sucked out of daily campus life – collegiality.

This is also the moment when H·A ThirtyOne just steps back, allowing the good dialogue and idea exchange to happen. At ACT EPC, an institution’s key marketing officer posed a question about improving the efficiency of gathering inquiries’ contact information. Another college’s enrollment officer had a similar idea and had seen a school, at a completely different event, trying something innovative. I suspect that both schools will be trying something new this season. Sounds pretty basic, right? But with increased pressure on time, the opportunity for enrollment and admissions professionals to engage in quality networking and idea exchange is limited. Our Ideastorms always aim to provide an opportunity for professional development and introduce some new ways of viewing enrollment efforts.

Sound like something you might be interested in? We are putting together our schedule of Ideastorms now. Ideastorms are typically capped at around 25 participants, to maintain quality and keep the dialogue flowing, and are hosted on campuses (just like yours). If you’re curious, just drop us a line, and we’ll share all the details of hosting or participating. We hear the mixer whirring!

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Karyn Adams is vice president & creative director for H·A ThirtyOne, working closely with enrollment leadership and strategic communicators on the campuses of the company’s partner schools. She’s also a pretty darn good baker. Questions, ideas, or curious about an enrollment issue? Contact Karyn at karyn.adams@hathirtyone.com