10 Exhibitors to Visit at #NACAC14!

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NC2014WebHeaderThere are a TON of fantastic exhibitors at this year's #NACAC14. 202 to be exact...as of last count! There are also some great sessions planned, phenomenal speakers, meet ups, and the potential for the #NACAC14 selfie-of-all-selfies (so make sure you say hi to Meghan Dalesandro at the welcome reception!). It's going to be an incredible event, and if you're going, I'm wildly jealous.

In the last three years (crazy to type that) of #EMchat, we've had the opportunity to meet some of the most incredible higher education companies and organizations out there--but more importantly, we've had the chance to meet the people who make them what they are. "Meet" is totally subjective, right? Sure, some of us have met in person while we've only spoken to others online or on the phone as we plan that week's chat. But there's a common thread with all of us; we're interested in the advancement of higher education and access for all students. We not only know the importance of education, but we place an intense value on it.

This list certainly isn't the end-all be-all of companies and organizations doing great things in higher ed who also happen to be at NACAC, but these are definitely some of our favorites to chat with and learn from. So here's our list followed by a brief recap of each company that we believe you should definitely make time for during your trip.

In no particular order:

1. Carnegie Communications (Booth 509): The Carnegie team is incredible. They've been our guest for numerous #EMchat discussions and drop serious knowledge in the world of digital marketing, lead generation, and making the right connections with the right students at all the right times.  Carnegie's blog is a personal favorite of mine and their entire team has gone above and beyond when it comes to contributing to our #EMchat community. Loving #NACAC14? Check out the #CarnegieConf in January. They're also passing out #EMchat badge ribbons (and we know how much you all love badge swag).

2. Magellan Promotions, LLC (Booth 430): Michael Wolaver and his team of collegiate promotional experts know their stuff when it comes to choosing the right products to get your institution out there in front of students and families, but more importantly to make a lasting impact so they remember you. Need a creative idea or product to make your school stand out? They've got you covered...and they can tell you the trends for next year as well. One product trending in their booth this year is the #EMchat button -- be sure to grab one!

3. Rapid Insight (Booth 341): Enrollment management is built on relationships, yes. It's a fact that it's also built on data. These are the gurus. When most of the world thinks about enrollment management (probably admissions in their minds) they're thinking that it's competitive for students. We know how competitive it can be for EM teams -- Rapid Insight's tools for predictive analytics are on point. So is their team--wicked smart (appropriate when talking about a company based in New Hampshire).

4. RuffaloCODY (Booth 611): A higher ed behemeth (in a really positive sense). Like these other companies, you know who they are, so why bother stopping by? Because. They're RuffaloCODY and they have an absolutely incredible team. You're familiar with some of their recent acquisitions, right? Scannell & Kurz AND Noel-Levitz? Over the last three years, those two companies have been #EMchat staples, sharing serious white papers, posts, and really friendly conversations. Of course you should say hi!

5. Technolutions Slate (Booth 835): "Admissions Evolved." That sums them up, for sure. Need an admissions solution? They've got it in their suite...and if they don't, word on the street is they can make it happen really fast. I'm also going to personally attest that they're a great company because well, Tim Dunning works there. Even if you've got every solution your institution could possibly need, stop by and say hi to Tim--he's been a part of #EMchat since the beginning and will also likely have an excellent beer recommendation for you!

6. AACRAO (Booth 805): Networking, networking, networking. And consulting. And resources. And just knowledge. Lots and lots of knowledge. Chances are you know multiple members who can attest to the greatness that is AACRAO. I don't know what's going on in their booth, but I can promise that they'll have some great folks ready to share their passion for the industry with you for as long as you're ready to listen.

7. Render Experiences (Booth 1323): Formerly TargetX Campus Visit Consulting, this team was one of our most recent #EMchat guests. In the part of the industry that holds one of the most pivotal (my opinion) moments for prospective students, campus visits, you'd expect the consultants to beyond with-it when it comes to building relationships. And that is exactly what you get. This team is super knowledgable and knows what it takes to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits your campus.

8. Chegg Enrollment Solutions (Booth 700 & 705): All that orange should absolutely grab your attention--and for good reason. When students see Chegg they undoubtedly think cheaper textbooks and more scholarships. Now they can add tons of other great tools. But you're not a student. That's okay. They've got a suite of enrollment solutions spanning search, marketing, and recruitment. Stop by and say hi to Gil Rogers. He's blowing up Instagram--you should recognize him by now.

9. Hobsons (Booth 909): The Hobsons team (although having changed over the years) has been a part of #EMchat since we started in 2011. Their [corporate] head is in the right spot--focusing on complete student lifecycle management. NACAC may just be for EM pros, but I bet you could take some pretty interesting information back to your campus on how to tie student relationships together from the first point of contact to well past graduation. Just like all of our top 10, Hobsons has a super friendly staff who definitely know what they're talking about.

10. NACAC (Booth 600): Because. Well. NACAC.