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The Experience: a record-breaking Open House

Highlights from the reimagined signature recruiting event that resulted in a packed house April 7.

By Cory Phare

April 26, 2018

MSU Denver Open house student talking to Department of Political Science representative.Eighteen sample lectures. More than 250 faculty and staff. Nearly 900 potential new members of the Roadrunner community, an increase of 50 from last spring’s event. 

Those are just some of the record-setting numbers from the Office of Admissions’ recent Open House event, the University’s largest recruiting event of the year.

“It was great – thanks to everyone’s help, attendees had a fantastic time,” said Garrett Spradlin, recruitment events, visits and communications manager for Admissions.

The event marked a reimagining of content and aesthetic, creating a college-based table order (instead of alphabetical); using all four floors of the SSB for standing-room-only presentations; and providing an updated look with new tablecloths, signage and strategic branded outreach campaign.

“We realized so many other places offer open houses, so we had to be recognizable,” said Spradlin, who led the changes. “That’s what led to the campaign. We based it on each thing you could experience at MSU Denver – the campus, academics, athletics, etc.

“At the end of the day, everyone can find something to relate to as a Roadrunner.”

Additionally, commercial partnerships ensured that the Tivoli Station bookstore was open (offering 20 percent discounts to attendees) and that DazBog, normally closed Saturdays, offered optimal caffeination opportunities. DIME Denver also provided live music for the event, and two prospective students were awarded $500 scholarships.

Next steps for future events include streamlining check-in logistics, examining the lecture layout and expanding table coverage, Spradlin said.

“This was a lot of work but a lot of fun,” he added. “Everyone involved really stepped up – we couldn’t have done it without the community support; at the end of the day, it all created a great student experience.”

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