Representatives from 23 institutions in 13 countries joined THE-ICE Webinar Series 13: THE-ICE Member Benefits to discuss the increasing suite of benefits available to members of THE-ICE, with a particular focus on THE-ICE’s inaugural global student competition and their newest strategic partner, Unibuddy.
On Wednesday 19th May 2021, Mr Peter Russell (Russell Partnership Technology) and Ms Sofia Fry (Unibuddy) joined THE-ICE CEO Dr Craig Thompson to discuss THE-ICE Member Benefits, especially THE-ICE’s new partnership with Unibuddy and the inaugural global student competition, THE-ICE Global Revenue Management Challenge, presented in association with THE-ICE Business Alliance Partners Russell Partnership Technology and STR SHARE Center.
THE-ICE Global Revenue Management Challenge
Mr Peter Russell affirmed that THE-ICE Global Revenue Management (GRM) Challenge will be a truly global event, uniting students from across THE-ICE network and facilitating cross-cultural and cross-institutional networking. Revenue management is a growing area of interest and importance, and the focus of THE-ICE GRM Challenge. The Challenge is rooted in learning, with the competitive element layered over the top and networking and teamworking built in.
- The simulation element of the Challenge allows students to apply their learning, and Russell Partnership Technology focuses on simulating the real world as closely as possible.
- Students will be given access to the programme and onboarding, which will give teams all the information they need to compete, and technical support will be available directly from Russell Partnership Technology.
- It is recommended that teams spend no less than three (3) hours and no more than six (6) hours to complete the Challenge. However, there is no set timeline for teams to complete the Challenge, and entries will remain open until September.
- Although the focus of the Challenge and the simulation is on a hotel environment, students do not have to be studying hotel management or hospitality to compete.
Mr Russell showed screenshots of the programme to demonstrate some of the decisions the competitors will have to make – about room price, direct advertising, hours spent on social media, distribution channels, offers they will accept or reject – as they work through the simulation. The first two scores for each team will be submitted to the leader board although teams can repeat the simulation again if they wish, as a learning opportunity.
To register your interest in participating the THE-ICE GRM Challenge, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unibuddy is the newest Strategic Partner of THE-ICE and works alongside higher education institutions to improve their marketing through the power of peer-to-peer engagement. Universities want to attract and retain the best students, and students want to choose the university that will fit them best; in both cases, a digital journey is needed to attract, reassure, and recruit.
University Partnerships Coordinator Ms Sofia Fry provided an overview of Unibuddy’s services and benefits, including:
- Connecting current and prospective students through a chat widget, enabling personalised communication that creates confidence and a sense of belonging.
- Space to share student generated content.
- A built-in live event platform for hosting open days, orientation, and other events to increase connection and community.
- The platform runs on artificial intelligence (AI), so all interactions and engagement data are captured and delivered as insights, which allows for more targeted marketing and engagement.
- Increasing applications, as well as conversions from offer to enrolment.
While some institutions do incentivise participation with gamification, certificates, and more, most current students who use the Unibuddy platform do so on a volunteer basis.
Ms Fry confirmed that Unibuddy’s annual fees are based on a tiered structure and are dependent on institution size. Institutions have the option to join Unibuddy with just one faculty instead of a whole school, and this is priced accordingly. Members of THE-ICE are eligible for a 20% discount on new contracts, and those with existing Unibuddy contracts will have the discount applied to their next renewal.
Mr John Lohr, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation for THE-ICE Business Alliance Partner Hosco, was also in attendance at the webinar, and joined the presenters to discuss the benefits that Hosco offers to members of THE-ICE. Through their partnership with Hosco, THE-ICE is able to offer an alternative perspective on quality, from alumni. THE-ICE will present this data, gathered from alumni already using the Hosco platform, to its member institutions alongside the THE-ICE ISBSB Survey feedback in the second half of the year.
The recording of the webinar can be accessed here.