Case Study: La Trobe University at VCS & VCE 2021

Expo Centric drive LaTrobe University's market shift toward local students as COVID-19 hits.


La Trobe University is one of Australia’s pioneering universities and has been for more than 50 years. It has grown to accommodate more than 36,000 students, with over 7,000 international students from 110 countries. With a network of campuses they are now located in Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Mildura, Melbourne City, Shepparton and Sydney.


La Trobe University aspires to be the leading university in Victoria, however with the ever-evolving situation with the pandemic, they knew they would need to shift their recruitment strategy to play a focus on local students rather than international. To do so they needed to change their market positioning and target audience whilst also showcasing their university as the action-packed events calendar they promote.


To commence LaTrobe’s new approach to student recruitment, Expo Centric did an analysis on their target audience, competitors and market position and performed in-depth market research to help build out a creative strategy to debut their new image. The rollout would be seen through digital touchpoints and through in-person engagements, all part of their overarching recruitment campaign.

Traditionally, La Trobe has used VCS and VCE events to showcase the university to prospective students and wanted to continue to make this impact on students throughout COVID-19. As part of these events they create highly engaging and memorable exhibition stands which deliver details on everything that La Trobe had to offer including their courses, entry programs and use it as an opportunity to represent the university’s excellence in teaching. At these events, students are able to connect with the university in a personable way with integrated technology.

In response Expo Centric created three tactile resolutions that would be brought together with the support of a pre-event awareness strategy.


To continue this movement throughout COVID-19, Expo Centric’s solution was AirClad. AirClad Xtrail is an exhibition stand and trailer hybrid, allowing the exhibition stand to be towed to various locations. LaTrobe’s AirClad would allow them to bring the university to students, visiting three schools a week in Victoria, and in turn create an array of new ways for La Trobe to connect.


In addition to AirClad and as part of the in-person engagement strategy, Expo Centric fabricated hundreds of portable, branded brochure stands, which were distributed to schools across Victoria to ensure La Trobe was kept front of mind as school students start to apply to universities.


In preparation for the return of events, Expo Centric worked alongside La Trobe to redesign their custom exhibition stand, placing engagement, interactivity and technology at the forefront. 

“The Expo Centric team took the time to get to know La Trobe University and in turn they brought us innovative solutions and designs that complemented our recruitment strategy and brand. They have been fantastic and highly skilled to work with, from the initial concept and design, project management to the final stand here today.

Fiona Kelleher, Undergraduate Student Recruitment Manager


To show La Trobe in a new light to prospective students, Expo Centric introduced an integrated marketing campaign. The campaign worked to connect all touchpoints a student would utilise when being visited by La Trobe or meeting them at an event. Through these touch points, La Trobe could ensure their narrative could be shared, and courses could be explained.  

To accompany the new campaign was creative messaging that spoke directly to local students, delving deeper into why La Trobe and their courses were valuable. The campaign was run across both below the line and above the line media outlets including paid and organic social media, eDM campaigns, virtual banners and out of home signage. All pieces of messaging reiterated their presence at upcoming events. 


La Trobe University made quite the impact at VCS  through the culmination of their pre-event marketing, onsite exhibition stand and AirClad. 

As prospective students visited VCS and VCE events, the La Trobe stand made an impact. The exhibition stand was brought to life by the Expo Centric team and gave the university a sense of personality.  In turn students were able to resonate with the university and spark excitement around what the future may hold for them. 

The look and feel of the stand encapsulated a sense of thought-leadership, and playfulness. This was depicted through spinning square panels that held key information such as the benefits of La Trobe’s admissions program, scholarship opportunities, leadership opportunities and minimum ATAR requirements, all the while tapping into the innocence of a game.

Meanwhile the interactive technology within the AirClad structure positioned La Trobe as being second to none with outstanding innovation. Expo Centric developed content for iPad kiosks, iPads, QR codes and LED screens with digital course guides that detailed what courses were on offer in each faculty, the entry requirements and potential employment opportunities. 

With the large volumes of visitors, the technology integrated allowed more engagements and were highly effective for lead generation when La Trobe staff were not able to speak with the students themselves.

A sense of vision was projected through the graphics on the booth and AirClad, displaying recent graduates and the course they completed. Branded merchandise was also handed out to remind visitors of all the possibilities with La Trobe.


Following the series of events, La Trobe had accumulated a high number of quality leads taken from either face to face engagement or through the technology set up within the stands. 

Expo Centric developed a strategy where leads were prioritised based on the student engagement and were segmented into three databases: 

  • HOT LEADS were sent directly to the recruitment team for follow up 
  • WARM LEADS were placed in a dedicated email list and students were retargeted on social media and future advertisements 
  • COLD LEADS were placed in a broader email list to maintain consistent broad updates with the student.

La Trobe also used these lists to further inform those students who haven’t enrolled, of their events calendar or whether they would be visiting their school with the AirClad.

“Stan and Saba have been exceptional to deal with, the customer service has been outstanding, ensuring that we have a finished product that the university is extremely happy with. The ethos of Expo Centric is well aligned with the university’s sustainability values which enables us to configure and modulate the stand based on the different exhibitions that we attend.”

Fiona Kelleher, Undergraduate Student Recruitment Manager

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