TABS Lab - Admission & Marketing Strategy


TABS Lab - Admission & Marketing Strategy, July 17 - 19
For Experienced and Seasoned Staff

Gather with Deans, Directors, and other experienced professionals for conversation about the challenges facing boarding schools. Hear the latest trends and trials. Go beneath the surface to investigate the critical issues more deeply and begin to strategize approaches. Tackle crucial questions including:

Where are the full- and high-pay domestic families, and how do we reach them?

How might we embrace internationalization thoughtfully, while contending with the torrent of applications from one or two foreign countries?

What is the future of aid — need, merit, and remission discounting?

How is social media reshaping boarding school search and selection? What messaging might be right for tweens? And for parents?

How can we begin to think about pricing (i.e. tuition) in a strategic rather than operational context?

Are boarding schools becoming more regional? And how can we more effectively use data to understand demand and optimize ROI in admission and marketing.

"Three days of intensive education, collaboration, reflection and progressive discussion on the challenges that face all of our schools.”

Vincent Hodge Admissions

Episcopal High School

TABS Lab Attendee 2011



Registration Types
Single Rate
$1415 US
$2575 US
Group Rate (3 or more)
$1315 US

Room/Board per night

$98 US

$98 US


*Register three or more staff and recieve $100 off each registration. You must register at the same time to recieve a discount.



*Registration will also be open Monday July, 16 from 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Tuesday, July 17
08:00-10:00 am Registration*
10:00-10:30 am Opening Welcome Session
10:30-11:30 am Integrated Marketing & ROI: A Conceptual Tour
11:30-11:45 am Break
11:45-12:30 pm Boarding School Market – Overview & Environmental Scan
12:30-01:30 pm Lunch
01:30-02:30 pm Discussion Group: Boarding School Market
02:30-03:30 pm Domestic Market – A Deeper Dive
03:30-03:45 pm Break
03:45-04:45 pm International Market – A Deeper Dive
04:45-05:45 pm Discussion Group: Domestic & International Markets
06:00-09:00 pm Reception
Wednesday, July 18
07:00-09:00 am Breakfast
09:00-10:15 am People: Mobilizing Human Capital
10:15-10:30 am Break
10:30-11:30 am Discussion Group: Mobilizing Human Capital
11:30-12:30 pm Promotion: Digital & Print Communication Tools
12:30-01:30 pm Lunch
01:30-02:30 pm Promotion: Case Studies
02:30-02:45 pm Break
02:45-04:00 pm Discussion Group: Promotion
05:00-07:00 pm Dinner
Thursday, July 19
07:00-08:30 am Breakfast
08:30-10:00 am Pricing & Aid
10:00-10:15 am Break
10:15-11:15 am Discussion Group: Pricing & Aid
11:15-12:15 pm Strategic Resource Allocation
12:15-01:15 pm Lunch
01:15-02:15 pm Discussion Group:Strategic Resource Allocation
02:15-02:30 pm Break
02:30-04:00 pm Ending Panel

*Schedule is subject to change

Faculty & Staff

Barbara Kennedy (TABS Lab Facilitator & Presenter)
Director of External Affairs
Baylor School, TN
Barbara earned her degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee and after a two-year stint as a reporter she moved in the public relations and marketing field where she has spent the last 25 years managing communication strategies for higher education, corporate, government, and non-profit organizations. She arrived at Baylor in 2000 after serving as the media coordinator for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She currently serves on the school’s executive team and oversees marketing, public relations, and summer camps. She also serves as the liaison with the Parent Alliance board and will add a new dimension to her career this fall when she steps into the classroom to teach a course in mass communications.

Ryan Pagotto (TABS Lab Facilitator & Presenter)
Dean of Admission
Blair Academy, NJ
Ryan presently serves as Dean of Admission at Blair Academy. He recently concluded his 9th year at Blair, with five in admission and the prior four as a history teacher, dorm head, tennis coach and grade dean. Other teaching and administrative experience came through Wyoming Seminary (PA) and Oxbridge Academic Programs in Cambridge, England, where Ryan served as director for three summers. His undergraduate degree is from Dickinson College and he holds a graduate degree from The Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. Ryan lives at Blair with his wife, Jennifer, also on the Blair faculty, their 5 month old son, Jack, and their two wildly energetic dogs.

Pete Upham (TABS Lab Facilitator & Presenter)
Executive Director
The Association of Boarding Schools
Pete has been Executive Director of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) since late 2007. Earlier in his career, Pete spent thirteen years in boarding school administration and teaching. In his last post, he served for four years as Assistant Head of School for External Affairs at Asheville School, a boarding-day school in North Carolina.  More recently, Pete was the owner and principal of CWJ Consulting LLC, a firm assisting independent schools in the areas of marketing and strategic planning. Pete’s relationship with TABS is long-standing. He was a regular member of the faculty for the winter Marketing Academy and summer Admission Academy.  In 2003, he was one of six school administrators invited to advise TABS on the research conducted by Art & Science Group on boarding school outcomes, a study that led to “The Truth About Boarding Schools” publication. Pete is former Board President for Hanger Hall, an independent school for girls in North Carolina, and former Vice-President of the Board for the Diocese of Charlotte Schools, a regional Catholic school system serving more than 7,000 students. He is also a poet; his work has appeared in a number of regional and national journals. Pete was educated at The Hotchkiss School (CT), which he attended as a boarder for four years, and at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar and National Merit Scholar. He lives in Asheville with his four children.

Hotel Information

Accommodations at Boston University
Accommodations are $98 per night and includes most meals. You can  customize your stay period when registering, so if you wish to arrive a little early or stay a day later, we can accommodate you. If you would prefer to stay elsewhere, consider purchasing a daily parking pass to use the parking lot near the training facility.

Boston University’s 33 Harry Agganis Way will be our housing facility. This apartment-style residence consists of four-bedroom / two-bath suites complete with living rooms and kitchens. All fully-furnished bedrooms are single occupancy and include linens, towels and alarm clock. The entire dorm is wireless with Internet access available throughout. For your security, each bedroom has a separate lock from the apartment.

Arrangements can be made for spouses/partners to share the same apartment, but they must be registered for one of the Summer Programs. Children are not permitted to stay in the dorm facility.

Meals at Boston University
Housing includes breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Meals will be served in a "food court" setting at a nearby dorm facility, and the selection is extensive and can accommodate various diets.

Lunches will be included for those staying off campus as well.

Ground Transportation

Boston’s Logan International Airport is located just 8 miles east of Boston University. There are several choices for your transportation, the most expensive being the cab at approximately $36 (fare, toll & tunnel fees, and 15% tip). Shared shuttle van services, such as Ultimate Shuttle, are available at approximately $14 each way. The least expensive is the T Subway at $1.70 each way.

T Subway Instructions

  • Take a complimentary shuttle at Logan Airport to the Blue Line (Shuttle 11- all terminals, Shuttle #22 - terminals A & B, Shuttle - #33 terminals C & E)
  • Take the Bowdoin-bound Blue Line train to Government Center Station.
  • Transfer at Government Center to the Green "B" line (Boston College - bound) and get off at Pleasant Street.

Pleasant Street turns into Harry Agganis right at Commonwealth (the T runs down the middle of Commonwealth). From there it's a one block walk to the dorm facility.

For more information about ground transportation or for airport information, visit

Arrival and Departure Information
Participants arriving from outside the United States must bring a valid passport and any other applicable documentation. Visit the State Department website for more information.

When booking flights, leave at least 2.5 hours between the conclusion of your workshop and flight departure time. 

On Campus
When you arive at the campus and register for your session, you will recieve a week long T pass. You can use this to get to and from the dorm to where your session is being held, or to go out on the town.

Click HERE to view a map of Boston University.

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