Resources for Graduation Event Professionals

How Students and Parents View Commencement

As a part of the graduation industry, it's easy to forget the myriad of emotions students and their families experience around commencement. For any given student, graduation represents numerous years of hard work, dedication, personal and financial sacrifice as well as formative years creating relationships that will last a lifetime. GradImages explored these experiences further during focus groups with graduates and their families. Here are some of the emotions grads and their families reported feeling on graduation day:

Topics: Commencement Preparations Terminology Best Practices Customer Choices GradImages Technology Commencement Photography Personal Stories

How close-up photos work at commencement

At commencement, offering close-up photographs is a great way to provide additional photo options to your graduates and their families.

Topics: Commencement Preparations Terminology Best Practices Customer Choices GradImages Commencement Photography

The importance of sign language interpretation at commencement


Editor's Note: At many graduation ceremonies across America you’ll likely see a sign language interpreter standing next to the stage on a platform or elevated position interpreting the graduation for a community of students and families. A Gallaudet Research Institute summary estimates 3.4% of the American population between 18 and 34 are hard of hearing or Deaf, around 2.3 million Americans. Providing a sign language interpreter for hard of hearing or Deaf students and graduate families is an integral part of an exemplary commencement experience.

Topics: Commencement Preparations Best Practices Commencement Photography Personal Stories Commencement Staff

How to assist limited mobility spectators at commencement

The number of people with mobility limitations as a percentage of all spectators can be slightly higher at commencement than at other school events. Grandparents and the elderly are more likely to attend these once-in-a-lifetime ceremonies, and unfortunately with age comes a higher likelihood of some type of mobility concern.  Additionally, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 3.6 million military veterans with service-related injuries.  With this in mind, what accommodations can event coordinators make for those commencement spectators who have limited mobility?

Topics: Best Practices Etiquette

How custom backdrops can be used at commencement

At most graduation ceremonies served by GradImages, our photographers capture a ceremony portrait. This posed image – separate from the handshake photograph – is taken either immediately before or immediately after a graduate is recognized on stage.

Topics: Terminology Best Practices Customer Choices GradImages Technology

A look into all-inclusive photography contracts for schools

When a school enters into an “all-inclusive” agreement for photography services, this typically means one (and only one) photographer has been retained for all pictures at that institution, regardless of the event type. This arrangement is most often seen at middle schools and high schools, where the photographer could be asked to capture everything from marching band pictures to prom portraits.

Topics: Best Practices Commencement Photography

How photo proofs from commencement are quickly sent

With graduates and their families, there’s an inherent expectation that photo proofs from their graduation ceremony will be available online almost immediately after the ceremony. After all, with today’s technology, we live in a world of near-instant gratification.

Topics: Commencement Preparations Best Practices GradImages Technology Commencement Photography

When to have students complete graduate address cards

The ability to quickly send commencement photos to your graduates and their families requires accurate, up-to-date address information.  The best way to ensure that is to have graduates fill out their own address cards before the ceremony.

Topics: Commencement Preparations Best Practices GradImages Commencement Photography

7 considerations to make before selling premium seats at commencement

Is it appropriate to charge parents and spectators for “premium seating” at commencement? This has been happening for a few years, though is not yet a widespread trend. Before we dive into this topic, we first need to establish that there are two types of premium seats. The first is based on comfort, and the second is based on vantage point. One has a remarkably different stigma attached to it than the other.

Topics: Commencement Preparations Best Practices Etiquette Commencement Photography

An Overview of the North American Association of Commencement Officers

Mandated with putting on the highest profile events of the year for our institutions, commencement coordinators or directors of academic ceremonies must face considerable challenges: meeting the needs of many stakeholders, and the even greater challenge of ensuring that each ceremony is one that will appropriately celebrate our graduates and the work they have done to achieve this level of academic success.  It is our goal that graduates, parents, family and friends and the university community leave the ceremony with a positive and lasting impression of this occasion and of the university. I have found that the North American Association of Commencement Officers (NAACO) has proven to be my greatest resource towards meeting this goal.

Topics: Best Practices