Frequently Asked Questions

We hate to sound like know-it-alls, but we do know all there is to know about UniSmart and we want to share.

If the answer to your burning question isn’t here, just contact us. We’re always happy to talk.

How long has UniSmart been going?

The first version (called ‘Head Start’) was presented by co-founder, John Davey in 1999 at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

The presentation evolved rapidly and was re-named UniSmart™ in 2005.

Who is the UniSmart presentation aimed at?

UniSmart is targeted specifically at 17-23 year old first year university or tertiary students. This includes those living in university halls or flats, international students and freshers living at home or off campus. UniSmart isn’t aimed at mature students over 24 years, and due to adult themes, it isn’t suitable for children.

How much does it cost?

If you’ve ever held a pizza night for a student icebreaker, UniSmart costs around the same per head – but we fill their minds up.
The sliding pricing scale is based on 3 factors:

  • Number of new students
  • Number of events (related to venue capacity)
  • Timing of your booking. Early Bird discount specials are offered per country. In the UK, the Early Bird is available in December. In Australia and New Zealand, it’s offered in May. If you’d like to receive our Early Bird alerts, please just let us know.

What topics are covered?

We regularly update content to reflect current issues facing students. Our topics are informed by independently analysed survey data from thousands of students every year. For a snapshot of topics please click here.

If you have a special topic of interest, please contact us to discuss how we can help.

How long is it?

The presentation runs around 65-70 minutes, depending on audience participation.

The technical rehearsal will add either 90 or 120 minutes, depending on your venue.

How many Presenters are there?

UniSmart is presented by one Presenter per event.

From November 2019 we have five Presenters available: Lizzie, Rowan, Briega, Darren and Conrade.

Can I choose my Presenter?

Sure you can, if they are available on your preferred date.

The best way to get your preferred presenter is to book during the Early Bird period.

Each presenter is very popular so we can’t make any promises until you’ve confirmed your booking.


How do I book?

Please contact us to discuss your needs, number of students and venue options and we’ll have a chat and provide a no obligation quote.

How do I hold or secure my preferred date?

You will have already run your choice of date/s by us and determined Presenter availability.

The available date you select will be held for ten days, during which time we will issue your Contract and Deposit invoice. Returning the signed paperwork and lodging the Deposit on time will confirm your event. Providing your Purchase Order at the time of booking will prevent delays.

Can our university tailor the content?

We tailor your content via the Specific Information Form (SIF) that you are asked to complete once your booking is confirmed. There is no charge for this service.

Brief mentions of topical importance can be woven into the presentation at no additional charge.

If you would like us to create new material around a specific topic, we can do this at a rate of NZD$250 per hour. We will provide a quote and a draft of the content for your review.

Please provide plenty of notice, as quality creativity takes time and rehearsals.

How can we evaluate UniSmart’s success and relevance?

By distributing the students’ survey form we provide and providing us with the survey feedback.

The data is included in a nationwide report that we distribute to all universities. Responses are reported confidentially and there is no charge for this survey.

A bespoke university report is also offered for a fee.

What does the university have to do?

The University is required to provide:

  • The audience! Make sure you get the students there on the day.
  • One point of contact for UniSmart HQ to liaise with.
  • A suitable indoor venue – lecture theatre, auditorium or student union venue.
  • An Audio Visual system and technical requirements as described in the Technical Specifications.
  • Hotel accommodation and breakfast for your Presenter.
  • Presenter’s ground transfers between local airport/station/hotel and venue.
  • One way, domestic travel for your Presenter.

Are there any promotional materials available?

Yes, we provide the digital files for a UniSmart poster and a DLE flier. All complimentary with your booking.

We also offer articles and images for local media or university publications.

Are we allowed to film or photograph our UniSmart event?

Sorry, no unauthorised filming, recording or photography is permitted.

Please let us know what you require and we can discuss options.

Can we live-stream into an overflow venue?

This is a no-no, due to the unacceptable compromise of quality.  UniSmart is designed to be 100% live, in-your-face action.

If you have more students than seats, maybe you need to book another event, perhaps in a smaller lecture theatre.

What support does UniSmart HQ offer?

We want your UniSmart experience to be magic, with raving students and staff.

To this end, we offer full event support including:

  • A UniSmart Event Pack, issued upon booking confirmation. This is updated regularly.
  • A critical path for the few details you need to tick off your list.
  • A schedule of reminders from HQ for return of information and booking requirements.
  • A dedicated team in New Zealand and a man-on-the-ground in the United Kingdom.
  • A highly trained and skilled team of internationally experienced Presenters. You can rely on your Presenter to remain calm and solution-focussed in the face of any challenge arising on event day.
  • Promotional support, including poster, flier and publicity materials.
  • Technical advice and support with tech-jargon and equipment hire contracts.
  • Free brainstorming advice and events management support.

Another question?

Ask us. We’re friendly, we love what we do and we are always happy to work with you to deliver an outstanding presentation.