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Top tips for Your Virtual Open Day

Top tips for Your Virtual Open Day

8 Top Tips For Running A Successful Virtual Open Day

A Virtual Open Day provides prospective students every opportunity to experience the lifestyle and study opportunities that are vital when making informed decisions on which College or University to attend. Since supporting lots of ambitious universities and colleges over the last six months to creatively deliver their virtual events, we wanted to share some of the key learnings and top tips so that you can feel confident taking your events online during this difficult time.  

Virtual Open Day Tips #1: Create an experience with your Landing page 

First impressions count. A Virtual Open Day requires your prospective students to engage, giving up their time and investing into the content you are providing. The home of that content needs to be impressive and work well. It needs to reflect your brand and culture through well crafted design, UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience). This should be carefully considered, especially if you are looking to deploy quickly and ideally alongside user testing and feedback. The design of the page should navigate the user through a journey of your virtual open day –  signposting relative content and scheduled events as well as highlighting key campus landmarks, integrating digital experiences such as video content, 360 tours, live links and image galleries. 

Virtual Open Day Tips #2: Engage your students with valuable content 

Prospective students are aiming to visualise what their life may look like if they decide to study with you. Content provides the immersive and authentic insight, that can provide that experience and move a prospective student one step closer along their consideration to the decision making process. Lifestyle and campus content turns their room into their first year on campus. Sensorily seeing, hearing and feeling what life on campus could be like. Research films give in-depth information on department research and successes and provides assurance and credibility when heard from real students and academics. Finally, case studies tell authentic student stories that create an emotionally tangible connection with the audience. Real stories of student experiences provides deeper insight that builds affinity and trust. 

Virtual Open Day Tips #3: Connect to students with a personal welcome message

When hosting a Virtual Open Day it is important to ensure a warm personal approach is felt by the prospective students. Websites can feel cold, filled with static imagery and copy. A warm welcome video recorded from the Vice Chancellor or Principle can create an inviting, assuring and approachable introduction to your institution that reflects your values and culture. Create a welcome video for your landing page as well as your individual course and department pages. 

Virtual Open Day Tips #4: Give a taster with live presentations from academics 

Live presentations can make the Virtual Open Day an event. Providing a live experience really immerses the prospective student into the day making them feel connected to the person on the other end and in turn your institution. Aim to get across the credibility, experience and personality of your academics to make your institution stand out. Providing valuable content during your event will also give a taste of what can be expected as a student, securing confidence in their decision.  

Virtual Open Day Tips #5: Provide support through Live Chat 

Prospective students searching for information will have questions. They are curious, have concerns, need assurances. Providing a Live Chat feature to your Virtual Open Day provides the same support they would have expected from your Open Day on campus. A few things to make sure when integrating a Live Chat feature is to: ensure someone is on the other side, have your chat box pop up and and welcome them when they arrive on the page, if there is a busy queue make sure they know someone will be with them shortly and ff they are waiting for a reply, make sure they know that you are typing. 

Virtual Open Day Tips #6: Partner with businesses for a virtual careers fair 

At an Open Day students love being able to interact with employers and businesses representing varied career pathways and industries. We would recommend facilitating a Virtual Careers fair during your Virtual Open Day asking partner businesses to host live chat sessions during the day. This can be through the live chat widget or during a live presentation if they are willing to host one. 

Virtual Open Day Tips #7: Set up analytics that measure visitor data effectively during and after the event

Promoting opportunities to capture attendance data during the Virtual Open Day can be useful information to have. There is greater value in capturing this data during the day rather than pre event because we can prompt engagement in response to specific interests and needs. For example, during a live presentation for Agriculture or a Q&A session from Student Services. This give you clearer information around student interests and pain points in order to best support or engage with them post event. 

Virtual Open Day Tips #8: Safeguarding 

It is important to highlight safeguarding when it comes to a live virtual event, especially when the audience is primarily under the age of 18 and you are encouraging audience engagement and interaction. Our advice is to follow your institution’s safeguarding policy and ensure there are at least two qualified moderators on any live response system. That system should also be able to archive interactions for reference if required. A safeguarding notice should be given at the start of any presentation highlighting the importance of not giving out any private information and that any children under the age of 18 should have an adults permission to interact with any live response features. 

Virtual Open Day’s are becoming extremely popular and are delivering some fantastic engagement and conversion rates for Colleges and Universities (see a recent case study from Moulton College & Aspire Higher) they provide an opportunity for prospective student’s to engage from anywhere in the world and can be tailored to suit your exact needs. 

About Clearhead 

Clearhead are a content agency built to grow brands. Clearhead have helped support Colleges and Universities recruitment marketing for over twelve years through crafting content that sparks chemistry with their audience and starts conversations. Promotional marketing, student experience content, research films, case studies and virtual events are amongst the valuable services we provide. 

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