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Virtual events deliver record number of student conversions for education sector

Working with video production agency Clearhead, Moulton College and Aspire Higher took the bold decision to deliver their first ever virtual events this year resulting in a record number of pre-registrations, online engagement and student conversions. 

This time of year would usually be jam-packed with on-campus events and school outreach visits for both educational institutions, but due to Covid-19 restrictions they were forced to think quickly and creatively. Taking their open day and university experience day online was a big move but one that enabled them to provide an immersive and engaging student experience for young people. 

Paula Page is the Collaborative Project Manager from Aspire Higher – The OfS Uni Connect programme which brings together 29 partnerships of universities, colleges and other local partners to deliver outreach programmes to young people in years 9 to 13, she said:  

“We needed an innovative way to reach Year 13’s and continue the vital work we do to support higher education outreach work in key areas across the country. Having worked with Clearhead previously on our website we approached them about delivering a virtual experience day – the first of its kind in the country. We were obviously nervous as this was a new approach for us and ensuring the technology worked and the content was relevant, dynamic and engaging was key. 

We were delighted with the outcome, Clearhead produced intro animations, video interviews, live links to create interest and clear calls to action and a Q&A platform giving users direct signposting routes and clear ROI metrics for us. As a result, we had 360 YouTube views for the live event and an 840% increase in the amount of unique visits to our website 

Similarly, Moulton College needed to provide an open day experience that showcased their courses, facilities and USPs using seamless technology and delivering a great and safe online experience despite not being able to set foot on site.  

Susan Titmuss, Marketing Manager at Moulton College said:  

“We wanted to replicate our usual open day experience as much as possible so that potential students could get a feel for the college and ask tutors questions about the courses. We were passionate about working with a local agency that understood our audiences and Moulton College’s unique values; Clearhead took the brief and developed a great concept which delivered exactly what we wanted – a slick, professional and seamless event that has received great feedback from visitors.  

Over 400 unique page visits were made to our website throughout the day and pre-registrations increased by 137%. It was great to see so many people taking an interest in studying at the College. It really shows the appetite for online events such as these and it’s something we’ll definitely be looking into running again.”  

Kathy Bird, CEO at Clearhead said:  

“The education landscape is changing, and delivering an informative, creative student experience online is a real challenge for the sector right now. We’ve been supporting our clients to create memorable and successful virtual events over the last 6 months and we’re excited at how they’ve embraced this new approach and the opportunities it brings.  

Using the right technology and creative approach, a virtual event such as an Open Day enables prospective students to engage from anywhere in the world and receive a fully immersive experience.  

When putting together the online production for Aspire Higher and Moulton College we had to get the right balance between technical specifications, safeguarding requirements and delivering the best current information whilst creating an online legacy. Partnering up with professional broadcast software OBS and ECAMM we were able to deliver on all of these things whilst also creating an experience that returned real results. 

I think virtual events will become the norm, not only due to the opportunities they provide for international students but also the level of creativity they offer to universities and colleges. We’re already working on projects to support the next key dates in the education calendar including new term enrolments and fresher’s fairs.” 

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