Unexpected events are unavoidable and have been changing the world over the years gradually. The industrial revolution, World War I and II, the financial crisis of 2007-2008, and the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016 are a few examples of tectonic events from the past that led to major shifts across the globe. Once again, the world is going through a shift. COVID-19 is having a colossal impact on global societies and the business world.
Social distancing is the new norm as people attempt to limit the spread of this deadly virus. However, this ‘new normal’ has made it impossible to hold physical events, and virtual events have become all the rage now. The online event trend has made its way across all industries and markets all over the world with organizations turning to them to continue their operations as seamlessly as possible. The education sector is also realizing the benefits of virtual events as can be seen from the influx of virtual education fairs being conducted globally these days.
COVID-19 and The Education Industry
It’s not wrong to state that the education industry is one of the industries most drastically hit by COVID-19. The disruption created by the pandemic affected nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries.
The lockdown that followed led to the closure of educational institutions, bringing the learning process to a standstill at least for a few weeks during which governments and institutions figured out a way forward amidst the crisis. While higher education institutions leveraged digital technology to continue classes online, recruiting students for 2021 and beyond became a cause for concern in the absence of traditional education fairs.
In the current scenario, virtual education fairs have become a lifeline for the education industry. Virtual education fairs have been around for a while now but their importance and usage increased during the pandemic. Currently, educational institutions across the globe are resorting to these virtual solutions to bring onboard the best students regardless of geographic location.
So, what is a virtual education fair?
A virtual education fair is an online event that brings together educational institutions and students to enable them to find the right fit. They provide students the opportunity to explore and learn about institutions and their programs for further education. Online education fairs also benefit educational institutions in effectively marketing themselves and reaching out to a global potential student pool.
Let’s dig in to learn about the contributing factors to this rise of virtual education fairs.
Safe and Secure Without Any Crowds
The most immediate benefit of a virtual education fair in the times of COVID-19 is the safety it offers. Virtual events like this allow exhibitors and attendees to join from the comfort of their homes without compromising their safety. Compared to a physical event, there are no crowds or long lines at a virtual education fair which not only makes them secure but also saves a lot of time for everyone involved.
Connect Globally with virtual education fairs
Online education fairs allow organizers and exhibitors to gain global traction, going beyond geographic boundaries and barriers. They are highly accessible and provide equal opportunities to people with special needs.
Higher attendance and participation in virtual events
Virtual events do not require people to travel to the venue, book accommodation, or stand in queues. They also have the ability to host a lot more people than a physical event. All that is required from attendees and exhibitors is to have a stable internet connection, a smartphone or computer, and a quiet place from where they can be a part of the event.
The convenience offered by virtual education fairs results in higher attendance which is beneficial for all parties involved. Additionally, participation is enhanced as people operate from their preferred places of comfort.
Branding opportunity for educational institutions
Virtual education fairs provide the perfect opportunity for exhibitors to market themselves effectively. Each educational institution has its own culture and vision that can be communicated through a virtual event successfully.
An online education fair allows institutions to set up virtual booths where they can add videos, presentations, and documents to inform prospective students what they stand for. Through live chat, they can communicate with attendees and address their questions.
Track engagement without any hassle
A virtual education fair can provide valuable information regarding the event and attendees that can be used to determine the event’s success. A virtual event can provide you the following information.
- How many people signed up for your event
- How many people actually attended the event
- Which booths gained the most attention
- Which webinar or presentation had the most attendance
- … and much more.
Long-Term Relationships with participants
In a physical education fair, the likelihood of staying in touch with attendees after the event is not very promising. Since most of the documentation is paper-based in a physical event, maintaining the database after the event becomes a hassle.
In the case of virtual education fairs, the conversation with the attendees is through audio/video/text chat which can be accessed after the event as well. The contact information of attendees is also available post-event. This provides an opportunity for educational institutions to reach out to the attendees after the event in an attempt to educate them about the programs and convert them into leads.
Virtual events, unlike physical events, do not generate paper and plastic waste. Hence, they do not contribute to the heaps of waste that end up in landfills after the event.
Furthermore, they do not require attendees and exhibitors to travel to and from the venue which reduces the carbon footprint of the events. The same is the case with virtual education fairs, making them environmentally-friendly.
Virtual education fairs are transforming the education industry by leveraging technology. COVID-19 made it fairly clear for educational institutions that edtech is the way forward and virtual education fairs are an unavoidable part of this technological wave.
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