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Graduation is just around the corner, and for many schools, it’s still unclear what the best way forward is this year. Some schools are considering hosting in-person events at reduced capacity, or hybrid events. However many others including Harvard, are planning to host virtual graduation ceremonies this year. The fact is that even with vaccinations rolling out worldwide, in-person events still pose a risk to those participating. As much as people want to resume life as usual, safety is still a large concern.
Having said that, you may still be contemplating whether a virtual graduation ceremony could offer a memorable day for students and their families. If you’re still on the fence about the best possible option for your students, might we introduce you to our preferred solution?
Aside from the health and safety aspect of hosting a virtual event, what are the benefits of hosting a virtual graduation ceremony? Let’s look at a few benefits of hosting a grad ceremony online this year.
Remember the last convocation you hosted, where you could only allow each student to invite a pair or a small group of family members? Now, students can share their big day with a larger group of loved ones. By eliminating the physical venue, you can increase your event capacity.
Additionally, graduating students and their families can log in from anywhere in the world. This allows international students and families, who may otherwise not have been able to travel back, the opportunity to login and participate in their online convocation.
Costs are actually saved twofold with virtual graduation ceremonies. Firstly, virtual events can be hosted at a fraction of the cost of an in-person event. That means you — the organizer — save on the cost of catering, printing materials, renting gowns, and any other costs associated with an in-person graduation. This helps free up your budget for other priorities.
Secondly, students and families save on the cost of travel and accommodations spent when attending a grad ceremony. Alleviating these financial burdens may incentivize students to attend who otherwise might not have.
Want to model the virtual venue after an iconic building at your school? Want the auditorium to look and feel just like the auditorium you’ve used for past graduation ceremonies? You have the option to do all that and more! vFairs even offers custom virtual avatars dressed like your graduating class, to help students feel like they’re at a live event.
Keep the event available for students who couldn’t attend the live event, or if they’d like to relive the festivities with their families afterward. You can keep all your materials and presentations up on your event site for long after the live portions have ended. Again, this is a great way to make your event more inclusive and allow more students to join, regardless of their schedule.
You undoubtedly have some pretty high profile alumni or connections to the university that you’d like to invite to speak during the ceremony. In the past, for in-person events, you may have had a difficult time securing some of those high profile speakers. Scheduling conflicts due to availability and travel time are common when trying to secure a speaker at events. However with virtual graduation ceremonies open up your speakers’ availability, and eliminate the need for travel. This means that you have a better chance of booking your speaker of choice, regardless of where they’re situated in the world.
Our live interactive webinars are the perfect solution for a virtual convocation. You can present live, with presenters from multiple locations so that everyone can join safely and remotely. The video presentation is embedded right within the platform, and features a live chat where family members can congratulate graduating students.
Prepare videos beforehand that you can use to make the virtual graduation ceremony even more memorable. For example, you can host a popup video in your virtual lobby with a word from your Dean, welcoming families, congratulating students, and pointing out all the features they can use within the virtual venue.
You can easily migrate student data into the platform to create student profiles. You can share students’ majors, and
even ask them to fill in further details about their favourite memories, career aspirations, and more. Students and families can then browse through the student profiles as they celebrate.
Lead your students through the virtual event with a custom scavenger hunt, or host a leaderboard where students and parents can win prizes for taking specific actions. Get students actively engaged with features like live polling and a trivia game with facts about your school.
Students and families have lots of ways to share their excitement about the day. Our embedded chat feature lets students chat with their friends, family and faculty members through text, audio and video calls. You can also host a social wall where you can track and features all the social media posts related to your event. This is another great way for students and families to feel more connected to the event, and increases their overall engagement!
Let your graduating students browse through school swag and submit orders from right within the virtual graduation ceremony. Showcase your limited edition clothing just for the graduating class of this year, and any other memorabilia you think they’d want. This is a great opportunity for proud parents and family members to pick up their own swag, too!
There are so many ways for you to make your students’ milestone day memorable through a virtual graduation ceremony. These are just a few! If you’re still deciding if a virtual graduation ceremony is right for you, we say err on the side of safety — you can still truly make it memorable!
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