As a university, you’re likely already using online events to recruit students and connect with your networks worldwide. With the rise of COVID-19, not only has in-person learning been interrupted, so have in-person events. 

Most universities pivoted quickly to host virtual open days and participate in virtual education fairs. However, many still are unaware of all the options they have for hosting online events. 

Whether you’ve dipped your toes with a few virtual event types or you’re new to the virtual event space, you have lots of new opportunities. Let’s have a look at all the online events you can host and how they’ll benefit you. 

Benefits of Hosting Online Events for Universities 

If you’re new to the online event space, the best place to start is to understand why you should go virtual. Here are a few of the top benefits of hosting virtual events:

  • Cost: Hosting an in-person event is much less costly and requires much less time to plan. With a virtual event, you don’t need to book a venue, plan food and beverage, travel or setup, which leaves your budget free for other priorities. 
  • User Experience: A user-friendly event platform makes it easy for attendees to navigate, and our 3D virtual environment makes it feel like you’re at an in-person event. We can even make the virtual environment look just like your school!
  • Engagement: Hosting a webinar series isn’t as engaging as an immersive virtual event. You can share more information at a virtual event, such as video, downloadable documents, and live or pre-recorded webinars. 
  • Reporting: It’s difficult to accurately track the success of an event. With virtual events, you get a detailed report about attendee activity. This includes registration and attendee data, as well as behaviour metrics. This helps you understand what people were most interested in, and what’s not as important for your next event.

Virtual Event Types 

Now, let’s go through all the online events you could host, and some of their unique features and benefits. Here are our most-used online events for universities: 

Virtual Open Day

One of the most popular online events universities are hosting are virtual open days. These events help you attract prospective students and share what to expect as a student at your school. You can share important information about programs, life on campus and student support services. Share anything that helps your prospects feel informed and excited about your school. 

Benefits:

  • Maximize reach. Promote your event to students across the world and target prospective students who might not be able to attend an in-person event. 
  • Share more information. Include all the details of your school. This could include interactive campus tours, exhibit booths for each of your departments or student services, or live virtual presentations.
  • Chat live. Speak with prospective students to answer any questions they have about your school, offer a Q&A based on questions they submit, and host icebreakers to help them connect with each other.
  • Source prospects. Search student profiles and connect with some top prospects through text, audio or video chat. Leave an impression that will keep your school top-of-mind as they go through the application and acceptance process.

Here’s one example of the virtual open day we hosted with Royal Holloway University.

Virtual Job Fair

Virtual job fairs are a great tool for your career services department to use when trying to help students or alumni find jobs. Employers looking to hire can set up virtual exhibit booths, and they have lots of opportunities to promote open roles and connect with prospective candidates!

Benefits:

  • Global reach. Invite a larger global network of students, alumni and hiring companies to participate. By eliminating travel requirements, more hiring companies will be likely to participate. 
  • Employer benefits. Employers can search for candidates based on their profiles, and easily target those they’d like to meet with within the event platform. Having virtual profiles and resumes ready to go will save the employer time and make the most of their event participation.

virtual job fair

See how our client APUS used a virtual job fair to deliver ROI in under 4 weeks.

Virtual Conference 

Does your school have a strong research center? Chances are you host research conferences and poster presentations in-person on a regular basis. Hosting such online events is easy, and we can feature a functional poster hall. This allows researchers to their posters, link to important resources, chat with other conference-goers, and host Q&A’s. 

Benefits:

  • Larger pool of experts. Reach a larger audience of experts from around the world to share your research findings and ideate together. Promoting to a larger audience means higher success in online events for universities.
  • Simple communication. Host research posters in our virtual poster hall, which include buttons to video poster presentations, live chat with the researchers, and options to download the poster and its supporting documents.
  • Document hosting. Share resources in a variety of formats including downloadable PDF documents, videos and audio clips. All of these resources can be downloaded by attendees and reviewed later.  
vFairs virtual poster hall
Our virtual poster hall.

Virtual Networking Fair 

Staying connected with your students and alumni is an important focus for your communications teams. Hosting networking events online is highly beneficial and provides lots of opportunities to connect in meaningful ways. 

Benefits:

  • Low cost. Host high-end and high-impact virtual events at a fraction of the cost of in-person events. 
  • Tons of networking features. You can conduct live interactive presentations, group chatrooms, and 1-on-1 video chat to have meaningful conversations with those in your networks. 

Takeaways

Virtual events come in all shapes and sizes, and they can help your university accomplish a variety of goals. vFairs can help you host any types of virtual event you need to connect with your global networks in a meaningful and productive manner. So, what are you waiting for? 

 

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