Universities have to deal with student admissions from all over the world. They need to make sure they attract the top prospects, regardless of location. This means that they may skip many suitable options if they only stick to physical events. Hence, they need to think up the best online academic fair ideas to attract their target audience, no matter where they live. Virtual events offer university recruiters numerous opportunities to interact with prospective students. 

Whether a university is holding an academic fair of its own or is part of one with numerous other colleges, the organizers need to make sure that these events are engaging. In addition, they must make sure that students have access to all the information they need. This includes admission procedures, course descriptions, and an overview of campus life and facilities. Online events make this whole experience much easier for organizers and potential students. Hosts just have to implement the best ideas they have for their academic fairs. 

Academic Fair Ideas: Communication And Info Sharing Activities

virtual fair lobby

Communication-building activities

If students want to find the best university fit for their requirements, or get the best experience out of their chosen university, communication is key. In addition, they need to communicate with university representatives and alumni to get a handle on things. 

Hosts should think of academic fair ideas to encourage this communication. These can include webinars, one-on-one sessions, and group discussions. People can also interact in virtual networking lounges. 

Online student-instructor chats

Students need to know who will be teaching their department once they join a university. They also want to get an idea of the methods these instructors employ. If universities get instructors to be available at certain time slots at academic fairs, they can get students to chat with them. 

Often, students will choose the university based on how much they liked these instructors. Virtual events offer chat functionality to enable this for universities at online academic fairs.  They could also get students familiar with their various instructors through presentations, panel discussions and other webinars. 

Schools can host different presentation tracks based on faculty, then have a few of the tenured professors present on their fields of expertise or have a panel discussion with a few professors from that faculty about what they’ve enjoyed about teaching at that school.

Course-related information

At many academic fairs, students want to know how their courses will be held. When hosts are brainstorming academic fair ideas, they should include course details, and have university representatives answer student queries. 

Academic Fair Ideas: Features to use

academic fair booths

Trivia challenges

Academic fairs can do a lot better and be more popular if they include fun activities such as trivia quizzes. Hosts can involve visitors in short quizzes related to various topics, and give the winners some sort of rewards.

 This will encourage communication and interactivity. Furthermore, it will entice students to visit the university’s booth and find out more about it. 

Scavenger hunt

When listing down academic fair ideas to make things more fun, universities can consider scavenger hunts. They can put clues in clever places, and give out prizes to people who manage to solve them. These places can include webinars, catalogues, and networking lounges. 

Downloadable information packs

virtual briefcase

While physical university prospectuses and information packages might be inconvenient to distribute, virtual briefcases are a great alternative. These will include brochures, fee information, admission procedures, and details about various departments. 

Apart from being easy to access, they are an eco-friendly option. Too often at academic fairs, people just gather loads of brochures and information packs, even for universities they have no intention of going to. 

Leaderboards

Leaderboards are a great way for universities to incentivize visitors to their academic fairs. They can give points for actions like signing up, watching certain videos, and for visiting a certain amount of booths. 

This will create a sense of competition among visitors, and encourage them to engage more actively. 

Virtual Chat

Virtual chats are a great way for universities to start progressive conversations with students. They allow people to interact in a more engaging way, and generate enthusiasm around the event. 

These powerful chat tools allow two-way communication with audio, video, and text capabilities, so are quite flexible. 

Webinars

With a virtual academic fair, universities can easily host expert-driven webinars, regardless of geographical limitations. They include interactive panels and live conferencing capabilities for a truly engaging experience. 

This is perfect for both subject-specific academic conferences and for virtual education fairs. Universities can host these webinars in an interactive auditorium, which also allows visitors to view the videos again at their own convenience.  

Event Types You Can Use These Ideas At

virtual academic fair auditorium

Online orientation

Orientation weeks are a university staple. However, with travel issues such as COVID-19 restrictions or visa delays, many international students miss out on them. Taking these online is an excellent way to make it easier for everyone to attend. 

Universities can host a range of informative and recreational activities online with these virtual events. This can help them save a lot of time and resources, and also cater to students taking primarily online classes. These events should include various activities and chats with university representatives so that any queries can be addressed. 

Virtual academic conferences

Ever since COVID-19 hit, physical academic conferences have reduced significantly. Furthermore, many experts cannot travel all over the country to attend these conferences. This is where virtual conferences come in. 

These conferences let both physical and virtual participants be part of the academic discussions. Furthermore, they encourage a global exchange of ideas, with no geographical limitations on who the speakers and attendees should be.  

Virtual education fairs

Schools can easily share information with prospective students via a virtual education fair. These fairs offer a considerable number of features which make it much easier for universities to attract students. 

At these events, universities can gather student information for future targeting, and also use chat features to start meaningful conversations. 

Tying it all together 

An online academic fair should be planned in a way that each decision supports your goals and objectives. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the planning process. To make sure you’re only using things that you need, make sure you choose:

  • An event type that supports your goals 
  • In-event activities that support your objectives 
  • Features that encourage activity, driving your goals and objectives 

In conclusion, there’s a lot universities and organizers can do to make online academic fairs engaging and interesting for everyone involved. They just have to be creative, and target the right audience. 

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