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A virtual university fair can help you attract and inform prospective students from all over the world. Instead of costly, and logistically limited physical events, a virtual platform will serve your purpose much more effectively.
A virtual college fair, aka a virtual university fair or an education fair, is basically an online event where prospective students can interact with universities to see what the right fit is for them. So, it is the perfect platform for universities to market programmes, attract more admissions, and keep prospective students informed in a variety of ways.
As a host, you’ll be responsible for a massive multi-institution virtual education fair. Therefore, you need to plan what you want to do in an organized and meticulous manner. While a physical college fair requires a large venue, with planning in place months in advance, virtual fairs are much simpler to pull off.
You just need to find the right event hosting platform for you, and choose the features which work best according to your plans. These platforms have a wide variety of features you can leverage to your benefit. Resultantly, you can customize your event or your booth and videos at an event to your preference. But what exactly happens at an education fair and why should you hold one?
An education fair basically includes a lobby where people enter the event, an exhibit hall with booths representing different universities or departments, and an auditorium for info sessions, discussions, panels, and keynote speeches. This might all sound basic, but requires a lot of planning and logistics, complete with ample expenses.
When you take this event virtual, things are simpler, but you still need to put in considerable effort. There are guest speakers to invite, booths to set up, and event agendas to make. There will also be a number of interactive features and activities to keep attendees engaged. These can include scavenger hunts, leaderboards, or games.
Furthermore, this gives you the perfect opportunity to gather data about prospective students, and see what insights you can gather for future strategies. An education fair should also include opportunities for students to connect with their potential instructors and check out the particulars of their departments. Most of all, however, an education fair aims to clarify and streamline the admission process, and help students come to a final decision about their college of choice. In addition, it should make it easy for universities to inform and engage with potential students.
Basically, a virtual university fair is pretty much the same as a physical college fair, with a few differences in methodology. Instead of a physical lobby, you’ll see a virtual one, and the booth displays will also be virtual. This opens up a lot of opportunities to make these booths more engaging and interesting. Universities or departments can offer complete multimedia information packets and also have one-to-one calls with students. Ideally, these calls should include professors the students will be learning from, so they should be involved in the process.
As for the auditorium, universities can arrange guest speakers, recreational performances, and informative sessions which can also be accessed later. Panel discussions with people from multiple avenues or universities can add an element of interest to the event as well. If these talks are taking place in a physical venue, you can employ the hybrid event model and get a virtual audience for more traction as well.
Then, you can open up the floor to question and answer sessions from your virtual audience and create a constant buzz of productive information at the event. You can even have pre-recorded videos up in the auditorium for all your attendees to watch at their own convenience.
It is also a good idea to keep your audience engaged throughout the event. This is not possible if you only have informative sessions and booths at the fair. Rather, you must also include some fun elements. A virtual platform lets you integrate interesting features, such as leaderboards, virtual photo contests, scavenger hunts, and many others. These features will also allow prospective students to interact in a more open and unguarded manner.
This interaction is further encouraged by the various chat functionalities at virtual university fairs. Attendees can talk to each other, university representatives, or you — the host — to get a clearer understanding of admission requirements and other considerations like financial aid and housing.
Basically, a virtual education fair is an online iteration of a physical fair, with its own particularities and benefits. It employs most of the features of a conventional event, and adapts them in the appropriate manner which suits an online platform. It is an excellent alternative to regular events for a variety of reasons, and can help your institution reach out to a much more diverse audience than you could have thought of.
Now you know the particulars of a virtual university fair, you should also know why you should hold one. While physical events have their own appeal and charm, virtual and hybrid events open up a whole other world of possibilities and opportunities for both colleges and students. Therefore, you should think of shifting to a virtual or hybrid model for the next college fair in your calendar. You’ll be sure to see the appeal of these events, and how they can help you tackle a number of challenges. Here’s why you should take your university fairs virtual.
Many students and guests will have geographical limitations even if they want to attend your event. It takes a lot of time and resources to attend an event in another city, state, or even country. This means that a lot of people who would have been a valuable part of the event are forced to miss out.
With a virtual event, you don’t have to worry about these logistics. You can invite students and guests from all over the world, and get the level of participation and discussion you wish to achieve.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a whole new set of challenges with it. This includes travel restrictions, which are still largely in place in a large part of the world. Guest speakers may not be able to make it to the physical venue, and only a limited number of prospective students may be able to show up due to lockdown and social distancing restrictions.
A virtual or hybrid event is a great way to circumvent these issues and get the engagement and interaction you deserve. It lets you get as many visitors and speakers as you want without breaking any travel or gathering restrictions.
Even though all the other aspects of a virtual university fair are also quite important, the bottomline is that your exhibitors want to attract more or better admission prospects. However, if you stick to a limited, conventional event, you won’t be able to reach anyone beyond the usual audience in the area.
However, if you take your college fair virtual, then you can open up the floor to people from all over the globe, and get a much wider base of prospective students for universities to consider. This can be helpful in a variety of ways, and let you improve your admission calibre.
Leading on from the last point, you do not want to have the same sort of audience at every single one of your events. This leads to homogeneity and monotony, which is not really conducive to the learning culture a university should have. It also prevents possible candidates who just couldn’t make it to your events from attending.
A lack of diversity is not a good look for any institution, so you should make sure you get a healthy mixture of admissions for your exhibitors. Holding a virtual university fair will help you achieve this goal and encourage an interactive learning environment that is not an echo chamber for just one kind of audience.
A virtual fair is an excellent opportunity for institutions to connect with your potential students and show them the ropes. Your exhibitors can give them various collateral which will help them understand departmental specifications and the various rules which govern your institution.
This event can serve as a sort of orientation for these students, so you should also try to keep department instructors at hand so that they can get all the details they want and get a taste of what they can expect if they enter your institution.
Once you are clear about why you should host a virtual university fair, you can come to the ample list of benefits such an event offers. While reasons and benefits often overlap, this just adds to the need for more emphasis on virtual education fairs. These benefits may be subtle or may be obvious, but are well worth considering if you’re still on the fence about whether you should have a virtual college fair or a conventional one at a physical venue in a fixed location. Here are a few of these benefits.
The first and most obvious benefit of a virtual event is the convenience it offers. You don’t have to go through the hassle of arranging a venue months in advance, setting up booths, and arranging speaker events according to their full schedules. Furthermore, you’ll need a lot more time if you’re holding a physical event rather than a virtual one.
With a virtual event, you won’t have as many logistics and particulars to worry about. In addition, you can even plan a full-fledged event weeks in advance rather than many months. This creates an extremely convenient situation where you don’t have to allocate extensive time and resources for the purpose.
Many people attend university fairs and other such events as an opportunity to communicate and network with like-minded individuals. These events are a great place for people to interact with each other, and improve their knowledge.
Such academic fairs are a whole other kind of event, but these discussions can also really add to a virtual college fair. They can introduce prospective students to the level of discourse and communication expected from them. ‘
You can get a much wider audience if you hold a virtual college fair rather than a conventional one. This is because many potential students may not be able to attend physical events. This can be due to travel and economic restrictions.
A virtual platform opens up the floor for people all over the world. This global outreach is important for a dynamic academic environment and helps you get a diverse set of attendees.
There are a ton of costs associated with physical events. From booking venues and arranging booths to paying for guest transportation and stays, the expenses tend to pile up quite high. However, if you host an online event, then you can avoid many of these costs.
You’ll just need to spend a fraction of that money on creating and marketing your virtual fair. Spend the rest of your budget to make it as engaging as possible.
If you’re convinced about holding a virtual university fair, you’ll be glad that it’s quite easy to host. You just need to pick the right platform for your needs. Then, include the features you want to in order to elevate your audience’s experience. vFairs offers a whole range of features which you can use. Additionally, it helps you set up your virtual event at every step of the way. So, what are you waiting for? Get started with your virtual event planning now!
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Shanzay Asim Haider
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