Open Days are a major step for many prospective students when they are deciding which universities to shortlist so making them a success is critical to meeting your recruitment targets. While some factors such as the weather and transportation are out of your control, the quality of the presentations, the overall open-day experience and the ease with which the campus can be navigated are things you can manage. In fact if you can combine these three elements you can create an engaging, personalised open-day experience.
While it is of course impossible to guide hundreds of individuals around your campus personally, increasing competition between universities has led many marketing and recruitment teams to use the Open Days features in campusM to create just such a smartphone-enabled experience.
This interactive guided tour within campusM utilises powerful pre-planning, location-awareness functionality and information from your prospective students’ enquiry form to tailor their open-day experience to their interests while you ensure that they see all the highlights without getting lost and that they benefit from receiving consistent messages and information about the university and its estate.
The starting point for many prospective students will be planning their open-day visit. Functionality within campusM allows them to research and build their own interactive agenda. This enables visitors to see different events during the day and then schedule these into their personal agenda when they book onto those sessions. This starts your prospects engaging with your institution and your event before they arrive full of anticipation, but relaxed in the knowledge of what to expect from the day.
However for you the start of Open Days takes place weeks beforehand. With campusM you are able to use push notifications combined with roles to push targeted content and messages to specific groups of your prospects. This allows universities to build engagement before open-day, sustain it during the visit and use the momentum created after Open Day to help convert the visitors into applicants. The flexibility of this feature helps you to encourage your visitors to plan their day, book onto specific events and tours, and encourage users to engage with each other via social media. A number of universities also include transport information, live weather, updates about the University including places to eat and even send offers for free coffee at one of the campus cafes.
campusM provides support for native navigation via Google or Apple maps. This allows you to provide your prospective students with a detailed campus map to help them plan their tour and to navigate your estate. It also allows you to support them with location aware information so that you can prompt them to engage with campus facilities as they reach them by pushing information relevant to where they are. For example, when they arrive at the sports centre they could read information about the facilities, watch a video of the University’s hockey team and express interest in joining a team. Equally relevant information could be provided for any significant points on the campus and within buildings such as halls of residence, libraries and faculty buildings.
Parents have a big influence on the decision making process and being able to provide them with a positive experience is also very important. Indeed, over the last few years we have seen increasing demand from parents of prospective students to have access to Open Day information and to engage in Open Day planning, visits and the decision-making process. campusM is an extremely useful way of engaging parents by providing them with specific information designed to help them to support and encourage.
After Open Day following-up with attendees with details about next steps, contact information, financial support, accommodation options and faculty news provides them with the feeling of being involved in an ongoing relationship. campusM also allows users to continue via social media the relationships they may have started with fellow prospective students that they met on their guided tour.
Finally, measuring the success of campusM in supporting your Open Day is all-important and this is where the campusM analytics tool comes into play. Not only can you see if prospective students have downloaded the app so that you can prompt them to do so, you can also find out which areas were the most popular and what resources were most engaged with. This helps inform the decisions for future open days and helps you to improve and adapt the experience for future Open Day visitors.
campusM is provided by Ex Libris Group, a leading global provider of cloud-based solutions for the management, discovery, and delivery of the full spectrum of library materials, as well as mobile campus solutions for driving student engagement and success. For more information or to book a demo please visit campusm.com