Following the recent University Business event showcasing how universities are adapting to the digital age, Gavin Newman Director of Ivent, follows up his event presentation with a look at the cost and time efficiencies of using virtual events from a student and university perspective and the results.
The digitalisation process starts early in a student / university relationship with many Universities now offering an increasing number of open days digitally and reducing the number of campus-based open days. Using virtual recruitment days is becoming the norm not the exception and students increasingly expect universities to have this offering.
The ‘cash poor’ student
In their application process, a student will likely shortlist four or five universities to review. Consider the cost of travel to multiple physical open days and you immediately see the appeal to cash-poor students (and their parents) of being able to access the same (if not more) information from their computer.
And amplify those costs significantly when you think about international students who have to fork out their much-needed funds for airfare as well as accommodation.
‘Tech savvy’ expectations
The cost factor of a digital event is clearly a huge benefit to students but so too is the fact this tech savvy generation expect to be able to interact with everyone digitally, including their universities of choice – whether with admin staff, department heads or existing students. A simple video campus tour and a webinar are no longer enough for those who use technology as their primary source of communication.
Digital Connection & Engagement Drives Quantity And Quality
We work with Universities who not only provide sample lectures, one-to-one video sessions, discussion walls and networking lounges but also chats with existing students and professors, just a click away. At a recent event, one leading university welcomed 1000 students over a 2-day period with over 5000 questions posed. With another university, we saw average dwell time per visit (most visit more than once) is 4 times longer than a standard webinar.
Universities tell us that, from a virtual open day, they get both more applicants and a better quality, who are more likely to accept an offer than from a campus-based open day. And for a fraction of the cost of delivering a time and resource intensive live event. Not only that, the digital footprint created enables universities to finetune the information they offer for future events and follow up with specific students or student groups with more niche events.
As we found at the Digital Transformation event, universities are, in many cases, desperate to incorporate elements of tech, from recruitment through to course delivery and beyond. And with multiple benefits to both students and the university, it’s abundantly clear that this will only continue.