Are virtual open days the future of university recruitment?

By Gavin Newman, Director at Ivent

Virtual open days are far from being the future of university recruitment. They are, in fact, the current way to engage prospective students for an increasing number of institutions.

At Ivent we’ve been working with universities both in the UK and overseas for six years to deliver fully interactive and engaging recruitment events. Allowing the removal of the financial constraints of staging large, resource-intensive live events, along with the need to encompass a digital communications strategy, this trend will only continue to grow. 

Almost all universities now have some sort of online engagement tool from a basic chat widget to systems like our sophisticated platform which enables greater interaction with multiple event halls, course and faculty booths, a networking area, a resource centre and a live auditorium for delivering presentations and sample lectures. 

Like any technology that moves through the adoption cycle we are seeing its use grow as institutions refuse to be left behind – prospective students now expect universities to offer a virtual open day either in addition to or as a replacement to a live open day.

Currently universities without a virtual environment are in danger of losing out especially in the lucrative international student market. And in future, that environment will need to be more engaging and functional to really stay competitive and interesting to prospective students and their families.

“We are working with an increasing number of UK & overseas Universities who are opting to deliver fully interactive and highly engaging virtual experiences to attract prospective students.

“These Universities are giving potential students and their parents a true flavour of what they each have to offer by utilising the flexible functionality on the Ivent platform which goes beyond a simple virtual tour and online chat feature which simply doesn’t go far enough to accurately showcase the university.  

“With more than 150,000 registered users signing up for virtual open days via Ivent in the last 12 months, and the ability to extend the event beyond one day without extending the cost, the growing shift to online events to engage with potential students is unsurprising and savvy.”

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