In an increasingly competitive market with new, aggressive tactics being adopted by competitors in order to draw students, the primary aim was for Kings College to find a way to differentiate itself and increase its market share on a local, national and international level. In order to do so, the University, which currently has over 26,000 students, needed to engage with prospective students and offer holders, (who may otherwise be unable to attend a conventional event), to allow them to experience and get a feel for what it’s like to be a Kings College student.
To do this effectively, the university adopted an online approach and commissioned online event provider, Ivent, to deliver a solution that included the development of four separate virtual event environments – pre application virtual spaces for post-graduate and undergraduate sectors as well as for UG & PG offer holders. By including four different bespoke areas, Kings College were able to grow and sustain postgraduate and undergraduate recruitment numbers as well as enhance the postgraduate experience.
Each tailored environment had event halls with specific school booths covering the subjects offered, with the ability for faculty and staff at the university to live chat with students and display content including video and downloadable brochures. The system also utilised a sophisticated registration system and comprehensive data capture and event analytics portal to ensure the university gathered the necessary intelligence on prospective students. The virtual platform was also designed to complement traditional marketing channels in order to enhance conversion from enquiry stage through to enrolment.
Gavin Newman, Ivent Director said: “The need to reach a wider, even international audience quickly and cost effectively makes a virtual environment the obvious solution for the education sector and we are delighted with the success of the virtual open day we created for Kings College. Up to 30% of the attendees had not previously engaged with Kings College at all, proving the virtual event to be an extremely successful marketing mechanism.
“The education sector is certainly emerging as a massive growth market for Ivent, but considering the competition to attract students, particularly from a wealthy international market, it’s unsurprising to see more and more opting to use online technology rather than staging costly and resource intensive physical events. There is also an important cost element to consider with online events- once the system is designed, the university is able to run virtual online open days and recruitment events with no additional charge aside from manning costs as it is all self-service – potentially saving universities a huge amount of time and money.”