Without a doubt, the education sector has been hugely affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It forced a quick shift to online teaching which was unfamiliar and complicated for both students and teachers. While online teaching has already become a norm, many study-related activities are still being cancelled by universities because of a lack of experience in organising virtual events.
In fact, moving to virtual formats isn’t that complicated as it might sound. Read this blog post to get to know the five kinds of virtual events in the education sector and how to adapt to these new online formats.
1. Open Days / Campus Tours
Many universities across the globe faced the challenge of recruiting new students during the corona crisis. Whereas on-campus tours are allowed only in a few countries, online campus tours and open days gain their popularity. Such events are aimed to familiarise prospective students with their future student life by showing different aspects of their student life from walking around the university facilities to video chatting with current students and lecturers.
We recommend creating separate virtual rooms for each faculty to unite future coursemates and provide them with a space for asking general questions to the faculty representatives. For more specific questions or consultations with the university counsellors, individual online sessions are recommended.
2. Orientation Days / Weeks
Orientation could be one of the most stressful periods in students’ lives. Everything is unfamiliar and assistance is needed more than ever. No matter if online or physically, it’s a special moment of meeting the fellow students for the first time. Getting to know each other virtually might be a challenge, so the goal is to make the virtual orientation period as engaging and helpful for students as possible.
Similar to open days, divide students by their programmes and encourage them to collaborate in the common spaces - specifically designed virtual rooms. In addition, let them ask questions via chat boxes and don’t forget to plan fun activities for less formal interactions among students.
3. Education Conferences
The number of online conferences continues to grow across industries. In the education industry, conferences on EdTech (short for education technology) are currently attracting a lot of attention. Many people are eager to learn best practices in the area of educational technology to make the ‘virtual university’ as effective as possible.
Apart from promoting valuable content, creating sufficient networking opportunities is essential at all kinds of conferences, including education ones. Facilitate discussions and keep the audience engaged throughout the event. If needed, organise several stages for keynote speakers to give the audience the freedom to choose the sessions in accordance with their interests.
4. Career Fairs
Instead of cancelling an annual career fair for students, consider possible ways to organise it online. Virtual career fairs may actually attract more companies thanks to relative simplicity of participation. Thus, more job opportunities will make more students interested in attending a career fair. Sounds like a win-win!
Liveto platform allows companies to create their virtual stands to present vacancies to students and chat with potential candidates. In cooperation with Liveto, in December 2020 JAMK University of Applied Sciences held its first virtual career fair. It gathered 750 participants who were given an opportunity to meet and chat with the potential employers just like during a physical event.
5. Graduation Ceremonies
Graduation is probably the most important event for students. Unfortunately, in 2020 many graduates had boring and disappointing graduation ceremonies, but 2021 has to be different. Let graduates together with their family and friends fully immerse into the atmosphere of celebration. To do so, avoid pre-recorded speeches, instead broadcast them to make the event more memorable and interactive.
Finally, the sky's the limit and, of course, more kinds of study-related events can be held online. Even though such important events as graduation parties aren’t gonna stay online after the pandemic, don’t underestimate the current value of virtual events!
In these challenging times students need even more support and assistance in their learning process. They need some informal spaces to communicate with their classmates, teachers and staff. Virtual and hybrid events bring value for current students as well as attract prospective students by creating ways to communicate with university representatives in a format similar to face-to-face meetings.
Are you involved in the education sector? Do you want to organise your virtual events for current and prospective students? 1,000+ event organisers choose Liveto for organising their virtual and hybrid events. Liveto team will help your virtual event to succeed.