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How to take the campus experience online

01 /Where to start with a virtual open day

In this deck, you will learn about some practical tools to deliver an open day experience online and be inspired by creative ways to engage your audience of prospective students and their parents.

Delivering the experience of being there, without being there

In March 2020 The Student Room conducted a survey of current Year 12s. They asked: which of the following is the most helpful in finding out about a university?

“A visual tour would be good and if we were given an opportunity to speak with current students doing the course we applied for.”

Source: https://tsrmatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/TSR_THEKNOW_APRIL_2020_V2.pdf

A reasonable preconception about open days would be that you need people to visit the campus, but what happens if we flip that idea to disrupt the conventional wisdom.

This is not necessarily through choice, it may simply be that prospective students are unable to visit your campus over the coming months, and therefore it’s essential to develop an effective method of bringing the campus experience to them.

This is an opportunity to change the status quo and, potentially, bring your open days to a much wider audience than ever before.

Most universities have a wealth of relevant information already online—course details, accommodation guide videos, student testimonials to name but a few—however this is rarely co-ordinated and delivered as an experience in the same way as visiting the campus in real life.

To deliver an effective online open day, we recommend a six step process:

  1. Establish your team
  2. Understand your audience
  3. Gather relevant existing resources
  4. Identify any gaps in content, and fill them
  5. Deliver with passion
  6. Debrief and review

The process is cyclical, step 6. feeds back into step 1. to create a loop of continual improvement, which should help you and your teams get better, and adapt, year-on-year to deliver a consistent, high-quality experience to prospective students and their parents.