One of the top reasons students attend in-person university recruitment events is to network – with faculty, student ambassadors, admissions and recruitment teams, alumni and each other.
Creating the same networking opportunities online can be a challenge, but given the success that universities have experienced in the digital sphere with their recruitment events, virtual events are here to stay!
With the return of face-to-face events on campus, universities are moving out of a period of short-term change and transitioning to a long-term approach with their event recruitment strategies, blending online and offline events to meet objectives, satisfy student expectations and ultimately drive meaningful engagement throughout the application cycle.
A new challenge that event organisers need to overcome is how to balance in-person and virtual engagement and foster the same sense of connection and community across both recruitment channels that satisfies student needs. How can universities build relationships at scale with a huge stakeholder base who all want different things?
Our answer is to create strong, ongoing communities around your events that will endure long beyond when the last session ends. Building year-round communities for students to engage with before and after an event to maximise engagement throughout the application journey, while fully playing to the advantages of a blended hybrid approach.
Connecting your on-campus and virtual audience with Union Spaces technology will create a unified event experience, tying them together and providing ways to continue the conversation beyond the actual event. This will not only squeeze every drop of value from your event but continually drive meaningful, authentic engagement that will help students feel that sense of belonging.
Union Spaces is a permanent, scalable home for your future student community, where the needs of the student meet with the full range of student recruitment resources of the university. Organisers can bolster their events calendar by blending online and offline events, coupled with supporting engagement activities and micro events to keep students engaged throughout the recruitment cycle.
Hybrid events are here, but universities must find ways to bridge the gap between virtual and in-person attendees; and using one technology solution to underpin the experience for all is a critical piece of this puzzle.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the work we are doing to help universities with their events, please email- [email protected]
Emma Darwin is CEO and Co-Founder of Union Spaces, a community-led technology that helps universities design virtual and hybrid student recruitment strategies, and an HE events consultant with her own practice advising universities around the world.
Covid-19 has permanently disrupted the events landscape. This time last year, many universities were rapidly trying to work out how to take their recruitment events online and planning their approach.
Our client partnered with us to build a socially enabled events platform in which it was easy for applicants and university staff alike to interact and build connections.