How university virtual open days work – a student’s experience

The benefits of virtual events for universities are plenty, from increased global reach, availability of content and unlimited data capture to dealing with large volumes of questions at any one time. One thing we aren’t as quick to highlight are the benefits of virtual events from a student’s perspective. So, we spoke with Matt who explained how virtual open day events were useful in his university application and selection process.

“From the start of 6th form, it’s pretty much drilled into you that choosing the right course at the right uni takes a lot of thought, time and effort. The cost element hadn’t occurred to me, so when the time came to start going to open days I was slightly alarmed at the mounting cost of travel and sometimes accommodation, not to mention time for me (and my parents) to get to view my shortlisted options. I’ll be honest, when I came across a virtual open days, I had mixed feelings. Saving my cash was of course a huge bonus, but having been in person to other uni’s, I was sceptical about whether I would get enough from the online event to make an informed decision about whether or not to even apply. I suppose I thought I’d just see how it went and arrange to visit at a later date if I wanted to apply.

The virtual open day was, in fact, a bit of a revelation. It’s no exaggeration to say I felt as though I’d gleaned more information about the uni, the course, the faculty and even uni life generally, than I had from any of my actual visits to universities – and all from the comfort of home. I got the opportunity to meet one of the course lecturers and even saw a sample lecture via a streamed webcast where I could ask questions along the way. The campus tour was such good quality, it was like being there. I also got to chat with current students and hear their views on the university and also prospective students and see the questions they were asking, which was useful as a lot was covered that I hadn’t thought of. So, I got far more than I expected.

What surprised me most about the virtual event was that I felt I’d actually been there. I didn’t feel I needed to go and see it in person, which is definitely what I expected. I also hadn’t realised that I would be able to log back into the open day event. This made such a difference. My university search process was quite long and getting my head around who had said what as when I’d actually got the chance to speak to someone, because I know at some unis I visited, the queue was so long in several departments. Whereas with the virtual event, I had all the information in front of me whenever I wanted to check it. This was also really good for my parents who hadn’t been able to take time off work to come with me to some open days. They were able to see everything too and their input was useful as it was based on all the information we’d all seen.

Overall, my assessment of the virtual open day is extremely positive, I can see why they are better for the uni and the one I attended was far better in terms of the quality of the information I got from it.”

Ivent design and deliver virtual student recruitment days and careers fairs for universities. Call Gavin on 0844 5678979 to find out more

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