Open Days are some of the most important events in a student recruitment team’s calendar. Hundreds (if not, thousands) of prospective students and their families arrive on campus to find out more about the courses on offer, the facilities available, and to get a sense of the elusive (but all-important) student experience!
Organising the perfect Open Day becomes an even more difficult task when contending with a “new normal” way of planning and executing large-scale university events. University of Sunderland has seen this as an opportunity to increase engagement with their domestic and international audiences online, and use digital ambassadors to create a fantastic experience for applicants.
As part of their International Online Open Day on 12th May, University of Sunderland embedded a carousel of staff ambassador profiles on the event’s microsite. Prospects were able to ask their International Development Assistants anything - from how to make an application, what courses are available, and entry requirements. International offer holders were also able to ask about the status of their application, find out about how to apply for a visa, and next steps. Staff ambassadors with a broad knowledge of international admissions processes were invited to help out on the day, so that the university could provide support to prospects from a broad range of countries.
"The carousel not only allowed us to personally address the specific questions of attendees on the day, but also gave us deeper insight into questions that prospective international students have, which we were then able to feed into our website content, giving us a more rounded picture of their needs and helping us to provide the information that our audience is seeking. “
Digital Content Officer
The University of Sunderland saw 63 new prospects sign up as a result of the carousel placed on their Open Day microsite. 893 messages were sent on the day asking about ongoing and future applications, and prospects from 17 countries participated. Ambassadors were incredibly responsive to enquiries on The Ambassador Platform, resulting in an average first response time of just 7 minutes and 1 second!
Interestingly, although this event was marketed to international students, 7 British prospects attended. Carousels can be quickly embedded on event webpages to enhance the experience for students attending international and domestic Open Days and information sessions. By giving prospective students the opportunity to connect with current students and staff, they can leave your event with no question having gone unanswered!