“SMILE increased applications by as 245% overnight by reaching potential applicants that cannot attend an open day.”
Prospective students are 43% more likely to put the University of Birmingham as their first choice if they attend a campus open day – largely attributed to the fantastic campus architecture and facilities.
Unfortunately, students are now limited to how many open days they can attend due to time and/or budgetary reasons, and some international students will not be able to due to travel restrictions.
Delivering a Real-Time Experience
We proved that online open days are not only valuable, but when executed to the SMILE-standard, can offer a compelling experience and extraordinary ROI.
Working with the University of Birmingham International Recruitment team, we planned a six week campaign leading up to an online open day provided by our platform; Virtual Campus.
Virtual Campus facilitated broadcasts of “as-live” video, live chat sessions and allowed applicants to browse the campus activities using socially aggregated pins, 360 Panoramas and university-led information. This is a truly engaging and ambient experience for the potential applicants that could not travel to attend.
“I think this Virtual Tour of the campus is really amazing because it allowed me to discover the University of Birmingham more than I could have otherwise. It really enhanced my will to come and study there in 2014.”Prospective Student
Applications saw a Dramatic Increase of 245% Overnight
For such a small market, the conversion rate was very high. The event took place over the course of three hours and over 100 questions were asked and answered during the online open day, over 1000 students attended and applications saw a dramatic increase of 245% overnight.
Importantly, the project was considered to significantly increase awareness of the university in North America.
Overcoming Time-zone Dilemmas
Open days are live, but when we’re dealing across timezones, live isn’t always the best – students might stay up for the superbowl, but perhaps not a university open day. So to combat this, we developed a plugin that enabled us to roll out pre-recorded videos at a specific timecode in a specific timezone.