Education received one of the blows when the COVID-19 pandemic began back in 2019. Since reopening, universities and colleges have rapidly innovated the way they approach prospective and current students.
Educational institutions rely heavily on innovative technologies to deliver basic education to more complex virtual activities. Organising virtual events for college students can be a great way to build relationships with others, enhance productivity, and create meaningful connections, even when they are physically distant.
In our post-COVID19 world, institutions now offer a variety of activities including but not limited to:
Wondering how to organise virtual events for college students? Here are some guidelines to organise fun and lively virtual events:
Before you start planning your event, it’s important to determine what you want to achieve. Are you looking to build community, provide educational opportunities, or facilitate networking? Understanding your goals will help you determine what kind of event to plan and who to invite.
A virtual event platform is a digital tool that simulates the atmosphere of a traditional conference or trade show in a digital setting. This digital tool enables users to plan, host and promote virtual events. Consider the features you need, such as screen sharing, hosting several speakers in both live-streamed and pre-recorded sessions, and allowing participants to communicate with event hosts, speakers or each other at scheduled periods.
Other features to look up for a virtual event platform that could enhance engagement for your participants, such as waiting areas, surveys, questions, live chats and more. There are plenty of platforms available in the market and some free ones, including Zoom, though they may have limited features or time per session. Nonetheless, these can still be used for short gathering sessions.
Considering the virtual platform features is important for you to host a successful virtual event.
Once you have chosen a platform, it’s time to plan the logistics of the event. Determine the date and time, how long the event will be, and what kind of format you will use. The average time spent on campus for a college event is 4 hours. However, the digital equivalent is about 20 minutes. A framework that keeps your participants interested, entertains them, and offers a variety of content is essential.
Plan a time limit for your introduction, activities, presentations, panel discussions and virtual parties. It is important to manage your time for the event, as being on the screen for a long period of time can drain your participants.
Make sure to provide clear instructions for your participants on how to access the event and other details they need to know.
Promotion is key to getting people to attend your event. Use social media, email, and other communication channels to reach out to your young people. Promoting the event through the right channel can encourage students to register. Make sure to highlight the benefits of attending, such as networking opportunities, guest speakers, parties or educational content.
During the promotional period, you may want to include the cost of the event if it is a paid event. If it is a paid event, having an early bird discount, group sign-up discount may increase the probability of sign-ups. If you are keeping the event free-of-charge for all participants, especially college students, all the more better for them considering they might not have started working.
If you are hosting a presentation or panel discussion, make sure to prepare the content in advance. Create a script or outline, and rehearse with the speaker to ensure a smooth and engaging presentation.
Consider using icebreaker activities if you are hosting a networking event, since it helps participants to feel more at ease working with others and get to know each other. Ice breakers can also help to hype the audiences allowing participants to communicate with each other.
After the event is over, follow up with participants to get feedback and thank them for attending. Use the feedback to improve future events and continue building a strong community. You may even throw in a few freebies, downloadables for your participants to download and read through some of the content that has been shared during the virtual event. And of course, make use of this opportunity to invite them back when you organise virtual events in future!
One of the best ways for students to engage without feeling too much pressure is through a virtual event. Students may find it more relaxing physically and mentally when socialising through virtual events and this allows them to be more proactive.
This virtual event idea can help you to organise virtual events especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic where virtual events have become increasingly popular. By following these steps, you can create a successful and engaging virtual event that meets your goals and provides value to your attendees.
Contact us for more information on how to organise a smooth and effective virtual event for students.
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