Virtual open days are fast becoming the norm not only due to the global pandemic we are currently living through but also as an introduction for international students and families to the schools they wish to attend.
With the popularity of virtual open days soaring, we have included some examples of how we have been helping our clients to deal with this new requirement and what you should include in this virtual experience to elevate to the next level.
Your virtual open day will require as much prep and planning as you would put into a physical event. Organise the route you would like your prospective families to take, to ensure they gain the information they need and the information you want to highlight.
If your virtual open day is set on a specific date, including a timetable of events will ensure the prominent topics and members of staff are available.
You will need to include all aspects of school life into your open day, both social & academic as prospective students are looking for the full package, not just curriculum-driven information.
Live stream sessions are a great way to mimic the feel of a physical open day. Asking staff members such as the head of departments to do an introductory session on their subject with a live Q&A will generate engagement and informative information.
St Edmund’s College provided a timetable on their website for their recent virtual open day. This timetable included the title of the speaker, the time of the session, and a link to join the live stream on Zoom, where live questions could be asked via instant message.
Live streams can help structure your virtual open day and the streams can also be recorded to save for a later date if anyone missed the sessions.
When live stream sessions are not possible or appropriate pre-recorded videos can fill the void. Videos are not only a much easier way to consume large amounts of content but also give the viewer a feeling that they will miss from not being able to physically visit the school.
Aside from their live sessions St Edmund’s College also included pre-recorded series of videos in their virtual open giving prospective students and families an opportunity to hear first-hand from students, parents, and teachers on a number of topics including both the social and academic element of school life.
Campus maps are a way of giving prospective students and parents an idea of what facilities they can expect at your school. These are helpful for demonstrating different areas of the school during a virtual open day or to appear on your website as they act as pages in a digital prospectus for the areas highlighted.
On the Bedford Modern School website, their campus map includes a video tour of each area once the map pin is clicked upon. The tour is given by two of their students, so whilst showcasing their facilities the tour also gives a glimpse into student life.
Together with Christ’s Hospital, we have created a virtual open day page that prospective parents and students can view at any time. The page has been produced as an animated journey through the school to include welcome videos, a day in the life of, pupils’ thoughts, head of department videos, FAQs, and contact information. Each section has various videos, images, and information pages depending on what the viewer is looking for. The journey caters to prospective students and parents with differing academic or co-curricular interests.
If you have an upcoming virtual open day that needs some attention or are in need of updating your website to showcase your school to its fullest potential, please get in touch to discuss some ideas.