Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why Colleges and Universities Are Using Virtual Fairs for Recruitment

When colleges and universities are trying to recruit their next college class, they aim for the brightest and the best who will want to attend their university. They are hoping to attract individuals who can enhance the campus. Finding the right prospectives and encouraging them to apply to their college or university is challenging, but has gotten easier due to modern technology. One of the latest trends is participating on websites that offer virtual college fairs for those planning to seek a higher learning degree. There are several different ways that college recruiters can use this format to their advantage.
Virtual college fairs have changed the university recruitment budget. Where money was once spent on traveling to individual high schools, the budget can now be diversified to invest in brand placement in front of virtual visitors. Virtual college tours of the campus, social media marketing and attendance to individual fairs or large fairs with other schools gives student recruiters more bang for their buck brand-wise and a larger return on investment.

Reach More People 
For large universities that draw students from all over the country, websites with chats and virtual college fairs reach more prospectives than individual trips to various cities and towns. Setting up a few specific times to chat with students from the comforts of their own campus is more efficient and has a larger reach.

Communicating on a Different Level 
Most high school juniors and seniors do everything online. This includes looking at potential schools. The new generation of teens is drawn to virtual college fairs because it's something that can be done online and discussed with friends. By meeting students on platforms where they are comfortable, universities are able to communicate with potential applicants on their level.

Integrated Marketing 
In addition to using virtual college fairs to reach students, many universities are still using the traditional forms of marketing their schools to students for college recruitment purposes. Students that they meet online are sent print materials through the mail. Catalogs, pamphlets and letters are sent to the student at home to give them time to look through the materials and share them with their parents. The virtual fair is a starting point to find new possibilities. Some student recruitment teams are still visiting local high schools or nationally recognized prep schools to meet with students in person. Through the contacts they have made online, they are able to pinpoint which schools have a number of students that may be interested in an in-person visit, rather than going on past experience or just plain guessing.

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