The COVID-19 crisis sparked a digital shift that has moved the education fair, event, and expo industry into a whole new direction. Because of health protocols and social distancing mandates, educational institutions and expo organizers pivoted towards running educational events on virtual platforms.
And as organizers realize the value and advantage of virtual conferences, expos, and events, the world of educational events will change as we know it. A report by TOPO shows that 54% of organizations are increasing the number of webinars they produce. It’s likely that as events and expo teams adapt to this new reality of virtual events and fairs that educational experience will continue on the digital path even as the world slowly opens up post-Coronavirus.
With trends seemingly staying steady on the path to the digitization of education fairs and expos at least for the next few years, there are a number of good reasons why expo attendees should favor virtual education fairs. Here are just some of them.
1. Improved Attendee Experience
Overall, virtual education fairs are a way of improving the attendee experience. Virtual education fair experiences now allow for one-of-a-kind experiences, including 360-degree video tours of campuses, live face-to-face video conferences with co-students and attendees, and other astonishing virtual encounters that can add flair to an event.
Many educational institutions are now moving towards virtual open days, job fairs, and education fairs past the Coronavirus crisis not just because it’s the only option, but because it proves to be the better option in terms of leaving a pleasant attendee experience.
2. Saved Time and Resources
As organizers move towards virtual education fair platforms, event attendees will also save significant time from having to travel back and forth. On some occasions, students and attendees have to travel for hours from their hometown and back to attend virtual events. In cases where attendees come from another town or state, the cost of lodging and accommodations go away completely.
Costs on the side of event organizers and attendees will decrease significantly when educational fairs move to online platforms. Attending online removes the need for transportation, travel, food, and other miscellaneous expenses.
3. Automated Systems
In a virtual admission fair, many processes can be fully automated, such as program schedules, which virtual events tools can integrate into one’s virtual calendar. This automated scheduling feature also allows for automated alerts and reminders for when events draw near. In most cases, event organizers also send out scheduled alerts on things that an attendee should bring and what details and information they should have on them as the event continues.
These automation features allow for more seamless experiences and help attendees keep organized and productive all throughout the experience. The beauty of digitization is that innovators continue to apply advanced technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to customize experiences for attendees based on contextualized specifications like location, demographics, interests, and so on.
4. Easier Attendee Logistics
Once event attendees get past the learning curve of attending events on virtual platforms, logistics become a whole lot simpler and easier for them. Nowadays, event organizers can use virtual open day platforms like Fairwiz to create customized virtual halls with digital booths for educational fair attendees to hop around with the click of a button. With this feature, attendees don’t have to worry about the hassle of getting lost in large conference halls and losing time from having to walk from one end to another. 3D virtual booth setups also keep information more organized.
Logistics can also improve immensely on the organizer’s side, even from the event planning stage. For instance, here’s a list of event management software options that even managers can use to better plan for events when organizing them online.
5. An Initiation into the Future of Virtual Work
Careers and jobs are quickly shifting towards a more digital reality. Jobs of the future will require more technical and digital know-how. As that shift starts to happen today, it’s best for students and youth to start learning how to leverage virtual experiences, online tools, and digital platforms as early as today.
Current virtual event trends and metrics will show anyone that online event attendances continue to increase. And as more students dive into immersive virtual experiences, technical and digital skills are starting to become the norm instead of the exemption. Through virtual experiences, educational institutions immerse their students into the digital experience and initiate them into vital skills that they will need in the future.
6. More Control Over Content
Virtual open days and education fairs can become massive information overloads for attendees. With virtual versions of these events, event participants have more control over what content they want to consume, which conference they want to join, and so on. This benefit provides event attendees with an optimal and efficient experience throughout any online education expo or event.
Virtual events also allow attendees to limit the number of face-to-face interactions. That level of control filters the number of conversations and interactions they have in total during the whole experience.
7. Unlimited Capacity and Space
By hosting your educational events online, you can limit space and crowds in physical events. Truth be told, not everyone finds the thought of big crowds comforting. This consideration is most especially true in these abnormal times where social distancing is of utmost importance to a large chunk of attendees.
As we try to find safer ways to limit COVID-19 transmission by avoiding large gatherings, virtual events provide unlimited capacity and space to “move around” without the fear of catching or passing the novel virus.
Rise of Hybrid Events
But even as more schools, educational organizations, and campuses move towards virtual events, does that mean that we will no longer see physical events happen? Not necessarily. Because there are also those organizers that would opt for hybrid events. A whopping 97% of event marketers believe that there will be a rise in the number of hybrid events companies will hold in 2021.
Whether setting up an easy virtual fair or coming up with a large university expo, the shifts that we now see are moving towards digital solutions. And as more institutions around the world take a more virtual approach, the best time to start adapting to this new norm is now while it’s still on the rise. Don’t wait for the day when your organization will be one of the late laggards. Adapt as early as you can and stay ahead of the innovation curve.