'Sticky' open days are those that get booked up quickly online, are anticipated in advance, well-attended on the day and leave a positive engagement memory 'stuck' in your students' minds. Achieving share of mind is a key deliverable for today's recruitment-focussed UK universities.
So, what are the ingredients for success?
"The logistics alone are mind-boggling"
“I have always thought that the logistics of running just one University open day alone are mind-boggling. When you know that this happens many times over each year, it becomes even more impressive” says Dom Yeadon, Data Harvesting's Founder and Managing Director. Dom and the team at Data Harvesting have supported hundreds of open days for some of the UK's top universities over many years.
Success has but two ingredients: a motivated events team, and the right tools for the job.
Consider that, for one open day, the Events team in the University is responsible for ensuring that thousands of students register in advance, turn up on the day (often with friends and family) and have a life-changing experience as they discover how University life will open up new exciting opportunities in the workplace. Plus the Events team will cope with the unexpected on the day, and will do so with a smile on their faces.
This is the University’s chance to shine. This is also where the right solution makes the difference.
The Events team efficiently coordinates students, faculties, lecturers and student ambassadors so they are each in the right place at the right time. They arrange travel, parking, buses, taxis, coffee, food and guidance all day long. They ensure every visitor arriving on campus knows how to make the best of the few hours exploring what the future can hold.
People always find a solution, with or without a software solution like Student CRM, as these mini miracle workers always seem to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
"Not all open days are equal"
Data Harvesting’s approach is to provide these University teams with the right tools for the job, and free up some of that energy into innovating. Not all open days are equal, especially if they’re done right.
Using Student CRM an Events team can set up a whole season of days in advance, create automated emails and SMS to deal with the entire registration process.
They can fine-tune along the way if a venue reaches capacity, or a course changes. They can see progress and keep all stakeholders informed, all safe in the knowledge that each student can arrive on the day, having been kept informed by the system. That means no more manual acknowledgements, spreadsheets, cut and paste quick emails or wondering what will happen next.
A typical open day can generate around 50,000 automated processes running in the background in Student CRM, efficiently and accurately following workflows and touchpoints set up at the start of the season. Repetitive, complex tasks is what software is built to do, whereas people want new challenges and fresh opportunities to succeed.
"Good software supports good people"
Ben Reynolds, Business Development Manager at Data Harvesting says:
“the extra time saved allows the Events team to make the little differences that their visitors appreciate. Real human moments, for example:
You turn up at an open day. Upon arrival you get a personal welcome from a Student Ambassador Gemma, who hands you your own personal programme (she explains “just in case your phone’s battery runs out and you can’t access it online later in the day”). Gemma knows your name, where you travelled from and that you need wheelchair access at 11:15 in the West Hall. Gemma hands you the campus WiFi code and then her mobile number in case you need more info.”
All this information in stored within Student CRM’s apps, and can be delivered where it is best used.
"Universities in the UK lead the world in embracing technology"
Opening the door to Data Harvesting’s R&D lab, Dom Yeadon reveals:
“To help International Offices recruit overseas students we are looking into a new Chat integration - great for Virtual Open days (VODs). This will allow the University’s Events team to manage and curate many VODs - chatting with students from all over the world, without leaving their desks. The magic is in automatically saving that individual’s personal extract from the bulk transcript to that student's record in Student CRM. No other CRM can do this straight out of the box. Our scientists are on it.
We are looking into integrating with Amazon’s Alexa - the ground-breaking virtual personal assistant. I have an Echo Dot on my desk and use it daily to hear (her) speak to me. I want to talk to Student CRM via Alexa and get real answers back. Alexa should tell me how well the registrations are going for next Saturday’s open day. “Dom, you have two thousand and seventy-three registrations for your open day on Saturday, third of May. That is 95% of target, with sixteen days to go.”
Perhaps not for every Director of Recruitment, but then again I do like my gadgets.
I feel extremely fortunate to get regular support and input from our User Group, so any new developments meet the emerging needs of each University’s Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions teams. We all meet at each University in turn, discuss what is great and not so great and see how to improve the product and service.
Our online Product Roadmap is the first and only one in this sector, showing existing and prospective customers where we have been and where we are going. Transparency at all times.
Universities in the UK lead the world in embracing technology in innovative ways. They do so to deliver quality, consistency and bandwidth in a resource constrained climate. We enable Universities to use some of that freed-up energy for innovating to attract tomorrow’s students.”
Talk to our student recruitment expert Ben Reynolds about your upcoming open days and how to make them sticky.
Call Ben on 01202 237406 or leave your number below and we will call you.
Your number will not be shared with any third parties.
Data Harvesting provides Student Recruitment software Student CRM to UK universities.
Built in the UK specifically for the UK’s HE sector, this cloud-based software meets the unique challenges faced by UK Universities today as their marketing, recruitment and admissions teams process tens of thousands of new students wanting to go to University each year.
It starts with an online enquiry, a request for course information, many online interactions, phone calls, emails, visiting the University for open days or tours, and hopefully resulting in the University’s offer being accepted by the applicant.
Our Student Recruitment software helps many different departments to work together using automation to treat each student as an individual as they make their way from enquiry to enrolment. All done immediately, at scale and with no errors.
For more information contact Ben Reynolds, Business Development Manager at Data Harvesting on 01202 237406, 07391 184001 or firstname.lastname@example.org