With digital recruitment methods becoming increasingly popular over the course of the 21st century, direct interaction is still a relevant and extremely valuable student recruitment tool.
Recruitment events provide a personalized experience, through which prospective students can gain a contact at the university, who they can reach out to for advice during the application process. Given that students often express frustrating experiences with university websites, this can mean the difference between an ‘applicant’ and a dropped application.
“Candidates tell us that the in-person meeting has actually become more important with the increase of information being delivered to them virtually,” says Aled Owens, Vice president of Business Development & Strategy, and Graduate Management Education expert, at QS. Katerina Kederova, Head of Operations at QS and expert in student recruitment events, agrees: “Higher education is a massive investment and psychologically people want to “see” what they are signing up to, and to whom they are giving their money.”
Below are some of the top tips for, ‘maximizing potential at recruitment events,’ from a newly published guide by QS.
- Prepare and plan.
- Spread the word that your university in attending an event.
- Invest in branding pre-invent to raise to profile of your institution.
- Demonstrate the unique selling point of your institution, aligned with different markets. For example, ‘we have scholarships for Mexican students.’
- Collaborate with other institutions to reach a bigger audience in marketing communications, pre-event.
Recommendations for exhibitors
- Actively engage with prospective students and build a personal relationship.
- Make sure your brand is visible.
- Blend in with the market by dressing in accordance with attendees.
- Bring along alumni and current students to advocate for your institution.
- Be informed about the local context and visa rules of a country you are visiting.
- Benchmark your credentials with other institutions.
- Identify the best candidates and ensure a personal follow-up plan is in place.
If you’d like to read more about this topic, access our guide in full here.