Throughout 2020, higher ed institutions were forced to pivot in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. And a year later, almost half of all schools are still operating exclusively through virtual tours and events.
Of those institutions hosting virtual events, most are reporting:
But, as we’ve learned from a year of virtual, not all events are created equally. After working through the hiccups, the overwhelming response has been in favor of pre-recorded virtual events over its live-streaming counterpart.
Technical Issues - Live streaming event platforms are not typically sustainable for high resolution personal production. And, with so many people and devices connected at once, variable internet bandwidth can cause ‘day-of’ delays and setbacks. So, while you may have practiced your live video event a million times over, you know the common phrase... stuff happens and your audience will be watching it all.
No amount of triple checking can help prepare you for the unpredictable but it doesn’t hurt to try to rule out some common hiccups prior to ‘go-live.’
Timing - Live virtual events are less flexible for those who live and/or work in different time zones. Know that if you choose to live stream your event, you will need to choose a time you believe most will be able to attend, and even then, you will be missing out on reach.
Distractions Are Everywhere - When hosting a live event, you will inevitably contend with distractions that are vying for the attention of your attendees. And, it is much easier for them to slip away unnoticed. Don’t expect students to watch your live event from start to finish and assume they will miss out on some relevant information.
Zoom Fatigue - Between online classes, meetings and virtual social interactions, students are spending more time than ever behind a device. As a result, there is an overall sense of burnout and boredom. Be mindful when asking students to attend yet another live event. Even better, let them decide when and how they tune in to your information.
Lack of Production Value - Let’s face it, live streams are pretty lackluster when it comes to quality of video. Bad sound, dim lighting and lack of editing can come across as low-budget and unprofessional. If taking this route, be sure to use a stabilizer and go through a few dry-runs to test out the quality of your broadcast.
No Surprises - Internet outage? Fumbling over your words? No problem! The beauty of pre-recorded video is there is always room for another take. Video can be edited, perfected and uploaded before the day of the event giving you ample time to address any unexpected issues.
Better Attendance - Today’s students are busier than ever and your event shouldn’t have to compete with day-to-day life. Allowing your audience to watch your event on-demand anytime and from anywhere, without the barriers of time zones and work schedules, will enable you to cast a wider net.
Longer Watch Time - Students will stay longer on the topics they care about. Don’t risk losing prospects halfway through your live stream by asking them to sit through information that may not be relevant to them. With on-demand video, your students can watch at their own pace, spend more time on key topics that are important to them and come back to review content later.
Practice Makes Perfect - More time in production will allow you to polish your work. So while seemingly more tedious, give yourself time to create video that will stand the test of time. The best part of pre-recorded video is your ability to perfect delivery and presentation.
More Creative Tools and Post-Production - Editing is where the magic happens! Having more tools at your fingertips will allow you to thoughtfully plan and execute video in a way that tells your unique story. Speed things up or string together clips to captivate your audience.
Virtual events continue to offer a safe and sustainable way to mitigate closed campus disruptions in 2021.
Our flexible, customizable digital engagement platform was used for over 50 virtual events in 2020 from Open Houses to Admitted Students Days to Orientation.
Maximize your reach, participation, and engagement through compelling video content in a distraction-free, virtual event environment. And the best part, you can provide access to your on-demand content even after the event has concluded.
We are actively working with admissions offices to quickly launch virtual events. Contact us today for an expedited meeting.