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Online Connections: Successful
International Student Recruitment
via Virtual Fairs
Kevin Barta, EducationUSA
Marty Bennett...
Marty Bennett
Manager of International Partnerships, CollegeWeekLive
@CollegeWeekLive
Value Across the Enrollment Cycle
Recruit everywhere
you can’t
be physically
195 Countries
Engage prospects
through entire...
Greatly Expand Reach
Harness a Growing Audience
• Students from 195 Countries
• 660 high school counselors &
EducationUSA ...
Engage prospective students multiple times
throughout the enrollment process - and win them over
• Meet new sophomores and...
Greatly Improve Recruiting Results
Augment recruiting visits & better
engage more students
• Start conversations before li...
Greatly Improve Yield
Example of a CollegeWeekLive yield event
for accepted students conducted by
The University of Notre ...
Engage Students on Their Preferred
Communication Channels
Live chat example, Western Michigan University
• This example sh...
Expand Access to International
High School Counselors & Advisers
CollegeWeekLive
High School Connect
• Enables 2-way commu...
Full Service to Enhance Your
Enrollment Efforts
Client Services
• Builds a strategic plan tailored to meet enrollment goal...
Kevin Barta
Program Officer (Technology, Innovation, & Design),
U.S. Department of State, EducationUSA
@Kevin_Barta
Past Virtual Fairs
• November 2012 (Global IEW) –
14,000 international students in
attendance
• November 2013 (Global IEW)...
Digging into the Statistics of the
2013 Global IEW Fair
• Registrants: 31,490 with a 72% Conversion rate to attendee.
• At...
Participant Breakdown
14%
5%
3%
Graduate
Student
29%
2%
15%
2%
30%
Transfer
Adult
College Faculty
Graduate Student
High Sc...
Top 10 Countries in 2013
• Nigeria (1,768)
• India (1,233)
• Bangladesh (1034)
• Pakistan (900)
• Vietnam (767)
• Egypt (7...
Users on the Platform by Time
Marketing Efforts
• Cable Specifically on Virtual Fair - Official request for posts to create programming
around the virtu...
Top Marketing Channels
• Facebook: 10,308: - dominated most of the registrant numbers for the State
Department.
• Twitter:...
#Ustudy (1,295 tweets)
• The government shutdown and the halt to social media
effected our numbers
Government Shutdown
Vet...
#Ustudy (Potential Impressions)
Government Shutdown
Veteran’s Day Weekend
#Ustudy (Top Tweets)
#Ustudy (Who Tweeted)
#Ustudy (Most influential in
getting retweets)
EducationUSA Facebook
High people talking about this (PTAT) compared to typical traffic
Thematic Sessions
• 5 Thematic Sessions:
• Discover U.S. Higher Education (1,252) - 5:00 AM
• Graduate Admissions and Fund...
EducationUSA Booth
• EducationUSA Advisers, REACS, and Program Officers facilitate a virtual
educationUSA Booth.
• The Num...
State Department/ CollegeWeekLive
Private Public Partnership
• Following several successful virtual fair partnerships
• Pr...
Upcoming Virtual Fairs
• August 13 (Global Fair: International Students Day)
• October 1 (Regional Fair: Europe, Middle Ea...
Jason Hall
International Marketing and Recruitment Manager
Oregon State University,
@OregonStateUniv
Jason Hall
International Marketing and
Recruitment Manager
Oregon State University
Oregon State
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
2011 2012 2013 2014
International Students at OSU
~13% international students
Students ...
Oregon State
Oregon State
How does Oregon State benefit from CWL?
Reach more students
Reach more countries
Get admissions involved
Tech-savvy audien...
Tips for making an online fair efficient
Time
Go back to the 90’s
Get a team for peak hours
Have a scholarship plan
Always...
Thank you
Jason Hall
Jason.Hall@OregonState.edu
LinkedIn: Jasonmhall
Twitter: ScholarHall
Sara Rathbun
International Recruitment & Admissions Coordinator,
University of Colorado Denver
@CUDenver
Virtual Recruitment Activities at CU
Denver
• EducationUSA Webinars
• Most EducationUSA centers offer monthly presentation...
Virtual Recruitment Activities at CU
Denver
• Online Recruitment Fairs – CollegeWeek Live
• Vendor hosts online fairs wher...
Virtual Recruitment Activities at CU
Denver
• Future Endeavors
• Host your own webinars with university branding
• Interna...
Virtual Recruitment Activities at CU
Denver• In conclusion:
• EducationUSA Center Webinars
• No Cost, but reach limited to...
Let’s Chat!
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Online Connections: Successful International Student Recruitment via Virtual Fairs

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Virtual international student recruitment fairs continue to grow in size and scope. This presentation provides examples of how US institutions maximize online opportunities to engage students throughout the enrollment funnel. Includes best practices & current initiatives of EducationUSA, CollegeWeekLive, Oregon State University, and the University of Colorado-Denver.

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Online Connections: Successful International Student Recruitment via Virtual Fairs

  1. 1. Online Connections: Successful International Student Recruitment via Virtual Fairs Kevin Barta, EducationUSA Marty Bennett, CollegeWeekLive Jason Hall, Oregon State University Sara Rathbun, University of Colorado Denver
  2. 2. Marty Bennett Manager of International Partnerships, CollegeWeekLive @CollegeWeekLive
  3. 3. Value Across the Enrollment Cycle Recruit everywhere you can’t be physically 195 Countries Engage prospects through entire enrollment process Save cost over traditional recruiting methods Improve yield Amplify your institutional brand Reach new high school counselors Tap into full agency services for your admissions efforts
  4. 4. Greatly Expand Reach Harness a Growing Audience • Students from 195 Countries • 660 high school counselors & EducationUSA advisers • 231% projected growth in new annual registrants since 2012 • 188% growth in number of college visits since 2012 • 2014 Intl Undergrad Registrants projected to have 93% Growth • 2014 Intl Graduate Registrants projected to have 99% Growth
  5. 5. Engage prospective students multiple times throughout the enrollment process - and win them over • Meet new sophomores and juniors starting the search • Interact with seniors deciding where to apply • Target specific segments • Introduce enrolled students to campus resources • Improve yield - give admitted students a window to your school • Invite admitted students to meet with representatives & current students PROSPECTS INQUIRIES APPLICANTS ADMITS DEPOSITS
  6. 6. Greatly Improve Recruiting Results Augment recruiting visits & better engage more students • Start conversations before live meetings & continue them afterward Go where you can’t be – expand your recruiting reach online • Meet engaged college-bound students everyday, online • Overcome a decline of applicants Overcome budget constraints that hinder recruiting Hit enrollment goals UC Davis features CWL events on their main landing page as a one-stop-shop for prospective & accepted students
  7. 7. Greatly Improve Yield Example of a CollegeWeekLive yield event for accepted students conducted by The University of Notre Dame Engage with accepted students & their parents on: • Student & campus life • Housing • Financial aid • Enable 1:1 discussions with students & parents Turn more accepted students into enrollees The average student applies to 10-12 schools, vs. 5-6 a few years ago – making yield much more hard-fought
  8. 8. Engage Students on Their Preferred Communication Channels Live chat example, Western Michigan University • This example shows Western Michigan admissions engaging with a student about their intended major Mobile & Tablet Accessible
  9. 9. Expand Access to International High School Counselors & Advisers CollegeWeekLive High School Connect • Enables 2-way communication between High Schools & Colleges • Build new relationships with high schools & their counselors Honduran High School Students & Counselor engaging with colleges using CollegeWeekLive US Embassy in Laos hosts viewing party for EducationUSA Virtual Fair through CollegeWeekLive
  10. 10. Full Service to Enhance Your Enrollment Efforts Client Services • Builds a strategic plan tailored to meet enrollment goals • Helps you optimize recruiting performance throughout the entire enrollment process Production • Builds a schedule of engaging programs to your audience • Tech support and heavy-lifting for your marketing efforts High School Outreach • Grows relationships with high schools & counselors • Manage online meetings with high schools Alliances & Marketing • Our partner relationships help you reach your goals
  11. 11. Kevin Barta Program Officer (Technology, Innovation, & Design), U.S. Department of State, EducationUSA @Kevin_Barta
  12. 12. Past Virtual Fairs • November 2012 (Global IEW) – 14,000 international students in attendance • November 2013 (Global IEW) – 22,000 international students in attendance • May 2014 (Global) – 22,000 international students in attendance
  13. 13. Digging into the Statistics of the 2013 Global IEW Fair • Registrants: 31,490 with a 72% Conversion rate to attendee. • Attendees: 22,821 (does not include group viewings) - 68% increase • Number of Countries: 206 • Number of participating universities/colleges: 104 • Total Number of Generated interactions: 55,000 (up 25% from 2012)
  14. 14. Participant Breakdown 14% 5% 3% Graduate Student 29% 2% 15% 2% 30% Transfer Adult College Faculty Graduate Student High School Faculty Other Parent Undergraduate Student
  15. 15. Top 10 Countries in 2013 • Nigeria (1,768) • India (1,233) • Bangladesh (1034) • Pakistan (900) • Vietnam (767) • Egypt (764) • Ghana (688) • Algeria (664) • Iraq (450) • Bahamas (423) New Countries • Bahamas • Vietnam • Egypt • Algeria • Iraq Dropped Countries (% down from 2012) • Liberia (-96%) • Afghanistan (-43%) • China (-42%) • Bosnia (-47%) • Iran (+76%)
  16. 16. Users on the Platform by Time
  17. 17. Marketing Efforts • Cable Specifically on Virtual Fair - Official request for posts to create programming around the virtual fair. • Social Media Toolkit - 11 Page document with posts for Twitter and Facebook, as well as design elements such as Facebook Banner. • Program in a Box - Comprehensive 20 page document outlining how to run programming in-country. Substantial edits and editions this year with new information on running programs in low-bandwidth areas. PDF of event and other design elements included. • Email Listserves - Multiple email blasts throughout October and November by both EducationUSA and IIP. • Webinar Info Sessions - 3 online Watchitoo sessions for posts at differing times/days by EducationUSA and CollegeWeekLive. • Social Media - Toolkits spread to various social media managers around State Dept. and EducationUSA. Campaign began in mid October.
  18. 18. Top Marketing Channels • Facebook: 10,308: - dominated most of the registrant numbers for the State Department. • Twitter: 707 • PDF Flyer: 1,631 • Other: 308 Facebook Twitter PDF Flyer Other
  19. 19. #Ustudy (1,295 tweets) • The government shutdown and the halt to social media effected our numbers Government Shutdown Veteran’s Day Weekend
  20. 20. #Ustudy (Potential Impressions) Government Shutdown Veteran’s Day Weekend
  21. 21. #Ustudy (Top Tweets)
  22. 22. #Ustudy (Who Tweeted)
  23. 23. #Ustudy (Most influential in getting retweets)
  24. 24. EducationUSA Facebook High people talking about this (PTAT) compared to typical traffic
  25. 25. Thematic Sessions • 5 Thematic Sessions: • Discover U.S. Higher Education (1,252) - 5:00 AM • Graduate Admissions and Funding (864) - 7:00 AM • International Student’s Share their Experience (483) - 9:00 AM • The U.S. Visa Process (423) - 10:00 AM • Undergraduate Admissions and Funding (266) 8:00 AM • Lesson Learned: - Overall the numbers reflect the busiest times of the platform, future events should have sessions deemed most important such as visas at 5:00 AM.
  26. 26. EducationUSA Booth • EducationUSA Advisers, REACS, and Program Officers facilitate a virtual educationUSA Booth. • The Numbers – May 2014: 1,200 potential international students entered the booth and had conversations with EducationUSA staff. • Advisers are learning how to better utilize virtual tools for advising to expand outreach in their countries. • Program Officers expressed that this was a great experience for them to be able to advise first hand and see what questions were hot topics for students which could then be focused on in D.C.
  27. 27. State Department/ CollegeWeekLive Private Public Partnership • Following several successful virtual fair partnerships • Private – Public Partnership MOU agreed upon between State Department and CollegeWeekLive and signed in May 2014 • Partnering on 7 Virtual Fairs a year (3 regional + 4 Global) o One of the global fairs is during International Education Week (IEW) which the State Department is is using as the flagship event with an additional marketing/ social media push + on the ground viewing events o Also on the ground events planned for the upcoming Latin America Day as part of 100K Strong Americas Initiative.
  28. 28. Upcoming Virtual Fairs • August 13 (Global Fair: International Students Day) • October 1 (Regional Fair: Europe, Middle East, and Africa International Student Day) • October 14 (Regional Fair: Latin America International Student Day) • November 19 (Flagship Global Fair: International Student Day - IEW)
  29. 29. Jason Hall International Marketing and Recruitment Manager Oregon State University, @OregonStateUniv
  30. 30. Jason Hall International Marketing and Recruitment Manager Oregon State University
  31. 31. Oregon State 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 2011 2012 2013 2014 International Students at OSU ~13% international students Students from 55 countries Recruitment activity in 40+ countries Team of 4 in marketing/recruiting Events, online, email, social marketing 2,000+ leads generated in 2014
  32. 32. Oregon State
  33. 33. Oregon State
  34. 34. How does Oregon State benefit from CWL? Reach more students Reach more countries Get admissions involved Tech-savvy audience Solid students 233+ leads 65 countries present 3 admissions reps. Our target audience 7 admits for fall
  35. 35. Tips for making an online fair efficient Time Go back to the 90’s Get a team for peak hours Have a scholarship plan Always on
  36. 36. Thank you Jason Hall Jason.Hall@OregonState.edu LinkedIn: Jasonmhall Twitter: ScholarHall
  37. 37. Sara Rathbun International Recruitment & Admissions Coordinator, University of Colorado Denver @CUDenver
  38. 38. Virtual Recruitment Activities at CU Denver • EducationUSA Webinars • Most EducationUSA centers offer monthly presentations • EducationUSA prefers generic topics about US higher education • Conducted 1 webinar with Ho Chi Minh City center, April 2014 • The Result • The EducationUSA center was not able to provide a list of participants for follow-up after the webinar. • However, EducationUSA is globally rolling out new Watchitoo platform to allow the collection of participant details for follow up • An opportunity to build your brand and get your name out there
  39. 39. Virtual Recruitment Activities at CU Denver • Online Recruitment Fairs – CollegeWeek Live • Vendor hosts online fairs where universities have online booths • Prospective students visit booths and live chat with school reps • Expand into markets you cannot visit through recruitment travel • The Result • Participated in 6 college fair events for international prospects • Gave 3 video presentations; videos are saved on our booth • 7300+ unique visitors (leads) from 167 countries • 25+ applications directly from CollegeWeek Live leads • Vendor shares detailed lead reports immediately after events • Actively promoted app fee waivers & scholarships
  40. 40. Virtual Recruitment Activities at CU Denver • Future Endeavors • Host your own webinars with university branding • International Admissions must advertise/promote the event • Various technology platforms; CU Online uses Adobe Connect • Ask your online campus or IT office what they have to offer • Social Media • Recently launched a Facebook page and developing a YouTube presence • International Admissions must advertise/promote the event • Ask your Marketing & Communications team what they have to offer
  41. 41. Virtual Recruitment Activities at CU Denver• In conclusion: • EducationUSA Center Webinars • No Cost, but reach limited to the center’s country • EducationUSA services are free for both students and schools • Need to do your own prospect management • Good for brand building; attendance can be hit-or-miss • CollegeWeek Live • Pricey, But a Good Value • Lowest cost per lead among our international recruitment efforts • Produced leads and applications; fall enrollment/yield still TBD • Diverse countries of origin, but will they show up on campus? • Explore new avenues – CU Branded Webinars & Social Media Presence • Useful as a yield tool; does not produce new leads/prospects • Should offer a low-cost tool to engage with leads & prospects
  42. 42. Let’s Chat!

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