Whether the COVID-19 pandemic is present or not, the technological advancement that we are bound to experience is unprecedented. Higher Education institutions’ quick adaptation to this phenomenon is a must for them to survive and thrive in the digital space. That’s why we bring these top trending virtual events in Higher Education right to your doorstep.
The student community is considered as the university’s customers. The programs that they come up with are all focused on those stakeholders best interest. In effect, universities are continually conceptualizing ideas that will deliver the best customer experience to them.
Let’s face it: given the pace and the direction that our generation is treading, there is no other way to go but “digital”. The days where learning is constricted within the four walls of a classroom are gone. In this day and age, knowledge transfer can be done anywhere, anytime. And by anyone with an inetrnet connection and a mobile phone or a laptop.
The integration of technologies that favor engagement, like Live Chat and Live Blog features within your student community, is becoming part-and-parcel of any virtual event idea when hosts rack their brains together.
What’s a Virtual Event?
A Virtual Event allows participants to virtually engage through the internet with no need for a physical location. With the current isolation conditions, holding this kind of event might be the only way not to compromise learning opportunities.
To help universities improve engagement from students through virtual events, here is a list of 11 top trending virtual events in Higher Education amidst COVID-19.
Top trending virtual events in Higher Education
1. Virtual Alumni Homecoming
One of the best chapters in our lives is the time spent in school. We’ve got used to the feeling of reuniting with old friends, classmates, professors, and other staff in our Alma Mater. The feeling of holding, hugging, and kissing them can never be replaced.
With strict public health standards, however, we will need to make use of technology available. This way we can relive the memories that happened in our school before COVID-19 while avoiding the virus.
Whatever the situation is, nothing can stop us from holding this momentous event through a Virtual Alumni Homecoming. Albeit the distance, holding this event will give them the opportunity to network and catch up with each other.
2. Virtual Graduation Ceremony
Everyone agrees that this event is the culmination of being a student. They have been looking forward to the day that their diploma is handed to them while donning their graduation dress. Their loved ones are there to celebrate the unforgettable day.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to stay indoors due to its high rate of infection. It is a good thing that there are virtual platforms that can host such events. So, the efforts of our students, when it comes to recognition of their achievements, are not overlooked.
As a university, never miss out on this opportunity for your students by holding a virtual graduation ceremony. O,r as other universities would call it, virtual commencement exercises.
3. COVID-19 Support Groups for Students and Staff
There are many other ideas we can think of and present in this article. It goes without saying, however, that everyone can relate to the pandemic. It is important to organize support groups for the student and staff communities who are having a difficult time navigating the crisis.
COVID-19 and its effects on our lives hit the whole world by surprise. Almost all of us lost someone we know because of the deadly virus. A primary task of an university is to secure the well-being of students and staff as we deal with COVID-19.
By hosting virtual events such as Support Groups, you are able to provide a platform where communities can share their stories, gain insights on how to avoid the virus, and help motivate each other as we go through these trying times.
4. Virtual Fundraisers
There are problems we face left and right and it does not seem to be ending soon. You see, the purpose of causes is to solve one societal problem. Or at least put it at a bare minimum which makes the problem manageable.
By hosting virtual fundraising events, the university makes students aware of the issues that they are facing. It makes them become active citizens who are ready to lend a hand in any way they can. The good thing about virtual fundraisers is that people who are willing to help financially can do so from any corner of the world.
In addition, there’s looming financial and economic crisis that many countries are facing. Universities are helping provide students with tuition support by hosting virtual fundraising events. Those allow students to auction their school stuff, Books and other items that may be valuable to somebody else.
5. Virtual Fun Run
Due to the pandemic, we are forced to stay indoors and at a safe distance from other people. Our activities before COVID-19 hit us were very different compared to today. It does not mean that we should forget about our health, however.
By hosting virtual fun runs, your university not only follows protocols on minimum public health standards. It also address students’ physical health. Our image of a fun run is usually packed with crowds and jogging around the city.
With social distancing measures enforced, how will a virtual fun run work anyway? The answer is simple and quite innovative. When participants sign up for a certain distance, they must use apps to track the length of their run.
Participants can choose where they will perform the activity, as long as they track and send it to the organizers. From there, organizers will take note of the distance and time, and medals will be mailed to the winners.
6. Virtual Happy Hour Activities
On top of the pandemic situation, school requirements can put a lot of stress on your students’ shoulders. Host virtual happy hours to give them a short break from virtual classes. Plus, get them entertained to boost their creativity. The goal of this activity is for the attendees to have fun and allow them to connect among themselves.
There are a lot of themes you can brainstorm when hosting virtual happy hour activities. One of them is to assign a game everyone can play while preparing a cocktail at the comfort of their home.
You can play Bingo with a twist. Instead of the traditional cards with numbers, replace them with words or phrases everyone in the group can relate to. By hosting this type of virtual event, you will leave your participants entertained, happy, and engaged throughout the session.
7. Virtual Dance Showdown
Who would not have missed showing off your moves on the dance floor? Since it is going to take some time before our favorite clubs or bars open, it is a great idea to invite students and get a little crazy for a while through a virtual dance showdown.
Ever since TikTok gained momentum during the pandemic, a lot of users – dancers or not – became confident of showing their moves. Let students translate this confidence by rewarding the student who garners a lot of praise through a vote.
8. Virtual Bookaholics Club
Now that we are in the middle the pandemic, we miraculously have enough time for many hobbies or interesting things we can think of. Surely, most of us intend to make reading a routine. But because of our busy schedule at school, we simply cannot squeeze it in.
By organizing virtual book clubs, students have the ability to share an interesting book that they have just read. It is never too late to digest a timeless classic story and share opinions that will stir imagination and way of reason.
Make the group interesting by assigning a particular niche or topic every week. Make roundtable discussions from each member about the book.
9. E-Sports Tournament
Besides physical activities that keep young people active nowadays, one of the ways they destress is through e-sports. E-sports allows players from all over the world to partake in a team and strategize their win over opponents.
It has gained so much popularity that cash prizes for these types of tournaments pour in millions. Showcase the technological savvy of your university by hosting an E-Sports tournament as part of your students’ intramurals. You will be surprised at how competitive they will become once you start with the tournaments.
10. Virtual Meditation and Awareness Sessions
There are so many factors that contribute to our daily stress nowadays. When students are stressed, they do not perform to the best, leading to rising anxiety levels.
With a virtual meditation and awareness session, you help students combat anxiety and cope with stress. They can stabilize their emotions and, ultimately, make sound decisions in life’s everyday challenges.
There is multitude of benefits as well: emotional stability, less stress, dealing with anxiety, clarity of the mind, restful sleep, among others.
11. Virtual University Open Week
This virtual event may hold the most important role in the survival of any university amidst the pandemic. Since COVID-19 hit the world, all universities were forced to close their gates and enter the digital space. But the question is: how are universities going to reach prospective students if everyone is unable to leave home?
The solution to that is a Virtual University Open Week. Like the traditional way of recruiting, in a virtual university open week students are taken on a tour around the university, course offerings, student life situation and many more through an online platform.
To be more engaging to prospects, host breakout sessions from the program. Let them pick an activity of their choice.
For example, organize a breakout session for currently enrolled student representatives from all your course offering. Let them share with prospects how the course is being done in your university. This way prospects gain first-hand knowledge and they already know what to expect when they enter university.
Another breakout session would be counseling for prospects who are not sure which course they are going to take. Help prospects gain more knowledge about a specific discipline and the requirements of the course.
Technology for Virtual Events
Lastly, it is important to employ technologies that favor real-time engagement such as Live Chat and Live Blog. Remember: the virtual university open week is your first point of contact. Students form first impressions toward your school, so everything must be perfect and interesting.
Once your prospects see that your event has features to which they can engage among themselves and connect with their fellow students, they will have less hesitation to enroll in your school because you made them feel at ease through your programs.
Virtual Events have become part of the programs that universities organize even before the pandemic hit us. Now, it is time to level up the way of creating these events by integrating technologies that allow your audience to engage, post comments, opinions, vote on polls, post Question-and-Answer, and the like.