As I’ve previously written, the choice of University, which will probably define your future choice of profession, is one of the most important decisions you will make in your entire life. Because of that, it is of critical importance for your studies, career and life in general to gather and compare a lot of important information crucial to making your final decision. Just some of the things students should consider when choosing a University are the country, city, local culture, university program, campus, lecturers, job opportunities after graduation and many other factors that play an important role when making this choice.
Luckily, there are a lot of ways one can inform him or herself these days about all of those factors. They include various internet studyportals, student communities and alumni networks, knowledge-sharing platforms, online University presentations, on-campus University tours, online and printed guides for choosing your university, master's degree or profession etc.
Still, there are two competing methods that have proven themselves to be the most popular and efficient tools for gathering information about potential studying opportunities, and those are live recruitment events and their digital counterparts - recruitment webinars.
Attending one of those two is usually a tipping point for most students when deciding on the choice of their future education, and doing them right may just make the difference between attracting more potential applicants or just wasting both your and their time. But what is the real difference between these two, and which one should students favor? That’s something I’ll try to answer here:
Live recruitment events:
In case you haven’t visited one of these events, they are all similarly organized and it looks like this: A venue in your city will host the event organized most probably by a professional recruitment agency, and it will feature recruitment specialists from various schools and universities around the world that will present to you their schools, programs, answer your questions etc. The last event I went to was an MBA event and the entire process looked like this:
- We found out about the event online
- We registered and submitted our applications
- After receiving acceptance email we had to RSVP and confirm our participation
- There were two stages of the event at the venue
1. The first one in which representatives of four schools answered questions asked by the moderator and presented their programs, while at the same time answering some questions by those who attended and
2. The second part with one-on-one meetings with the representatives of the schools you are interested in, where you can get a more in-depth info about everything that interests you.
This is the digitized version of the live recruitment event, and it basically mimics all of its elements and transfers them into the digital world. Same as with live events you will probably find an online call (isn’t that ironic), after which you will have to fill out an online form, and get your confirmation, attendance link and details. The whole process looks like this:
- You find the event
- Register and/or submit application after which you get the attendance link and confirmation
- The event also has two stages
1. Representative(s) of the school(s) present their programs and answer questions asked by a moderator and participants
2. You may later schedule one-on-one meetings with those whom you find interesting
So when they appear this similar at first glance, what is the real difference between them, and which should you choose?
First of all, any live event you obviously have to attend in person at a certain location. That already means that you are losing time and money getting there, that you need to be dressed in a certain way and behave in a certain manner. Majority of the people actually have such a strong public speaking anxiety that they would rather refrain from asking questions they deem important, than actually asking them in front of people, which will often lead to them being under-informed. Also, when it comes to live one-on-one meetings with the school representatives, same problems occur. But the most important thing of all is that you actually have to either live nearby the venue where the event will take place, or dedicate time and money to getting there. In simple terms - they are very rigid when it comes to time and space.
On the other hand Online Recruitment Webinars have several key advantages that put them very far ahead of live recruitment events. First of all, the only thing you need to attend them are a functioning computer/tablet/smartphone with active internet connection. You don’t even need to have a camera (though it is recommendable). You may attend online webinars from any place on the planet where you can get an internet signal - your school, a coffee shop, apartment, park, hotel, car, airplane or just anywhere else. You are not constrained to one single space and do not have the strain of having to be physically present. You can attend an online webinar being streamed from Nepal while being on a vacation in Hawaii, and that makes it a lot easier for anybody to participate. Also, the contact itself is personal, but separated by the technology, which makes people much more relaxed than in person, which in turn means that you can be more yourself, ask questions that you want and get the answers without feeling peer pressured or anxious over direct or public contact. What is also important, for every and any inquiry you might have, you can always get a link for the additional information, while in a live recruitment event you would be holding a massive printed guide which is difficult to browse quickly, and does not offer as much useful information as you may find online. Put into simpler terms, online webinars offer everything that the live recruitment events offer with many very important advantages.
All in all, think of online recruitment webinars as a big step-up in the student recruiting industry and that very quickly live recruitment events will become obsolete. Unfortunately, as with all progress, the majority of University Recruiters, Marketing and International officers are still “afraid” of using these, and refrain from them, even though they are much easier to organize and more efficient for students. But as with everything - time will prove them wrong and I am certain that in the next 10 years online recruitment webinars will become the new standard in the student recruitment industry, bringing enormous advantages to both students and recruiters themselves.
Read next - Recruiter Perspective: Live Student Recruitment Events vs Online Webinars