How University of Washington School of Medicine Personalized Their Virtual Event for College Students
Second Look was a 1-day virtual event for college students. It was created for applicants accepted to the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) to dive deeper into their programs, departments, and the school overall. The event was delivered on Social27 Virtual Event Platform and included:
- 9 speaker sessions
- 272 of attendees
- 214 noteworthy speakers
- And 5 sponsor booths (repurposed as programs and department booths)
Average Time Spent per Day per attendee: 3.5 hours per attendee
Days of event: 1 day
Number of attendees: 272
Number of Sessions: 9
Is Your School the “Right Fit?”
How can you tell if your university is a good fit for your prospective students? Yes, the cost is a huge factor, but it’s also whether or not you offer their desired area of study, or if your school can take them on the career path they want to go on.
Being able to see if your university is a good fit for your prospective students in the virtual space seems like a huge feat on paper, but for University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM), it didn’t have to be that way.
With the help of Social27 Virtual Event Platform, UWSOM was able to host their annual Second Look event so that they were able to showcase their incredible people and programs, while also helping applicants begin to build community from within the school itself.
At Second Look, UWSOM’s main goals were to:
- Provide a sense of community by sharing content
- Deliver strong support to help students know where they’re going in their studies
- Give students as many networking opportunities as possible
- Create a space where attendees could continuously come back to access information and make connections
Let’s take a closer look at how UWSOM was able to achieve their event goals and center their event around the theme “Connect with Us,” with the help of Areas of Interest and other platform features on Social27 Virtual Event Platform.
Second Look – Virtual Event for College Students
Second Look is designed to give first-year students that were accepted to UWSOM a chance to browse various programs during a virtual campus visit.
When held in-person, Second Look allows students to engage more personally with peers, faculty and staff, and understand the school on a deeper level than on their interview day.
In 2020, UWSOM’s Second Look was hosted last minute on Zoom. And although UWSOM simply “pulled it off,” they “knew [what] was missing was that we probably weren’t as successful with our goal of connecting people in a way that feels like you’re not in a Zoom meeting” (LeeAnna Muzquiz, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor and Associate Dean for Admissions at University of Washington School of Medicine.)
With the help of Social27 Virtual Event Platform, UWSOM was able to create an event experience that didn’t feel like a Zoom meeting for their students. Instead, they were able to create a sense of community by providing a personalized networking and content experience for their 272 attendees.
From creating a Community Members Directory on the Speakers page for attendees to learn more about their program members, to allowing attendees to freely ask questions or access program information and more via repurposed Exhibitor Booth Microsites – students didn’t have to miss out on anything they needed to help find which area of specialty or program at UWSOM best fit them.
Networking and Usage
- Chats sent: There were 284 chats sent between attendees during live and on demand sessions.
- Boardrooms (renamed Community Conversations): With 15-30 participants max to a Boardroom, there were 30 Boardrooms created during the 1-day event.
- Connections made: There were 635 connections made between attendees, speakers, and booth representatives at the event.
- Happy Hour visits: There were 250 attendee visits to Happy Hours at the event.
- Microsite visits: During the 1-day event period, there were 556 visits to the 5 department (sponsor) booths.
- Playlist views: In the 5 department (sponsor) booths, there were 2,161 Playlist views.
- Resources downloaded: In the 5 department (sponsor) booths, there were 54 resources (PDFs, Word documents, etc.) downloaded.
- Points and Badges earned: Attendees also earned a total of 370 Points and Badges for these various interactions while on the platform.
From chatting in event sessions, earning Points and Badges and more via session Theater rooms, joining Happy Hours, to participating in large-group video meetings via Boardrooms – attendees had a multitude of opportunities to connect.
Attendees also stayed hyper-engaged with event content, and with each other.
But they found the easiest way to network or find relevant people and content was with the event’s Areas of Interest.
Finding Their Areas of Interest
Areas of Interest (AOIs) is a feature on Social27 Virtual Event Platform that allows attendees to personalize their event experience even further. When an attendee enters the event, they’ll choose their top Areas of Interest. Then, our artificial intelligence (AI) powered Recommendation and Prediction Engine intelligently populates a custom, recommended agenda and surfaces the most compatible connections, sessions, sponsors and exhibitors.
The more attendees engage on the platform, the more customized to their tastes, the content being delivered to them becomes. This helps to consistently serve them a hyper-personalized event experience unique to their own preferences.
At Second Look, students were able to select an AOI for the different UWSOM campus sites, the areas of specialty that they were interested in, and more. Because UWSOM is a large, geographical institution, having the ability to connect attendees by not only location, but also by students’ interests helped to make the event feel more personalized and intimate.
UWSOM was able to design their AOIs around what students mentioned in the interview process and application process. This helped to provide students with the topics they were most interested in, while also being able to share AOIs that were important to UWSOM as an institution.
Although Second Look was 1-day, UWSOM still wanted students to have access to connecting and engaging with information about the school beyond the event date. By leaving the platform open for students to connect with each other and engage with content, students are able to nurture relationships and revisit content before their school year starts. And because Second Look was virtual, more students were able to access information about UWSOM without having to spend time and money flying out to the campus.
Allowing students to ask questions live in sessions or chat with peers was beneficial to not only getting students connected, but also to UWSOM’s overall event goals to create a community around their event. And with the help of AOIs, UWSOM was able to strategically identify attendee interests to help their attendees better connect and engage with their event content.
Second Look allowed for attendees to meet and access the materials needed to select the area of study or program that was the best fit for them, while also building a stronger community at UWSOM, virtually.
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