Bringing the U to You: How University of Utah leveraged Simulated Live presentations and live chats to maximize resources while virtually “traveling” the US this fall.
About University of Utah
Founded in 1850, the University of Utah is the state’s public flagship institution and top-tier research university. The U is classified by the Carnegie Foundation among the 131 research universities with the “highest research activity” in the nation and is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). The institution offers over 100 undergraduate and more than 90 graduate programs with a total enrollment in 2019 of just under 33,000.
Virtual Travel and Outreach
A University accustomed to needing to cast a wide net during their travel season found themselves, like most other higher education institutions, needing to update their traditional plans for safety and travel restriction reasons. This provided an opportunity to rethink the repetitive admissions information presentations and better utilize the strengths and time of staff while still maximizing outreach and student engagement vital to enrollment metrics.
They curated a mixture of live and simulated live (pre-recorded presentations set to play at a specific time as if they were live and accompanied by a live chat) to connect with students, inviting entire states or regional areas to attend an event and connect with their admissions staff. Students and families got a taste of what the culture and community is like and they received information in a presentation format that was accessible and relatable while still being well-polished and branded.
Strategy and Outcomes
They live recorded the “Bringing the U to You” events three times to allow for some customization in content and panelists based on larger market segments. Then, to maximize content and effectively utilize resources, they hosted additional simulive (rebroadcast) events in smaller grouped markets with the Admissions Counselor assigned to those markets hosting a live chat in conjunction with the simulive event. This allowed participants to connect with their admissions counselors and get questions answered immediately to continue to bring a personalized touch to the virtual event. This strategy proved to be well executed and well attended.