How to cut queues at Open Day : improve prospective student experience

Queues 5A

First impressions matter. So when a prospective student approaches the registration desk on Open Day, it is important to keep in mind that everything you -or one of your team- do and say will reflect on your institution. Follow our how to guide and ensure that you are able to provide prospective students the right first impression:

Pre-registration

Open Day is arguably one of, if not the largest recruitment event in the university calendar. Marketing and Student Recruitment teams dedicate a large amount of time, budget and creativity to the day.  Embed responsive registration forms onto your website months in advance and capture as many pre-registrations as possible. Capturing pre-registration is a great way to forecast how much support you will need on the day.

Quick tip: Prospective students want to visit universities when they are ready to find out more. Make sure that you always have opportunities available for students to register for Open Days and campus visits throughout the year and ensure that you are ready when your students are ready.

QR codes

Once you have captured prospective students details through pre-registration forms, send prospective students confirmation alongside a QR code which they can then use to register on the day. Send students their registration QR code and a reminder via SMS or email.

Quick tip: It is always worth highlighting that students will need to fetch their QR codes on registration in your communication.

Scanning apps

To accompany the QR codes, it is important that you have the scanning technology to support this at your registration desk and lots of it. The more devices you have that are able to scan QR codes, the quicker the registration time.

Quick tip: Whatever the technology you decide to use, make sure that you have enough equipment and that you have chargers (and spare).

Digital forms

Despite your best efforts to encourage prospective students to pre-register, you will never manage to capture all attendees before the event. Make sure that you are prepared on the day and have an appropriate registration form at the ready.

When creating your form, think about how many students usually attend your Open Day and create your form with this in mind. The shorter the form, the less time it takes for a student to fill out and the shorter the queue at your registration desk.

Quick tip: Keep your form simple and follow-up with a longer form via email that students can fill in when they get home!

Train your Ambassadors

It may seem like we are stating the obvious, but getting your Student Ambassadors together ahead of Open Day and providing them with even the most basic training can make a huge difference to the success of the day. Chances are, your ambassadors won’t have used your registration system before or know where everything on campus is, so a little training goes along way!

“Using Gecko at Open Days has reduced waiting time for prospective students. Previously, there was 4 or 5 steps needed to register an applicant, now it is a case of finding the person and swiping them off as attending. Less process and less time for someone to go through the registration process, registration on Open Day is now 5 x faster!”

 Danielle Wedderburn, Enquiries Manager, Goldsmiths University 

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