Many families are already well versed with the ins and outs of a traditional open day, but a virtual open event is a whole new world for many. The pandemic has thrown schools a myriad of challenges, with how to showcase what they can offer potential parents and pupils just one of them.
If you are planning on attending a virtual open event, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of it.
During any virtual open event, you will likely be given the chance to ask some questions and get them answered in real time by the teachers, heads or admission teams. Sometimes even by the pupils themselves. You should take advantage of this and prepare some questions before the event.
Make a note of things that you would like to ask ahead of the event, as preparing your questions in advance will ensure you don’t forget anything. If you are attending lots of virtual open events, you can ask these same questions multiple times and see how the answers compare.
It’s all well and good preparing questions, but you you also need to build up the confidence to ask them. Different open events have different methods of communication. If you don’t fancy speaking in front of all the other attendees, see if they have an option to type in the question, or ask the question at the registration stage of the process. Live chats are a judgement free space to ask all of your burning questions.
Understand how to access the materials
There are so many platforms out there that can host virtual events, it can be confusing to work out how to access them all. Do a little research before each event to ensure you understand how you can access it. Most will send reminder emails with a link that directs you straight to the open event. If you are having trouble connecting, most schools will have a dedicated IT support team on hand to assist with any issues.
Ensure you have a good internet connection
Having a good internet connection is vital for any virtual event. There is nothing worse than watching a video or listening to a speech for it to suddenly cut out or freeze. A way to get around this is to sit as close to your router as possible and ask other family member to avoid any bandwidth-hungry activities for a while.
Activities such as watching YouTube, streaming videos, taking part in Zoom calls and playing online games can slow down the internet for others, so hopefully this can be avoided for a while so you’ll clearly be able to hear the event and get all the information you need.
Get other members of the family involved
With an online open event, the number of family members you can get involved is infinite. The more opinions you have, the better, and it is a lot less of a commitment for nans and grandads, aunts and uncles, to log on and watch the event rather than attend the school in person.
Register in advance
Registering in advance for an open event will help you plan ahead and avoid that last minute rush. You’ll give yourself time to prepare, think of any questions you want to ask, get to grips with the technology and ensure you don’t miss any vital information.
Find a quiet spot
With everyone at home these days, finding a quiet spot can be a struggle, however it’s important that you sit down and really concentrate on the event, rather than having it on in the background while you are watching TV or cooking dinner. This will ensure you’re able to take in all the information that’s offered without distractions.
The Oak-Tree Group are hosting their series of Virtual Open Events from the 2nd-5th March. Find more information here.