Image of a teacher preparing an online university event

 by Becci Denmark
, posted On 11 Aug '21
 UK/EU Student Recruitment Manager at the University of Surrey

A school and college guide to online university event platforms and preparing for virtual university events

Before the pandemic, if someone had said to me “I’ll see you on Zoom”, I would have had no idea what they were talking about. Now I feel like I live my whole life on Zoom or equivalent. During the 2020-21 academic year, virtual events became the new normal for universities across the world.

Universities will have a preferred platform for their events and this will vary from institution to institution. I have outlined a few of these platforms below:

Zoom Webinar/Google Meet/Microsoft Teams university events

These are all simple, straight-forward webinar platforms that allows the host to share a presentation. All the platforms have a Q&A, chat and a record function.

Adobe Connect university events

This is an online training platform. As well as all basic webinar functionally, Adobe Connect has many other components that will allow the user to participate in interactive online activities.

Ivent/Easy Virtual Fair/VFairs university events

These are large scale event platforms designed to support thousands of users. Fantastic for online careers and university fairs.

How schools and colleges can prepare for online university events

For all online events you will need access to a computer, laptop or mobile phone with speakers. Most computers and phones will also have a webcam. Webcams are not necessarily needed for events but if you are attending online training, a webcam may be beneficial.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when attending and preparing for events:

- Most online events will be recorded by the host, so it can be made available later on. It is the duty of the host to make you aware of this, so you can leave or turn off your own video if you do not wish to be included in the recording.

- Instead of physical handouts you may be sent digital documents during the event, be sure to download these. You may also find that links to useful websites may be sent to you during the webinar through the chat function. A useful tip is to click on these links during the session and bookmark them so you can come back to them later.

- Some events may be hosted over a few platforms. For example, content, videos and pre- recorded sessions could be on the university website, but the live webinars may be delivered on Zoom.

- When you are sent the joining instructions before the event, do read them fully. They will include the timings and any other practical information like the equipment you may need and if you need to prepare anything in advance. A further top tip is to make note of the contact details of the host, so you can contact them if you run into any technical difficulties.

Teachers, careers colleagues and support staff: request your FREE UniTasterDays Teachers' Guide to University brochure.

This brochure has been produced by in collaboration with HELOA - to support the university guidance that is provided in secondary schools and colleges.

Editorial has been provided by over 35 colleagues at universities and higher education institutions throughout the UK. On topics covering how to support students with their university decisions, university events, widening participation & fair access, UCAS applications (including writing school references) and more. It also includes the key student finance facts from Martin Lewis.

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