Virtual High School Open Day

May 18, 2021
We asked Sharon Hershaw from Rhenish Girls’ High School about their recent Virtual Open Day that took place in February 2021.

What is Open Day? And how did it traditionally take place at Rhenish Girls’ High School?

Traditionally, our Open Day involves close on 1000 people visiting the school campus. Prospective learners and their parents have the opportunity to mingle with our learners who have displays of the various sports, clubs and societies offered at the school. They then attend a formal presentation where various aspects of school life are addressed by the Principal and a host of learners who are involved in these areas and are passionate about their school.

Sounds like a great event, but we all know 1000 people in one place is just not possible right now. How was Open Day run differently in 2021?

As a result of Covid regulations, we were not allowed to have visitors on campus and we decided (in November 2020) that this year's Open Day (February 2021) would be a Virtual Open Day. We created a video which captured the essence of what was presented in our traditional formal presentation. A great deal of footage taken around the school, at sports events and cultural events was incorporated with voice overs and interviews of the Principal, the Head Learners and learners who are heads of portfolios like sport, culture, social responsibility, academic and communication. Prospective parents registered for the open day and, on the assigned day, they were sent the link for the Virtual Open Day. This link sent them to a page embed in our website where they could view the video (Youtube) and it also explained that we would host an hour long Q and A session that evening on our website. Juizi built in a widget (tawk) that was attached to various key aspects (applications, academic, sport, culture, hostel, general) and these were manned by operators for that period. Visitors could ask questions in one of these areas and their questions were addressed in real time by the operators.

A video - the next best thing! And then the chat app gave the large audience a chance to still ask individual questions in real time. How did the event go?

The Virtual Open Day was very well received. The video worked extremely well and the viewers were very excited about what they experienced. The Q&A session using Tawk also went extremely well. The operators found it very easy to use and the engagement from parents was good - although much of what they asked could be found on the website itself or in the FAQs we had prepared on each of the sections.

Would you run your Open Day like this again?

Open Day is a very important date on the calendar and it is felt that the prospective learners and parents NEED to get a feel for the school and a physical look around. So, unless there is a reason why folks may not access the property, it is not really likely. I think the widget worked extremely well and we are likely to use it for other, future live chat sessions.

Indeed. If it is one thing we’ve learned this last year is that while virtual is better than nothing, in person is just on a different level. But great to hear that everyone is comfortable with the tawk app, and that Rhenish might have found a few other use cases for the app for the future.

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