Virtual campus events started to normalize in 2020 when everything was in shutdown mode thanks to COVID. Remote events, from admissions to graduation job fairs and everything in between, are now a standard part of the curriculum. Virtual events are important because interacting with other students is a critical part of higher education. It helps educators achieve their student retention goals. It keeps student organizations a healthy, active part of campus life. Virtual events also benefit students by building their communication and collaboration skills.
But how can virtual events engage students? We have a dozen virtual event ideas for student organizations and the colleges and universities that support them. These events will help you stay in touch with your students no matter where they’re learning from.
Virtual Event Ideas for Students
Colleges and universities that develop a robust set of virtual events for students will expand their curriculum directly into the homes of enrollees. Now that we understand the significant impact of pandemic restrictions, it makes sense to invest in this type of online learning as well as remote fun events. Here are five things higher education can do to engage remote students:
- On-Demand Viewing
Record campus-wide speakers for on-demand viewing. Recording guest speakers and then making these lectures available to everyone is a great way to share content. It can help you attract more students. You can host these on an easy to access Onstream Media webinar hub.
- Lecture Series
You could host virtual TED Talks (or, at least, similar to the TED talk series) geared specifically for students. TED Talks are both motivating and educational in bite-sized increments that foster thinking and allow students to learn outside the class curriculum.
Lunch-and-learns allow students to teach each other or professors to teach outside the approved curriculum. These virtual events make great use of modern video conferencing tools, including real-time chat rooms that allow everyone to have a lively discussion about the topic.
- Alumni Events
Alumni organizations and students can also benefit from virtual events. You can bring together alums for networking but also introduce them to students. This will engage both alums and students as well as give graduating seniors a chance to network their way to a new job. You could even use a virtual event of this type to reach high school seniors to interest them in attending your school.
- Job Skill Tutorials
Tutorials in job skills will help many students know what to expect in the job market. You can use virtual events to do mock interviews or offer specific training in the skills students will need on the job.
- Real-Life Events
How about “virtual adulting” events? Don’t laugh; we bet if you asked students a lot would say they would benefit from learning budgeting, saving, how to ask for a raise, understanding insurance, buying your first house, or other real-life skills.
- Cooking Classes
Healthy eating and cooking on a budget could be a great virtual event for students. This is a challenge for many students who live off-campus and it would be a great way to connect people over their health.
- Fun Competitions
You can also get students together for a TikTok competition. You can use a video conferencing solution to share the videos and chat to share camaraderie and fun.
- Virtual Contests
What about a photo contest? Inspiring photos, fun photos, and more can be shared. You can assign a theme like dorm pics or “meet the roommates” or who has the best workspaces. All of these could be engaging for students, especially if you use social media to promote the pictures.
- Virtual Career Prep
Invite recruiters from local companies to talk about job search strategies in a virtual world. Reach out to your alumni network and ask them to share their expertise on climbing the corporate ladder or starting your own business. Ask the local Chamber of Commerce if they’d like to sponsor a virtual career prep series.
- Virtual Field Trip
Working a virtual field trip into a college curriculum is a great way to liven up stale material. Many museums are offering virtual tours but there are also city visits for history lessons, and much more. You could assign a virtual field trip then discuss insights in a group chat or live during your next lecture or create a writing assignment to explore what students learned.
- Virtual Book Club
Many students find their great passions among the pages of books. Setting up virtual campus book clubs will help these students share ideas, debate, and explore each other and the written word.
Virtual Event Ideas for Student Organizations
Sororities and fraternities are always looking for fun events to bring pledges and members together. Whether it’s a charity or other philanthropic event or a task force meeting, virtual events for student organizations are great tools for bringing remote students together. Check out these virtual event ideas for on-campus student organizations:
- Virtual Round Tables
Round table virtual events are great for introducing student organizations to the freshman body. Virtual round tables can also bring student organizations together to tackle issues, share innovative ideas, and solve problems. Committees can use these forums to plan other activities such as membership building events.
- Recruitment Hub
Consider a virtual hub online where campus groups can post videos of what it’s like to participate in their organization. It’s a great virtual tool for recruiting students into these organizations. It also benefits any potential enrollees considering campus life benefits when looking at your school.
- Virtual Wellness
Mental and physical health and well-being are very important. This is particularly true for students who face pressure to perform in school as well as big questions about their lives during this time. Having your student health organization sponsor virtual guided medications or give practical advice on diet and exercise or just talk about some of the mental health challenges facing students these days could be both popular and helpful to your student body.
Now that you have some virtual event ideas for students and educational organizations, consider your video conferencing solution. Onstream Media offers the secure reliability of an online video conferencing platform as well as the most modern and effective features. Find out why we’re the top choice for colleges and universities around the country.