University of Waterloo is a public research university in Ontario, Canada with 42,000+ students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. Using the Accelevents all-in-one events platform for their recruitment events, University of Waterloo was able to register thousands of students, literally within a few clicks!
The Goal: Finding A Virtual Solution for Undergraduate Recruitment Events
In early 2020, university staff needed to find a virtual solution as a replacement for many of their large in-person undergraduate recruitment events. It was important that they still incorporated many of the activities and functions that their in-person events historically featured. They needed a virtual events platform that had the following:
- The ability to handle large numbers of attendees, staff, and presentations
- Several ways for attendees to network and engage with one another
- A user-friendly interface for both organizers and students
- Customizable branding and functionality options
- Ease of registration and event reminder communications
- Flexible pricing
The Accelevents Solution: Creating a Custom Virtual Solution for University of Waterloo
Accelevents was able to meet all of the above-required needs, and with a proven track record in helping higher education institutions host successful events, they ultimately decided to partner with us.
Since initially discovering Accelevents in 2020, University of Waterloo has hosted many recruitment events on the platform ranging from weekly campus tours of 60 attendees to almost 5,000 simultaneous attendees at their Virtual Fair.
Accelevents served as a successful online event solution for the following large-scale events:
- Waterloo Virtual Fair (October 2020)
- Waterloo Virtual Open House (November 2020)
- March Virtual Open House (March 2021)
- You@Waterloo Day (May 2021)
At each of these events, the University leveraged Accelevents to convey critical information in creative ways to prospective and accepted students alike. They used the Lounges feature to serve as each area of their Student Life departments (Accessibility, Athletics, Campus Wellness, Housing, Financial Aid, etc.) and leveraged the Expo Hall functionality to feature booths for each of the university faculties, schools, and university colleges (Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Environment, Faculty of Engineering, School of Architecture, etc.).
With Breakout Sessions, they were able to easily schedule a variety of smaller presentations within the same event environment.
Results: Impressive Stats From The Get-Go
In aggregate, the positive outcomes validated the notion that Higher Education institutions, like University of Waterloo, were able to successfully meet their goals through virtual events. Some impressive statistics from these combined events include:
- 23,500 registrants
- 13,756 attendees
- 192 presentations
In addition to the recruitment events listed above, University of Waterloo also started hosting weekly virtual campus tours for prospective undergraduate students in October 2020.
Additionally, over the past 9 months more than 1,500 students have toured University of Waterloo virtually!
“Attendees love presentations! Initially we thought attendees would flock to booths and lounges but it turns out that they tend to want to gather information by attending presentations. They also like the ability to connect with one another and Accelevents provides lots of options to do this.
The large number of features with Accelevents has allowed us to translate the majority of what we would offer in-person to our virtual guests. While virtual events do require some reimagining of event programming, Accelevents has a lot of options to offer your guests a positive experience that aligns with your organization’s brand.”
Campus Engagement Specialist