7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Ambassadors on Open Days
Student ambassadors are the main attraction on open days, which means that your placement of them is crucial. Prospective students and their families love getting to know them and feeling as though they’re getting inside knowledge from an authentic voice.
But it can be easy to overlook ways to use student ambassadors to their full potential at events like open days. Between campus tours and student life talks, how can we be sure we’re making the most of them?
Let’s explore the opportunities to enhance the student ambassador presence — before, during, and after your open days.
Leveraging student ambassadors to advertise your open days
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it does bear repeating: Have your ambassadors talk about upcoming events!
Arm them with plenty of marketing materials, including posters, postcards, and flyers. Make sure that they’re well-prepared with all necessary information so they can mention any relevant dates or events during their student life talks and interactions with prospects.
You might even bring an ambassador along to events that give them a chance to talk about their own open days – their personal experience is key in these interactions, after all.
Empower ambassadors promote open days online
You already know that platforms like Unibuddy Chat provide a space for prospective and current students to connect – and since your ambassadors are already promoting your school online, why not have them promote your events, too?
But be sure that, prior to the open day, you’ve prepared your ambassadors for an influx of messages following upcoming events. Giving them the chance to prepare accordingly will ensure that they’re at the top of their game and able to interact with prospects and answer any questions with ease.
If they’re not already aware of any open day dates, consider sending them a cheat sheet full of relevant dates and information, including the easiest ways to attend. By encouraging them to mention these events to prospective students, you’ll drive their sense of purpose and increase attendance numbers.
How to utilize student ambassadors on open days
One of the most effective ways to engage prospective students during open house events is to connect them with student ambassadors they’ve already had interactions with. This familiar face serves to deepen their connection to your institution and make their visit even more memorable. The experience of physically meeting someone they’ve previously communicated with online or over the phone adds a layer of personalization and trust that is often missing in such events.
For example, at Queen Mary, University of London, they go a step further to enhance this peer-to-peer connection by creating business cards for their student ambassadors. When these ambassadors meet a prospective student, they hand over these business cards, which serve as a tangible point of contact for future interactions. This allows the prospective student to easily continue the conversation even after the open house event has concluded. The business card not only acts as a professional touchpoint but also encourages ongoing communication, thereby deepening the prospective student’s link with the institution.
In addition to traditional methods like business cards, modern approaches can further strengthen these relationships. For example, student ambassadors can add prospective students to their professional or institution-affiliated Instagram accounts.
This not only serves as an informal and authentic channel for communication but also gives the prospective students a real-time glimpse into life at the institution. Social media platforms like Instagram provide a dynamic way to share updates, student experiences, and upcoming events, creating another layer of engagement.
The advantage of such an approach is twofold: it makes the open house event more impactful for the prospective student and maximizes the effectiveness of your student ambassador program. By strengthening these initial ties, you are not only enhancing the individual visitor’s experience but also laying a solid foundation for a lasting relationship between the student and your institution.
This creates a win-win situation: prospective students leave the open house with a heightened sense of belonging and a deeper understanding of what your institution offers, while your institution benefits from a more engaged and committed applicant pool.
Collaborating with student ambassadors for post-open day engagement
Keep the conversation going
If prospective students haven’t gotten in touch yet, you might send them a quick email reminding them that current students are available to answer any questions they might have about the university experience.
Be sure to prepare your team of ambassadors for any questions they’ll likely receive and help them form answers that make prospects decide to apply to your institution.
Use the power and reach of social media
You already encourage each of your student ambassadors to engage with prospective students on social media – so why not take it a step further?
Sure, campus selfies with students and tour groups are great, but give your prospects something they can truly interact with. Encourage visitors to write in with questions and have your students answer them directly via direct message or video.
Not only will this type of user-generated content forge authentic connections, but it will also drive engagement and make it easier to be discovered by other potential prospects.
Connect with your next generation of ambassadors
Speaking of authentic voices, keep the momentum going by providing an insider’s perspective of open day.
Consider having an ambassador create a blog about what it’s like to work these events, the highlights and a few selfies from the day. Doing so offers another opportunity to connect with visitors but also sets the stage for them to want to be ambassadors in the future.
Ambassadors create a consolidated connection with your institution
Remember, the power of peer-to-peer interactions can never be overestimated. There’s no better time to take advantage of that power than during an open day – remember, no one can paint a picture of what it’s like to be a student than a current student.
Regardless of the size of your ambassador program, there’s a way for every institution to use their student ambassadors to their full potential on important days.
Keep in mind that utilizing your student ambassadors for open days is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Not only do they enhance the success of your events, but these occasions also serve as opportunities to further develop your ambassadors’ skill sets and deepen their sense of ownership toward your institution.
Your objective extends beyond event success; it’s also to equip your ambassadors with essential skills such as interpersonal, communication, and organizational abilities. This holistic approach sets them on a path toward future success while adding value to your institution.
Maximizing the impact of open days entails more than just creating a highly effective promotional event. It also means ensuring that your ambassadors leave the event equipped with a new set of skills and tools, enriching their personal and professional development.
Download our free guide now
To find out more about the power of peer-to-peer engagement and ambassador programs, download our guide to the ultimate guide to recruiting, training and managing your student ambassadors.
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