The education portal EasyUni could not have predicted how the event landscape would change so drastically in less than a year, but fate had decided that they would still be prepared for it.
In the past few years, they had heard from their university clients how they reduced their attendance and investment in sports fairs because they weren’t getting a good ROI.
Instead, they invested more in open days on campus. “One of the problems with physical campus open days, however, is that typically only people nearby can visit,” Edwin Tay, EasyUni CEO and co-founder, told Vulcan Post.
“If your campus is in KL, it is very difficult for someone living in Penang or Johor to visit. Even more for students and parents in Sabah and Sarawak. “
The turning point was when they were approached by a client in mid-2019 who asked them to develop a custom open-day virtual website.
“We thought, instead of developing a custom website, why not make it and offer it to more universities and colleges as a platform?” Edwin remembered.
The development of Fairwiz therefore began in November 2019, shortly before the peak of the pandemic.
Virtual events are more necessary than ever
Fairwiz is EasyUni’s answer to educational institutions’ problems regarding physical events as it is a platform where they can host virtual open days, career and education fairs, onboarding and even student orientations on their own website.
EasyUni’s university network is a good starting point for Fairwiz’s growth, as it already operates a number of leading education portals in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
“Fairwiz customers can distribute their events on EasyUni websites to gain exposure and participation in the EasyUni community of millions of students worldwide. Some of them use EasyUni services to advertise their events through pay-per-click campaigns, ”said Edwin.
Instead of letting the platform determine how the universities use it, the team came up with the idea of being flexible. All universities need to take full advantage of it is creativity.
EasyUnis own virtual event with Fairwiz / Image Credit: Fairwiz
An example would be customers who use Fairwiz for their schools’ virtual orientation days, where club presidents hold their own virtual booths to recruit newcomers.
These virtual booths can also be used in bootcamp demo days where the trainees can present their products / services to visitors. Overall, the options are only limited by the customers themselves.
Dealing with the education sector made sense at first thanks to EasyUni’s 10 years of experience in the industry, but Edwin does not intend to limit himself to just that.
A bright future for virtual events
At this stage in virtual event technology, I can say that virtual events just can’t compete with the experience of physically attending an event.
But the team is not trying to disrupt physical events, Edwin clarified, admitting that these have their own strengths and advantages.
“Right now we are providing customers with a platform to add to their physical events. However, we look forward to a future where VR hardware will become as ubiquitous as smartphones. “
To counteract the “lonely” feeling of attending a virtual event, Fairwiz has released features such as a real-time visitor table at each booth and an activity feed. More functions are planned for launch.
- A Fairwiz customer’s dashboard, for example / Image Credit: Fairwiz
As expected, the reception for Fairwiz was pretty good. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital spaces, and so has the education industry.
“We completed the first version of Fairwiz sometime in March and since then we have managed to attract a dozen clients like University Malaya, MSU, Nottingham University Malaysia, etc.,” said Edwin.
“However, we believe that Fairwiz has a bright future, even if the world is back to normal. As you can imagine, it is not possible for universities and colleges to have physical events everywhere. “
In major markets, Edwin provides that institutions are likely to host physical events, while in other markets they could host online events.
The world is their oyster
Since 2014, MaGIC has been one of EasyUni (and now Fairwiz) biggest mentors. During their trip, the EasyUni team took part in a few career fairs, a demo day for academy / bootcamp participants and a marketing bootcamp (Distro Dojo).
“The marketing bootcamp was very informative and useful for our team,” said Edwin, adding, “MaGIC also introduced us to overseas events to help us with our expansion drive.”
Outside of Malaysia, EasyUni also has an office in Saudi Arabia with a team that is actively marketing Fairwiz in the Middle East and that has already attracted several customers.
They also have a partner in North America who is expanding their reach in that market and Fairwiz continues to seek more partners through its affiliate program in order to grow.
- More information about EasyUni and Fairwiz can be found here.
- More articles on education can be found here.
Selected image source: Edwin Tay, CEO and co-founder of EasyUni and Fairwiz