Freshers’ Week 2020 is digitised in light of the coronavirus

‘The Digital Welcome’ provides key opportunities for marketers to still connect with students

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Brands need not miss out on the most important opportunity to connect with university students as Freshers’ Week 2020 is being digitised for the first time. ‘The Digital Welcome’, developed by student marketing agency Raptor, offers innovative and exciting opportunities for brands to still get in front of the elusive student audience as the coronavirus pandemic prevents most traditional Freshers’ Week events from taking place this year.

‘The Digital Welcome’ comprises a virtual and exact replica of the campus of each of the participating universities which students will be able to move around, stopping off at various points of interest and finding out about the various societies and the extracurricular interests they cater for. The campus map will use the latest state-of-the-art interactive technology and involve multiple brand partners as part of embedded immersive experiences including augmented reality, web games, 3D modelling, merchandise freebies, discount coupon offers and video and messenger integration.

Brands confirming their involvement at the unveiling of ‘The Digital Welcome’ include Unilever’s Pot Noodle and Twitch, the live streaming platform for gamers. Opportunities still exist for other brands to explore the various ways they can be involved in this unique and virtual Freshers’ Week experience and get in front of over 160,000 students.

‘The Digital Welcome’ is happening at Imperial College London, University of Birmingham, UEA (University of East Anglia), Northumbria University, University of Sussex, UCC (University College Cork, Ireland), University of Chester and University of Exeter in conjunction with each of their respective students’ unions.  More universities are expected to sign up over the coming weeks.

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David Burgman, CEO of Raptor, the student marketing agency that has created ‘The Digital Welcome’, said: “Research shows that the connections made by brands with students at Freshers’ Weeks are deep and meaningful and form the basis for brand loyalty for many years to come. We wanted to develop a platform that digitised this vital student experience and provided brands with a creative and exciting way to still forge those bonds, despite all the chaos that the coronavirus pandemic has reaped on student life.”

Lori Henebury, Media and Marketing Coordinator at the University of Birmingham Guild of Students, added: “It is really important that new students get to understand what their universities offer outside of just their courses and ‘The Digital Welcome’ is a brilliant platform which does just that in these unprecedented times.” ‘The Digital Welcome’ will sit on each participating university’s website and it will be available on both desktop and mobile.

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.