Education portal EasyUni could not have predicted how the events landscape would change so drastically in the span of under a year, yet fate had decided they would be prepared for it anyway.
For the past few years, they’d been hearing from their university clients how they’ve been reducing their participation and investment in physical education fairs because they were not getting good ROI.
They were instead investing more in on-campus open days. “However, one of the issues of on-campus physical open days is that typically only people who live nearby can visit,” Edwin Tay, CEO and co-founder of EasyUni told Vulcan Post.
“If your campus is in KL, it’s very hard for someone living in Penang or Johor to visit. More so for students and parents in Sabah and Sarawak.”
The tipping point was when they were approached by a client in mid-2019 who asked them to develop a custom virtual open day website.
“We thought instead of developing a custom website, why don’t we productise this and offer it to more universities and colleges as a platform?” Edwin recalled.
Development on Fairwiz thus began in November 2019, just in time before the pandemic peaked.
Virtual Events Are More Necessary Than Ever Now
Fairwiz is EasyUni’s answer to educational institutions’ woes about physical events, as it’s a platform that allows them to host virtual open days, career and education fairs, onboarding and even student orientations on their own website.
EasyUni’s network of universities serves as a great starting point for Fairwiz’s growth, considering 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 attendees amongst the EasyUni community of millions of students worldwide. Some of them choose to engage EasyUni’s services to promote their events via pay-per-click campaigns,” Edwin shared.
Rather than letting the platform dictate how universities used it, the idea the team had in mind was for it to be flexible. All that universities need to fully utilise it is creativity.
An example would be clients who use Fairwiz for their schools’ virtual orientation days, where club presidents man their own virtual booths to recruit freshmen.
These virtual booths can also be used in bootcamp “demo days” where trainees can show off their products/services to visitors. In all, the possibilities would only be limited by the clients themselves.
Tackling the education sector first made sense thanks to EasyUni’s 10-year expertise in the industry, but Edwin has no plans on limiting themselves to only this.
A Bright Future For Virtual Events
At this stage of virtual events technology, I’d say virtual events just can’t measure up to the experience of physically being at an event.
But the team isn’t trying to disrupt physical events, Edwin clarified, acknowledging that those have their own strengths and positives.
“At this stage, we’re offering customers a platform that they can use to supplement their physical events. But we look forward to a future where VR hardware becomes as ubiquitous as smartphones.”
To tackle that “lonely” feeling of attending a virtual event, Fairwiz has released features like a real-time visitor counter at each booth, and an activity feed. More features are being planned for launch too.
As expected, reception for Fairwiz has been pretty good. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital spaces, and the same goes for the education industry.
“We completed v1 of Fairwiz sometime in March, and since then we’ve managed to get a dozen or so customers such as University Malaya, MSU, Nottingham University Malaysia, etc.,” Edwin shared.
“However, we believe that Fairwiz has a bright future even after the world goes back to normal. As you can imagine, it’s not possible to for universities and colleges to have physical events everywhere.”
In important markets, Edwin foresees that institutions would probably host physical events, while in other markets, they could host online events.
The World Is Their Oyster
Since 2014, MaGIC has served as one of EasyUni’s (and now Fairwiz) biggest mentors. Throughout their journey, the EasyUni team themselves took part in a couple of career fairs, a demo day for academy/bootcamp participants, and a marketing bootcamp (Distro Dojo).
“The marketing bootcamp was quite informative and useful to our team,” Edwin said, adding, “MaGIC also gave us exposure via overseas events to help us with our expansion drive.”
Outside of Malaysia, EasyUni also has an office in Saudi Arabia with a team that’s actively marketing Fairwiz in the Middle East, and that has already drawn in several customers there too.
Besides that, they’ve got a partner in North America that’s expanding their reach in that market, and Fairwiz is continuing the search for more partners through their partner programme to grow.
- You can learn more about EasyUni here, and Fairwiz here.
- You can read more education related articles here.
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Featured Image Credit: Edwin Tay, CEO and co-founder of EasyUni and Fairwiz