“We already enrolled several people for this year's program”

More and more Dutch students decide to go abroad for either a study, gap year or an internship. These adventurous students are looking for information about the possibilities abroad. How do you reach out to these aspiring adventurers? For many students the most effective way is to have all educational institutions, providers and student agencies in one inspiring physical place. In other words: The Go-Abroad Fair in Jaarbeurs Utrecht. With over 7.500 visitors it is the biggest international student recruitment fair in the Benelux. This makes it an ideal place to gather information, meet educational institutions and other organizations, and make progress in the decision making. That automatically means that for an education provider there are a lot of potential students present. The Go-Abroad Fair is the place to show your company. There are many examples how participation in The Go-Abroad Fair can be beneficial to you.

Why participate

In this paper we do an effort in answering the question why it is beneficial as an education provider or student agency to become an exhibitor of The Go-Abroad Fair. To get a compelling answer, interviews were conducted with two exhibitors. In this paper a summary of those interviews is presented. In case you are looking for an effective way to promote your agency and generate more leads from a motivated and well oriented audience, you should definitely read this. Interviews were conducted with Ski Instructor Academy (SIA) and Education First (EF). These two exhibiting education providers will each explain why they have chosen to become an exhibitor, what the benefits are for them and what they like about the fair in general. To get a representative image of why agencies exhibit at The Go-Abroad Fair, we chose two agencies with a different level of experience with The Go-Abroad Fair. For SIA it is their first year, EF on the other hand, has been present for as long as the fair exists.

Ski Instructor Academy

SIA: “We already enrolled several people for this November!”

SIA is founded on the idea that aspiring ski-instructors need to have a low threshold entry and a high level of education. Wouter Kuit, Founder and Director of SIA: “We aim for being the best ski-instructor academy. As a result, SIA is one of the best in the world.” 2019 was the first time they exhibited at The Go-Abroad Fair, and they have already decided to come back in 2020. The reason SIA decided to exhibit at The Go-Abroad Fair is because the organization wanted to enter the Dutch market. Kuit: “We mainly have English instructors and we wanted to diversify. The Go-Abroad Fair is ideal for us, because our instructors are mainly between the age of 18 and 24. Many visitors of the fair are about to graduate from high school and some of them are considering a gap year, which is ideal for us.”

Exhibitor at several OGZ recruitment fairs

Kuit: “The fair is much bigger than I expected, which is a good thing. It looks very professional and everything is well organized. Also, in preparation of the fair we had good contact with the organization, which to us – because we are new here – was very helpful. They really helped us with the preparation and answered all questions we had.” The Go-Abroad Fair is not the only student recruitment fair of OGZ where SIA decided to exhibit. Kuit: “That is because we wanted to spread our chances. Since OGZ is market leader in this segment, we decided to take part in more of their fairs, such as the Education Fair South (Onderwijsbeurs Zuid). As a result, we already have enrolled several people for this November! I did not expect that at all, so I am very happy. Usually, we visit schools and go to much smaller fairs in the UK, but this is something really different. I am absolutely struck by its size, the organization and the quality of the fair’s visitors.”

EF Education First taalreizen

EF: “Being exhibitor of The Go-Abroad Fair improves our visibility”

With about 52 different locations and twelve different languages to learn, EF is the biggest language travel organization worldwide. They offer courses to everyone who is willing to learn a language abroad, from English to Korean. The age of their target audience is mainly from sixteen to twenty years old. EF has been closely involved with The Go-Abroad Fair since the beginning. First as founders and since a couple of years also as exhibitor. One could easily say they know the ins-and-outs of the fair. David Mirshahi, Marketing Manager Education First – Dutch Department, explains why EF is involved in the fair. The main reason EF is still active as an exhibitor is because, according to Mirshahi, the fair is really good for branding. “For us it is very important to have new customers every year because most of them only go on a language trip once. If we don’t keep branding ourselves, we will definitely lose market share. We don’t sell a service that people buy over and over. The Go-Abroad Fair is by far the best fair to promote our brand.”

Direct communication with the target audience

Another important reason why EF is active as an exhibitor is that the organization values the direct communication between EF and their target audience. “Because the audience is well prepared, they know what they are looking for. This makes it easier for us to have a good conversation and generate more leads. The visitors of The Go-Abroad Fair are 100% our target audience, they have the right age, are eager to go abroad and are not afraid to ask questions.” As a last reason Mirshahi names the collaboration between OGZ and EF. “I really appreciate the short lines between us and the organization. It is always easy to communicate with them and they always think along in solving issues concerning the fair.”

Conclusion

In this paper we did an effort in answering the question why you should become an exhibitor of The Go-Abroad Fair as an education provider or student agency. To get a compelling answer we interviewed two exhibiting student agencies. We can conclude that for both Ski Instructor Academy and Education First there are six clear benefits to exhibiting at The Go-Abroad Fair:
•    SIA and EF have successfully recruited students to enroll in their academy and they already decided to exhibit at The Go-Abroad Fair in 2020;
•    SIA stated that they were positively surprised by the size, the professionality and the quality of The Go-Abroad Fair;
•    By exhibiting, EF has successfully created more brand-visibility;
•    EF states that the Go-Abroad Fair is 100% their target audience. Also, visitors are well prepared and not afraid to ask questions;
•    Both organizations state, independently from each other, that exhibiting makes it easier to reach out to their target audience;
•    Lastly, both organizations mentioned the good collaboration, service, and communication between them and OGZ.

Become an exhibitor today

If you’ve come this far in reading this paper, you have probably become interested in becoming an exhibitor. If that is indeed the case, please don’t hesitate and request a brochure to get to know how to become an exhibitor! In case you need more information, please contact our sales team.

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