“THE GO-ABROAD FAIR IS AHEAD OF THE PACK”

More and more Dutch students decide to go abroad for either a study or an internship. These adventurous students are looking for information about all possibilities abroad. How do you reach out to these ambitious students? For many of them the most effective way is to have all educational institutions 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 the institutions and make progress in the decision making. That automatically means that for an institution there are a lot of potential students present. The Go-Abroad Fair is the place to show your institution. There are many examples of how participation in The Go-Abroad Fair can be beneficial for you.

Why participate

In this paper we do an effort in answering the question why it is beneficial to become an exhibitor of The Go-Abroad Fair. To get a compelling answer, interviews were conducted with four of our esteemed exhibitors. In this paper a summary of those interviews is presented. In case you are looking for an effective and beneficial way to promote your educational institution and to generate more leads from a motivated and well oriented audience, you should definitely read this.

Interviews were conducted with BIMM institutes, the University of Johannesburg (South Africa), Study in Prague (a conglomeration of seven universities in the capital of Czech Republic), and EU Business School. These four exhibiting universities will each explain why they have chosen to become exhibitor, what the benefits are for them and what they like about the fair in general.

BIMM Institutes

BIMM: “Our main purpose at The Go-Abroad Fair is recruitment”

With over 35 years of experience, Brighton Institute for Modern Music (BIMM) is a well-established school for modern music. It is a school for higher and post-graduate education. Apart from the music education program, BIMM also has a theatre and film school. The institute is known for its close relation to the music industry. Due to that, BIMM has many alumni working there. BIMM has been present at all five editions of The Go-Abroad Fair. As a representative for BIMM, Isabelle Sorrell, Senior Application and Compliance Officer, has attended the fair for three years. “The main reason we are present every year at The Go-Abroad Fair is because it’s the ideal fair for branding our institute.”

Niche education

According to Sorrell, The Go-Abroad Fair is well-organized. “The organization takes good care of its exhibitors. Also, the visitors are interested and ask good questions. Because we operate in a niche market, it is not always easy to recruit students – they already have to know that they want a career in the creative industry. However, that makes the quality of the visitors that come to our booth higher. They even ask for feedback on how to improve themselves. It is good to know that they are willing to improve. At The Go-Abroad Fair BIMM is able to recruit students every year.”

Eager to study abroad

At the booth, BIMM works with students as representatives. According to Sorrell, this works well because for the visitors the threshold to talk and ask questions at their stand becomes lower. “Student’s stories about BIMM are more personal, and less sales-talk.” Overall, Sorrell experiences that the energy at the fair is really good. “Visitors are eager to learn and eager to study abroad. They know what they want. And I just like the Dutch mentality: straight forward and no holding back. That causes a lot of face-to-face contact, which to BIMM is really important, because you actually get to know your potential applicants.”

University of Johannesburg: “The quality of the visitors is great”

As number five on the list of best universities of the continent, the University of Johannesburg is a prominent institute. After a first successful fair in 2018, they decided to come back in 2019. The university offers programs in seven colleges: the college of business and economy, science, law, education, health science, engineering, art/design and architecture. Tshidiso Konese, responsible for international recruitment, explains why they decided to exhibit for two consecutive years and why he recommends The Go-Abroad Fair to other universities.

Fantastic journey

Konese: “The first edition went so well, we decided to come back. We have seen a lot of improvements this year (2019, ed.). For example, we see at the fair that visitors are warming up for our brand. So, it has been a fantastic journey for us at The Go-Abroad Fair. Really, we have now expanded in this market and are tapping into prospects that are actually thinking about applying for the university.” Konese sees a clear distinction between The Go-Abroad Fair and other recruitment fairs: “At other fairs you are more of a distribution corner, visitors come to pick up pens and what not. What is different with this fair, is that you find visitors who are very engaged. They are really committed and want to know what you have to offer. They are looking to choose the best place to study. All and all, it is a good fair that gives you better prospects”

Study in Prague: “The Go-Abroad Fair is ahead of the pack”

For four consecutive years, Study in Prague has participated in The Go-Abroad Fair. The conglomerate Study in Prague represents seven of the biggest universities from Czech Republic’s capital. For example, the Charles University in Prague, which was founded in 1348 and the Czech University of Life Sciences. Jaromir Nemec, from Czech University of Life Sciences, explains what he likes about the fair and how The Go-Abroad Fair differentiates from other recruitment fairs.

Students are well prepared

Nemec: “What I like is the scan app. You can scan the barcodes of the visitor’s ticket, that is very interesting. I once visited a fair in Albania and unfortunately, they did not have any tools like this. Then it is obviously almost impossible to follow up on students after the fair. At such a fair you just give them whatever you have, brochures for example, and hope for the best.” Nemec feels that the visitors at The Go-Abroad Fair are well prepared: “They speak English really well, so it is easy to communicate with them. Moreover, it is a busy fair, so we have a lot of interested students at our booth. Due to that reason we have been successful at the fair.”

Overview The Go-Abroad Fair

EU Business School: “Last year, we enrolled four students”

EU Business school is established in 1975 and has four campuses in Europe. It offers foundation, bachelors, masters, and MBAs. The business school has been attending for four consecutive years and their experience has been good so far. Although it is María Esther Heredia’s, Regional Recruitment Manager at EU Business School, first year, she is positive about the fair: “I think the fair is really well organized, really good. The organization is very helpful. It is a really big fair, which I think is nice. I feel like they help me with everything, the organization is really receptive with everything. To me that is important because I haven’t been at this fair before.”

Biggest recruitment fair

In her first year at EU Business School, Heredia has visited several recruitment fairs. Heredia: “So far this is the biggest one that I have attended. I think it is a big opportunity to recruit students. All visitors are leads to work with.” She adds: “I think, If I’m not wrong, last year, we enrolled four students from the fair, which is really good for us, since we’re quite a small university. One of the reasons why I would recommend The Go-Abroad Fair is you have the opportunity to meet potential students. Other reasons are to see what your competition is doing of course. Moreover, it is a very important fair in the Netherlands. I think it is worth it to participate in.”

Conclusion

In this paper we did an effort in answering the question why you should become an exhibitor of The Go-Abroad Fair. To get a compelling answer, we interviewed four international educational institutes. We can conclude that for each of the interviewed exhibitors there where clear benefits of being an exhibitor of The Go-Abroad Fair:
•    All institutes state, independently from each other, that participating in The Go-Abroad Fair makes it easier to reach out to their target audience;
•    All institutes state that visitors are well prepared and not afraid to ask questions;
•    Study in Prague states that, in comparison to other recruitment fairs, that The Go-Abroad is digitally advanced; 
•    EU Business School states that this is the biggest recruitment fair in the Netherlands, with the highest quality leads. Last year, EU Business School was able to enroll four students directly from The Go-Abroad Fair;
•    Lastly, all universities mentioned the good collaboration, service, and communication between them and the organization.

Become part of The Go-Abroad Fair

If you’ve come this far in reading the 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 more info on how to become an exhibitor! In case you need more information, please contact our sales team.

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