College welcomed over 3000 visitors across two Open Days in late June

Open Days 2022 - helpers

Recently, St John’s College welcomed thousands of prospective students for the University of Oxford Summer Open Days. Over 3000 visitors made their way through the Lodge gates over the course of the two days, all keen to explore what the College had to offer. Our Admissions Officer and Student Helpers did an excellent job ensuring that both days were well organised and memorable for all. If uptake of our College-branded stickers (featuring our mascot, Agnes the lamb!) acts as a measure of satisfaction, it is safe to say that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

Throughout both days, undergraduates gave fantastic tours of College and accommodation, offering advice and answering questions from students and parents. It was great to see them so keen to share their experiences of College life, as well as their passion for their degree subject. Having been shown all that St John’s has to offer, prospective students were then invited to Kendrew Cafe to meet our wonderful tutors. Visitors, tutors and current students enjoyed some well-deserved tea and cake whilst enjoying subject-specific discussions – the perfect end to a brilliant day.

Open Days 2022 - helpers and visitors

So, with the logistics of the day running smoothly, how did we go about using our digital presence to open the St John’s experience beyond the College walls?

Our Digital Engagement Officer, Thomas Lockyer, worked with the Communications Office to plan and produce a range of content to promote Open Day activities across Instagram and Twitter. With an approximate content plan in mind, Thomas shadowed events, capturing key moments and sharing them with prospective students on social media. Whilst most of this content was filmed and released on the day, we were also keen to find ways to reuse content afterwards to create a lasting memory of the day.

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Ahead of both days, Thomas prepared two walk-through videos to help visitors reach key locations around College. The first was a video from the Lodge to North Quad, which directed visitors towards departing tours of the College. The second was our ‘Lamb Cam’ video, which directed prospective students to the tutors in Kendrew Cafe. Both videos were released on social media an hour before each event and received good engagement, including being shared by the central University accounts. This not only drew attention to the efforts of our Open Day team, but it also allowed visitors to arrive in good time to make the most of the sessions running in College.

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We then focused on documenting events as they unfolded, roaming the College to capture snapshots of each day. With step counts soaring, Thomas posted numerous Instagram stories which raised awareness of scheduled events. By promoting College tours, highlighting interesting spaces and posting reminders, we captured the warm and welcoming atmosphere on site and promoted this to prospective students. Thank you to our student helpers for your enthusiastic participation in these snapshots – your friendly smiles definitely helped encourage even more prospective students to visit St John’s!

Open Days social media posts

In addition to the focus on real-time updates, we wanted to use retrospective posting to capture key moments that would last long after the Lodge doors had closed. After the first day, Thomas compiled shots of smiling students and eager visitors into a highlights reel, which was then released ahead of Day Two. This ‘TV Remote’ video summarised events, showcasing what prospective students could expect from the second day. Likewise, Thomas also produced a summary video at the end of Day Two, reflecting on both successful days and thanking everyone for attending.

It was great to see so many prospective students expressing an interest in St John’s, and we hope to see some of them attending College in the near future!

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Open Days 2022 - farewell