Ready for undergraduate open day?

Undergraduate open day

I’m working on a schedule for a project to be delivered in time for next June’s undergraduate open days. This is our biggest recruitment event of the year, with thousands of potential applicants and parents descending on campus.

It’s not unusual to be asked to make sure that something online is ready in time for open day. The idea is that open day visitors will come to campus, be inspired and return home to look for further information on the course.

I don’t want my deadline to be the first day of the open days because that’s leaving it to the wire, so I’ve been looking at our webstats to work out a good delivery deadline.

The graphs below show traffic to our undergraduate online prospectus entries over a three month period from May to July 2013, with our three consecutive open days highlighted.

Graph showing web traffic for undergraduate open days

As the graph shows, traffic is indeed much higher than average on open days and the days that follow. But what’s also clear is that it’s spiking well in advance of the open days as well. A fair assumption would be that visitors are researching the courses before they attend the day.

Here’s the same information, but the graph is plotted by week rather than by day. The week before open day is every bit as important as the week that follows. Traffic jumps from 13425 pageviews to 22740 pageviews for that week. If I only get my project live by open day itself then a lot of my target audience will miss it.

Graph showing web visits for undergraduate open days

Here’s the same stats for the previous year, May-July 2012, showing a similar trend.


Graph showing web visits around undergraduate open days

Graph showing web visits around undergraduate open days

Conclusion? Getting online content ready for open day, I need to make sure that my project is live by the Monday of the week prior to the event.



Web Manager for the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham.

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