Online Event Strategies To Engage Young People Over The Coronavirus Period.

Wednesday 22nd Apr 2020

At Pathway CTM we have been speaking to our close network of schools/colleges and employers in order to help provide solutions and stability in the uncertain climate around coronavirus. We want to share some best practice to help companies who are keen to be agile and make sure they can continue to engage with students over this time.

To give a bit of context, we have been working with schools and colleges for 6+ years now, spanning across the UK with 15 core regions. The activity we do as a Social Enterprise comprises outreach sessions in schools/colleges (assemblies, and our tailored employability seminar sessions), coaching calls with students, regional events for parents and local application clinics for students who need support to apply to apprenticeships or work experience.

The work we do with our employer partners consists of targeting our database of students with effective campaigns around employer opportunities, but also events. These can be Insight Events held at a company’s office or site, or indeed webinars / live streams.

Due to a growing appetite from our employer partners, we have been ramping up our online engagement activities for the past year. Through this experience we have seen that more than 60% of students will apply to a specific role after attending a webinar organised by Pathway CTM, compared with more than 80% for those who physically attend a Pathway run Insight Event. So yes, there is a difference, but it’s marginal and both show success!

Here are some examples of the remote work we are carrying out with employers.

With HSBC we are performing live stream outreach sessions in schools alongside physical outreach visits, which means we are able to show readiness and adapt to regional circumstances. We are also mapping out digital outreach through webinars with Pret A Manger, and adapting our NHS Insight Events to interactive webinar sessions to continue their engagement and attraction strategies as an organisation regardless of the internal pressure they – like other organisations – may be under at this time.

Recommendations to employers are to offer online alternatives. If your company is banning events or travel, then alternative initiatives can be just as impactful. At Pathway CTM we use Zoom for our online engagements, which gives a great user experience where you can track the number of students engaged and use question features very easily. Recording these webinars is a good tip, to be able to reuse them in the future, and gain a wider audience. At Pathway CTM we run the majority of our events out of school time, so as not to impact on the curriculum; with this in mind the best audiences are attracted at 4.30 pm, avoiding Mondays and Fridays! ????

At Pathway CTM we are gearing up to do more online activities if our physical events come under pressure. We are changing our planned Surrey Parent Event next week to a webinar, which allows us to broaden and test the impact vs physical events for parents (as we have done with students already). We will be running ‘call campaigns’ for targeted roles, such as Audit, for some clients where we are able to use our data and relationships in an effective way. We are also offering online application clinics for our students, and ensuring we are ready to support students, our schools and employers over the coming months.

As it stands young people are least affected by coronavirus, and although some of our employer partners are restricting travel and visits to their offices they are still considering events as ‘business as usual’. This is great news and I hope that employers can read this blog and see the opportunity to keep going with engagement activities, as we at Pathway CTM and schools/companies alike across the country want to continue to offer the same level of opportunities and insights to students as before.

For any further information about the work we are doing at Pathway CTM, please do email [email protected] and I would happily share more insight.