Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?
This is the idiom that pops into my head whenever a colleague says to me, “You send us a few students, then we’ll join one of your events,” as if taking advantage of an institutional service such as a fair or info session were an expression of gratitude. These requests are few and far between, fortunately. Colleagues who make them lack an awareness of the nature of these events and assume that every education company is primarily a traditional agent.
In highly competitive markets such as Viet Nam, you should ideally be doing both, i.e., commission-based recruitment and participating in a variety of digital and offline activities, all of which cost money, one way or the other. Joining an education fair, for example, creates a valuable opportunity for meeting face-to-face with parents and students and making connections that could translate into inquiries, apps, and admits. Public events such as fairs, info sessions, and coffee talks are fee-based services that are expensive to market, which is why they should not be viewed as “rewards” for sending an institution students. They are a means to that important end.
In addition, the company I work for is not a traditional education agent, meaning its advisers do not pressure students to attend partner schools. Students and their parents are the clients in that instance not partner schools, which means the goal is always to look for best fit schools for each and every student, regardless of the institutions’ status.