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Northeastern Fall Fest 2020

Keeping students connected during COVID-19

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Each fall, as students return to campus, Northeastern University holds their annual club fair during which hundreds of clubs set up booths around campus to chat with interested students.

This Fall, due to coronavirus and social distancing guidelines, the usual club fair experience was off the table.

Because the club fair is one of the most anticipated events of the year, Northeastern’s Center for Student Involvement reached out to the Yeti team in hopes of creating a unique virtual experience that would keep students excited about and engaged with the event.

I loved Fall Fest! Thank you for creating something so well-made and easy-to-use!

Student Reddit User, bluebonnetqn

Problem/Challenge

Northeastern hoped to recreate the social and interactive aspects of the club fair in the virtual space by creating a unique experience that simulated exploring the club booths.

Our challenge was to move past the concept of a standard website containing a list of club categories and information, and to create a fun and interactive experience that would allow for a level of community building on par with the actual in-person fair.



Additionally, each of the clubs represented in the fair wanted the ability to personalize their virtual booth. Our challenge was to create a means for organizers to recreate a “real life” booth experience, including banners and signs to draw attention as students walk by.

I hope they use this parallel to in-person fall fest in the future!

Student Reddit User, slkzj

Solution

We created a virtual world for students to explore by designing and building a retro game experience utilizing isometric pixel art.

Upon entering the page, students are greeted with a personal avatar and a “world map”. By scrolling, the avatar has the ability to walk through the Virtual Fall Fest World, viewing the various club categories which are represented by buildings on the map.

Once a student finds a club category they are interested in, they are able to enter the building representing it and walk through booths representative of clubs in that category.

To create a more unique experience, each of the booths have been customized with the club’s logo, which have been uploaded by a student club organizer.



Once a student has entered a booth they then have the opportunity to learn more about the club. A club description, social media links, photos and more are provided on each club page. Club organizers had the ability to customize the information and media on their page via an easy to use admin portal.

Additionally, each of the booths is outfitted with a live video chat occupied by student organizers. After entering a booth students have the opportunity to join these zoom meetings to chat with organizers and learn more about the club.

Cute as hell and works great on mobile!

Student Reddit User, hausofpurple

Results

Fall Fest was a huge success! 400 individual clubs and over 10,000 unique users participated in Fall Fest on the day of the event. Additionally, the site is continuing to receive users searching out club information on a daily basis.

We are currently discussing creating a virtual winter event for Northeastern!

In my opinion this much better than the regular club fair, so much easier to really see what all the clubs have to offer.

Student Reddit User, JajoyP