Deakin University brings a sense of discovery to Virtual Open Day via AKQA Melbourne

Deakin’s Open Day website contains a hidden game of discovery, Deakin Discoverer, designed to entertain and encourage visitors to engage more in the day’s events.


Deakin University has partnered with design and innovation agency AKQA to reimagine Open Day with the creation of the university’s first ever fully online event.


“We made the decision to pivot to online as soon as it became clear that COVID lockdowns would almost certainly impact the accessibility of our on-the-ground event” said Deakin University Chief Marketing Officer, Matt Edge. “We looked at it as an opportunity both to showcase Deakin’s record of innovation in technology, and our academics who are equally at home with campus based or online program delivery. For us, Virtual Open Day is yet another moment to clearly demonstrate how Deakin thrives in the online environment.”


The Deakin Open Day website has been built from the ground up to embrace the stay at home environment and to meet the high expectations of a digitally native audience. Visitors can easily schedule attendance at live webinars and Q&A sessions, engage in 1:1 conversations and experience video campus tours.


Bringing the event online also meant finding ways to bring the more playful aspects of the traditional campus-based event into the digital realm.


These moments of play and discovery have a home in ‘Deakin Discoverer’, a digital scavenger hunt that rewards visitors with artfully designed badge tokens for curious behaviour throughout Open Day.


“Course information sessions and Q&As are core experiences during Open Day, but they’re not the whole experience. We’re really happy that we’ve been able to bring some of the sense of discovery of Open Day to the digital experience – so that the more visitors explore, the more they’re rewarded”


“Deakin Discoverer is designed to capture those small moments of serendipity you have while exploring on your own terms. Most important to us was that the mechanic behind the game should feel playful, and reward visitors for different kinds of engagement.” said Gemma Anderson, Head of Performance and Growth at Deakin University.


The Deakin Virtual Open Day build marks another achievement in AKQA’s growing portfolio of digital events and immersive experiences.


“We love working with Deakin. It’s been exciting to partner again with an organisation that shares our passion for beautifully crafted and useful digital experiences. 2020 has proven to be the catalyst needed for further innovation in digital events, which should never be a flattened alternative version of the ‘real thing’, but a better, richer experience accessible to all. In that regard, what the team has developed for this year’s Deakin Open Day is remarkable,” said Executive Design Director, Ros Horner.

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