Fair review: Jakarta, Indonesia (February 23, 2014)

Two days ago, I participated in the EduExpo international education fair, organized by FPP Media.

This fair series will take place in the following locations:

  • Jakarta, Indonesia (February 23, 2014)
  • Surabaya, Indonesia (February 25, 2014)
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (February 27, 2014)
  • Bangkok, Thailand (March 2, 2014)
  • Hanoi, Vietnam (March 5, 2014)
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (March 8, 2014)

I will participate in all of them except for the events in Vietnam.

FPP Media holds fairs across Latin America and in Europe; however, this is the first time that they are organizing events in Southeast Asia. I must give credit where it is due–the first fair in Jakarta was very good!

Pros

  • Excellent student turnout: Representatives were busy with potential students from the moment that the doors opened until approximately 20-30 minutes before the fair ended. There were three chairs in front of each table, and, in our case, they were full at all times. The students were also very excited about the prospect of overseas study.
  • ESL study needed: Though nearly all students who attended were interested in undergrad and graduate programs, the vast majority of them need ESL study before they will be ready to attend a full-time university program. When you are a program that can offer conditional admission–like us–this is a very promising situation.
  • Good size: FPP is obviously responding to high client demand; even though it is the firs time that they are working in this market, they still managed to attract a good number of representatives from universities in several world regions, including North America and Europe. As a result, there were several good options available for the students who attended.
  • Good format: The table-and-chairs format gave us an opportunity to sit and talk at length with most of the students who attended. It gave us a great chance to start building relationships–and brand awareness.

Cons

  • The “scholarship” question: Nearly every student we spoke with asked about the availability of scholarship money. I was warned about this in advance; I met with a colleague in Jakarta a few days before the fair to talk about the local market. He advised me that he had been warned by representatives of the US Embassy and/or Education USA that all students in Jakarta ask about scholarship money–regardless of whether they actually need assistance. As a result, it made it difficult to properly gauge the financial capabilities of the students we spoke with at the fair.
  • Lack of parents: There were way too few parents attending this fair. Since they are the main decision-makers for their children’s education, it made it difficult to determine the reality of these students’ ability for studying abroad. It also contributed to the uncertainty that we had about the students’ financial situations. Higher education in the USA is a pricey prospect!

Conclusion

Would I participate in this fair again?

The answer is a resounding yes–I would definitely attend this fair in Jakarta again. The interest is clearly there, given the turnout of students for this five-hour fair and the variety of programs that they were searching for. To address the “cons” I listed above, the fair organizers can tweak their marketing efforts to try to increase parent participation in future iterations of this event. In addition, they could even make the fair in Jakarta a two-day event. I’ll definitely be coming back, and I’ll recommend it to my fellow recruiters.

My interpreter and I at the fair in Jakarta.

My interpreter and I at the fair in Jakarta.

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One comment

  • John
    I am too a big fan of anything international but we must be prepared. Having the correct English skills so one can work in an international setting is extremely important. There are many English courses in Jakarta that prepare people for global challenges in English communication.

    Like

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