The 2019 AEO Fall Tour visited 9 cities in Asia. We had 5 AEO public exhibitions and 45 school visits and met over 6,000 students! We had excellent turnouts at our public exhibitions in HCMC, Hanoi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang. In Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang, most students were accompanied by parents, which can be attributed to our huge newspaper and social media advertising campaign. The turnout in Hanoi was great as well as we had hundreds of high school students bussed in right after school. Below, we have included a brief summary of each of the cities on our tour and correlating numbers of attendees at our exhibitions. 

SIEM REAP & PHNOM PENH: Sept. 16th-17th
For the first time in AEO Tour history, we visited Cambodia. I was in Cambodia 50 years ago during the war. We spent the first day in beautiful Angkor Wat and visited 3 temples and had lunch. We had a fun day and enjoyed a wonderful dinner in our bungalow-style hotel in Siem Reap. The morning of the 17th, we flew to Phnom Penh and visited 3 schools and met some great students. That night, we flew to Bangkok to start the main tour.

Statistics: Phnom Penh
7 participating colleges: 6 states represented
Number of 4-year colleges: 7 (private: 3, state: 4)
Number of 2-year colleges: 0
Number of school visits: 3
Number of students seen on school visits: 90

BANGKOK: Sept. 18th - 21st
We spent 3 days in Bangkok. The first 2 days, we participated in 4 large multi-school fairs. While these were great opportunities to meet hundreds of students, there were many universities from all over the world that participated and not as effective as we would have liked. In the future, we will do our own visits and avoid these large, multi-school fairs.

The final day in Bangkok, we had 5 visits planned, but one of the schools emailed early in the morning and canceled due to a flood to the school. The 4 visits we had were very busy with eager students looking to study in the USA. Each night, we enjoyed the beautiful lounge in the Hilton Millennium Hotel, which overlooks the river and city.


On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 21st, we flew to Ho Chi Minh City.

Statistics: Bangkok
20 participating colleges: 14 states represented
Number of 4-year colleges: 20 (private: 7, state: 13)
Number of 2-year colleges: 0
Number of school visits: 8
Number of students seen on school visits: 1,850

HO CHI MINH CITY: Sept. 21st - 24th
We flew into Saigon on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning, Sept. 22nd, we had our public exhibition at the Rex Hotel. We had one of our best turnouts in years and most students attended with their parents. There were many students from start to finish and we were very pleased with the turnout. It was even raining during the last half of the exhibition. We would have had even more students and parents if it hadn’t rained. After the exhibition, we enjoyed a wonderful buffet luncheon with the world’s greatest chicken wings.

We had two days of school visits in HCMC, which was nice, because it gave us an extra night in the city. On Monday, Sept. 23rd, we visited 4 schools and had great turnouts. On Tuesday, Sept. 24th, we checked out of the Rex Hotel and visited a record-breaking 6 schools. It was a long day, but nearly all of the visits were very busy with lots of students. One of the schools we visited had never hosted college representatives before and we had a fantastic turnout. After the visits, we headed straight for the airport to fly to Hanoi.

Statistics: HCMC
32 participating colleges: 16 states represented
Number of 4-year colleges: 28 (private: 13, state: 15)
Number of 2-year colleges: 4
Number of school visits: 10
Number of students seen on school visits: 759  
Number of attendees seen at public exhibition: 450           

Advertising and Promotion
Percentage of students who knew about the exhibition from:
Social Media: 53%  |  School Poster/Flyer: 36%  |  Newspapers: 11% 
Number of schools in HCMC sent packages of posters, flyers and brochures: 162
Full page full color ads in the Thanh Nien and Tuoi Tre newspapers appeared for one week prior to the exhibition.
Social Media ads included: Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yahoo, YouTube, VN Express, Coc Coc, Zing Vn, Kenh 14, Zalo, and Dantri.com
Social Media Reach: 361,233
Social Media Clicks: 2,906
Website Views in HCMC: 825

HANOI: Sept. 24th - 26th
We arrived in Hanoi in the early evening of the 24th and transferred to the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel.

In Hanoi, instead of joining the large, multi-school fairs with 160 colleges, we had our own AEO exhibitions at each school and this proved to be much more effective.


On Wednesday, Sept. 25th, we left in the morning for 3 school visits. All three visits were well-attended. The last two schools brought out their entire grades 10-12 for us and we saw hundreds of students. As soon as we returned to the hotel, we setup for the exhibition. The exhibition was very busy and we had multiple schools bus their students in. Not as many parents attended like Ho Chi Minh City, but Hanoi is very different market. After the exhibition, we had a nice poolside buffet dinner in the hotel. It was nice to relax after an extremely busy few days.

On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 26th, we checked out of the hotel and visited 3 schools. One of the schools canceled the day before, or we would have had 4 visits. The visits on Thursday were not as busy as Wednesday, but we were still able to see lots of students. After the last visit, we headed back to the hotel and picked up our luggage and headed to Halong Bay.
 
Statistics: Hanoi
31 participating colleges: 17 states represented
Number of 4-year colleges: 28 (private: 13, state: 15)
Number of 2-year colleges: 3
Number of school visits: 6
Number of students seen on school visits: 625                                
Number of attendees seen at public exhibition: 375


Advertising and Promotion
Percentage of students who knew about the exhibition from:
School Poster/Flyer:  68%  |  Social Media:  23%  |  Newspapers: 9%
Number of schools in Hanoi sent packages of posters, flyers and brochures: 90
Full page full color ads in the Thanh Nien and Tuoi Tre newspapers appeared for one week prior to the exhibition.
Social Media ads included: Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yahoo, YouTube, VN Express, Coc Coc, Zing Vn, Kenh 14, and Dantri.com
Social Media Reach: 577,537
Social Media Clicks: 4,664
Website Views in Hanoi: 1,140

HA LONG BAY: Sept. 26th - 28th
We arrived in Ha Long in the evening of the 26th and checked into the most beautiful hotel and resort we have ever stayed at. The hotel was on its own island and it felt like paradise. On Friday, Sept. 27th, we enjoyed a nice buffet breakfast and headed out for a 6-hour cruise around Ha Long Bay. On the cruise, we had lunch, a cooking class, went kayaking, explored a cave, and hiked to the top of a mountain. It was great spending time with everyone and enjoying a nice mid-break from the tour. When we returned to the hotel, we had a nice buffet dinner with everyone.

On Saturday morning, Sept. 28th, we checked out and drove to Hanoi to catch our flight to Singapore.

SINGAPORE: Sept. 28th - Sept. 30th
We arrived in Singapore in the early evening on Saturday, Sept. 28th and checked into the Sheraton Towers Hotel. Most of us had dinner at the nearby Newton Food Center, where they filmed “Crazy Rich Asians” and a few enjoyed the light show at the Gardens by the Bay.

On Sunday, Sept. 29th, we had our public exhibition at the Sheraton Towers Hotel. We had our best turnout in years even though the weather was rainy, so we were very pleased. We had many parents attend without their children, as some of their children are in the military service. It was great having so many parents attend. After the exhibition, everyone enjoyed a free evening to explore the city or rest.

On Monday, Sept. 30th, we checked out of the hotel and had 5 school visits. Most of the visits were great, for we are the only American group now visiting Singapore. After the last visit, we headed for the airport to catch our flight to Kuala Lumpur.
 
Statistics: Singapore
22 participating colleges: 13 states represented
Number of 4-year colleges: 20 (private: 8, state: 12)
Number of 2-year colleges: 2
Number of school visits: 5
Number of students seen on school visits: 210
Number of attendees seen at public exhibition: 295

Advertising and Promotion
Percentage of students seeking undergrad: 97%, graduate: 3%
Percentage of students who knew about the exhibition from:
Social Media: 67% | Newspapers: 20% | School: 9% | Friends: 2%
Number of schools in Singapore sent packages of posters, flyers and brochures: 256
Full- and half-page ads in The Straits Times appeared for one week prior to the exhibition.
Social Media ads included: Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Instagram, and YouTube
Social Media Reach: 189,791
Social Media Clicks: 935
Website Views in Singapore: 3,020

KUALA LUMPUR: Sept. 30th - Oct. 3rd
We departed Singapore in the late afternoon for Kuala Lumpur and upon arriving, we took the high-speed rail directly to KL Sentral and checked into Le Meriden. We arrived just in time to enjoy the lounge and relax from a busy day. We always like to stay in KL Sentral, because it is very easy for students to come to the exhibition. All of the trains in Malaysia come to KL Sentral, so it is the best place to hold an exhibition, although it is the most expensive. However, we feel it is definitely worth it. The lounge at Le Meridien is the best in Asia, serving excellent dinners each night.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1st, we visited 4 schools. We had quite the adventure getting to the first school, but were greeted with wonderful students and a lot of parents. The rest of the visits were great as usual. After the last visit, we headed back to the hotel and setup for the exhibition. The public exhibition in KL is our largest of any city. We had nearly 400 in attendance in spite of the rain and most of the students came with their parents. We were busy the entire evening and most of the universities ended up staying past the finish time. After the exhibition, we enjoyed a very nice buffet dinner in the hotel. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 2nd, we had 4 visits. Each visit was full of students and it was a very successful day. After the visits, we had the evening free. A few of us went to the Batu Caves and explored the city; while most enjoyed the lounge.

On Thursday, Oct. 3rd, we checked out of the hotel and drove to Ipoh for a school visit. 

Statistics: Kuala Lumpur
25 participating colleges: 16 states represented
Number of 4-year colleges: 23 (private: 7, state: 16)
Number of 2-year colleges: 2
Number of school visits: 8
Number of students seen on school visits: 740
Number of attendees seen at public exhibition: 392

Advertising and Promotion
Percentage of students seeking undergrad: 91%, graduate: 9%
Percentage of students who knew about the exhibition from:
Social Media: 48% | Newspapers: 34% | Friends: 9% | School: 6% | Email: 3%
Number of schools in KL sent packages of posters, flyers and brochures: 540
Full- and half-page ads in the Sun and the Star appeared for one week prior to the exhibition.
Social Media ads included: Star Online, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Instagram, and YouTube
Social Media Reach: 294,941
Social Media Clicks: 2,418
Website Views in KL: 2,016

IPOH: Oct. 3rd
On Thursday, Oct. 3rd, we checked out of the hotel and drove to Ipoh for a school visit. We saw hundreds of students and had a great visit. Ipoh doesn’t get a lot of US university visits aside from our tour, so they bring out all of the students. After the visit, we drove to Penang and checked into the G-Hotel Gurney.

Statistics: Ipoh
10 participating colleges: 7 states represented
Number of 4-year colleges: 9 (private: 1, state: 9)
Number of 2-year colleges: 1
Number of school visits: 1
Number of students seen on school visits: 275
 
PENANG: Oct. 3rd - Oct. 5th
We arrived in Penang and checked into the G-Hotel Gurney in the evening of Oct. 3rd. Most of us spent time in the lounge and then went out for dinner at the Red Garden hawker center and had a fun evening. 

On Friday, Oct. 4th, we had 4 school visits. We had great turnouts in each of the school visits. The counselors really appreciate our visits, for we are the only American group visiting Penang each year. After the visits, we returned to the G-Hotel Gurney to setup for the Penang exhibition. Once again, we had a fantastic turnout and one of the best in years. Nearly every student that attended came with their parents. After the exhibition, we had a nice buffet dinner in the hotel with everyone.

On Saturday, Oct. 5th, we all said goodbye departed to our respective destinations.


Statistics: Penang
10 participating colleges: 7 states represented
Number of 4-year colleges: 9 (private: 1, state: 9)
Number of 2-year colleges: 1
Number of school visits: 4
Number of students seen on school visits: 228
Number of attendees seen at public exhibition: 120
 
Advertising and Promotion
Percentage of students seeking undergrad: 94%, graduate: 6%
Percentage of students who knew about the exhibition from:
Social Media: 79% | School: 11% | Newspapers: 8% | Friends: 2%
Number of schools in Penang sent packages of posters, flyers and brochures: 65
Full- and half-page ads in the Sun and the Star appeared for one week prior to the exhibition.
Social Media ads included: Star Online, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Instagram, and YouTube
Social Media Reach: 180,845
Social Media Clicks: 1,630
Website Views in Penang: 426

FINAL THOUGHTS
We had a great group of college/university representatives on our tour and we were nearly full in each city on the main tour. We had more colleges join us in Vietnam, due to another tour canceling their entire Southeast Asia tour. AEO has never canceled a tour in 34 years. We had to turn away a number of colleges, for in Vietnam, permits are required to participate in public exhibitions. These permits take 6-8 weeks to process and we would never endanger our participants by allowing unlawful participation.

The AEO Tour Fall 2019 was a huge success and want to thank you for choosing to travel with us. We know there are many different tour companies that travel around the world and different recruitment opportunities available. There are also many free exhibitions and free large-scale multi-school fairs. Our experience has taught us that free is not necessarily free, because often colleges waste time and money on hotels, airfares, etc. and see very few students due to the high competition of hundreds of colleges. Public exhibitions are very expensive to hold, for advertising costs are very high. Without a huge advertising budget, very few students would ever show up. For 34 years, the AEO Tour has spent time, energy, and money prior to the tours to ensure large student turnouts. AEO only runs two tours a year, while other tours will run tours almost every month of the year. We feel confident that we provide the best recruitment tour in Southeast Asia at a great value. We are constantly striving to make the tour better and better and hope to see you on the Spring 2020 tour!

-The AEO Tour Dream Team (Bob, Jenny, and Ben)

AEO FALL 2019 TOUR OVERVIEW
Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Singapore,
Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, and Penang
Sept. 15th - Oct. 5th

AEO Tour

Celebrating 34 Years of

International Student Recruitment