1) Choose The Platform – First and foremost, you have to choose a platform to host your virtual career fair. Deciding which platform to use can often be the most challenging part of the process since there are many options and varying levels of features and sophistication. To determine which option is best for you, make sure to consider the following criteria:
- What is the size and scope of your event? Suppose you are a single employer looking to fill a dozen or fewer open positions in one geographic location. In that case, you may be perfectly fine with just a video conferencing program like Zoom or Teams. If, however, you are a host of an event with multiple employers and each has a significant amount of job openings or a large corporation with many openings and locations, video-conferencing alone will not be enough. You will need a dedicated virtual career fair platform with expanded features such as uploading resumes, one-on-one chat, a customizable lobby and booths, and access to reports with all of the critical data collected during such an event.
- What is your budget? If you require a virtual career fair platform, the next consideration is your budget. Many platforms charge an upfront fee and then charge additional fees based on the number of participants and or the number of resumes downloaded, booths, etc. These costs can become prohibitive if your event draws a large attendance. Make sure to go with a platform that offers a flat-rate price that never increases, which is something that Premier Virtual always guarantees!
- Is ‘ease of use’, something that concerns you? Is ‘ease of use’ something that concerns you? If so, we highly suggest that you demo each platform you are considering and put yourself fin the shoes of your employers and your attendees. Once again, Premier Virtual prides itself on its ease of use and its top-rated customer service. Ask if the platform you are considering provides a dedicated account manager and live training so that everyone that participates fully understands how to use the platform and ensures a successful event. You can click here for a checklist of features you should be looking for in a virtual career fair platform demo.
2) Lead Time – Once you’ve selected your platform, give yourself enough time to have everyone adequately trained and to promote the event. Preparing everyone, the hosts, administrators, employers, and attendees is the best way to set yourself up for a successful event. Waiting until the last minute to register and navigate through the platform often results in a poor user experience or a lower return. Equally important for a successful event is to have a strong turnout. Successful events require all of the typical marketing efforts through social media, as well as paid ads. I highly recommend that you offer each employer a flyer to post and promote the event. It’s also crucial to send out an official press release at least seven days before the event. We suggest the marketing manager personally invite the local press to attend as an employer if they have relevant openings. I recommend you not charge the local media for their booths in exchange for some ‘goodwill’ that can help your efforts to have your event mentioned in the news.
Another best practice is opening your event with a training webinar for attendees. Announce the webinar in your marketing materials and all of your registration pages. In addition to the training videos, let attendees know there will be a live ‘walk-through’ of the platform on the day of the event. Premier Virtual offers this service if requested by our host/client and something we highly recommend.
3) Added Value – Add value to your event by including resume writing webinars or a tech talk with a keynote speaker. These additional features add value to the attendees and create other points of interest to promote and help draw even more participants to your event. Along those lines, if your event has a well-known speaker or is offering a free resume writing class or an employment coach session, the press will also have more incentive to feature your event in an article or live on the news.
4) Event Team – Designate a point person for each facet of the event. Creating a point team may seem obvious, but some large organizations with many different layers can struggle with it, or smaller organizations expect one person to do everything. A successful event requires the following point persons:
- Administrator –This person has full access to the platform and is typically the point person between Premier Virtual and the organization. The admin will assign all other users their roles and access to features and information in the platform.
- Event Manager – This person is responsible for learning the platform to the best of their ability and be an internal point of contact to help others register and answer basic questions. Other duties include organizing training webinars and working directly with the Premier Virtual account manager to address any issues before the day of the event. We also highly encourage the event manager to review employers’ booths to make sure they are doing everything possible to prepare. The booths should be customized; all social media links should be active and provide videos wherever possible. After the event, the administrator or the admin should access reports and provide the information and follow-up support to whoever needs it.
- Publicity/Promotion/Marketing – This person will lead the marketing activity to ensure that the event is being marketing properly and the point person for any press/media or others looking for more information.
5) Thorough Follow-up – A successful event does not mean that you hire everyone on the spot. It does mean that you have received enough qualified candidates and had enough engaging one-on-one conversations that you want to follow up. A good platform will provide recruiters with thorough reporting that includes everyone who attended, booths they visited, resumes they submitted, and chats or video conferences that took place. A comprehensive report will have all of the information you and your employers need to appropriately follow up with qualified candidates eager to make a decision. Timely follow-up is key to making the right hire, and if you feel strong enough about a candidate during the event, you may want to make that initial offer so you don’t lose them!
If you are considering hosting a virtual career fair and have more questions, please feel free to contact us to schedule a free demo. Our platform has hosted over 2,000 virtual career fairs, connecting more than 20,000 employers to over 200,000 registered job seekers. We have the experience and the technology to help you host a successful event.