Premier Virtual’s new QR Code Generator Brings you the Best of Both Worlds!

In-Person, Virtual, or Hybrid Career Fairs – Which Approach is Best?

When planning a career fair, the common goal is to connect employers with qualified job candidates. A secondary goal is for jobseekers to learn more about companies they may have not considered working for previously.

Traditionally, live or in-person career fairs were the best option, but in today’s world, other options should be considered. Let’s take a minute to review them all.

In-Person- All attendees are physically present in one location

Virtual- People attend the event entirely online

Hybrid- Some people attend in-person and others online.  Using Premier Virtual’s new QR code generator, you can record the interactions and easily download all of the reports at the end of an event for efficient follow up.

How do you know which approach is right for your career fair?

There are different factors, such as event size, budget, timeline, the geography of attendees, and a common issue faced during the writing of this blog post – the ongoing issues due to the Covid-19 virus.

Live Events – Still considered the most effective form of communication and is perceived as more credible and positive.

It was not long ago that the idea of meeting people online was denounced. Boomers and even millennials were openly against it and had the opinion that people only chose to go virtual if they lacked interpersonal skills. In a sense, they were somewhat ‘shamed’ for not wanting to connect in person.

In large part due to the Pandemic, and also as part of the natural evolution of digital apps and platforms, virtual events are quickly becoming a perfect alternative to in-person meetings. It is said the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation by as much as 3 to 5 years.

However, many people still appreciate and seek the opportunity to network in person, with factors such as effective communication, credibility, and overall positive experience as the leading factors.

It’s hard to argue that humans find face-to-face communication as most effective because of the entire experience it produces. Body language, postures, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements do not translate as well, even on a video call online.

Virtual Events – Faster turnaround time, reduced costs, and broader reach

The most common reasons clients choose virtual (pre-covid) include that time and money are at a premium. Virtual events allow the host to quickly create and launch an event, and depending on the size, on a much smaller budget.

Post-Covid, we see that social distancing and keeping everyone safe is the top reason organizations are choosing virtual. When it comes to virtual career fairs, the virtual options have resulted in higher attendance rates for jobseekers and more hiring companies are participating as well, due to the reduction in time and money required to do so.

Everyone who has hosted or attended a virtual event agrees it is a much more efficient process. No one has to wait in a long line to speak with a recruiter, and no company has to deal with the frustration of a poorly attended booth since they will typically receive reports with access to all of the resumes from registered candidates.

Reporting is another huge advantage to virtual events since each employer has their dashboard and is provided reports with all attendees, who attended their booth, and what resumes match their job openings.

While text/chat options or even a built-in one-on-one video interface do not compare with speaking in person, these tools do make it very easy for the recruiter to meet with candidates and get to see if they are a good fit, right on the spot.

Get the best of both worlds with Hybrid Events – Flexibility to reach the greatest number of qualified candidates.

So, while in-person hiring events remain a popular option for recruiters that enjoy face-to-face interaction, the limitation of social distancing, as well as traditional limitations of being available to travel to an in-person job fair make hybrid the best option.

Most often in-person job fairs attract the unemployed jobseeker. A hybrid event allows highly qualified candidates who are employed to also attend. These virtual attendees can quickly log on before work, or during a lunch hour, attend and apply online, whereas attending in-person might have been impossible.

Now Premier Virtual has launched a QR code generator that hosts and employers can use at live events.  These QR codes enable attendees to quickly access the event and employers virtual hiring booths, which means that all of the in-person activity can be tracked digitally.  Now employers can simply download the resumes they received at the event for easy follow up, and attendees can keep notes as well.  This is the best of both worlds because you gather all of the data that comes with virtual events in an in-person setting.

The Pros and Cons of Hosting Virtual Events:

Pros:

  • Reduced Costs – The logistics of a physical event can be daunting. Renting a venue, printing badges, selling tickets, food, clean-up, etc., all drive up costs, time, and resources. These are all eliminated with a virtual event.
  • Broader Reach – with zero travel time, anyone from anywhere can attend. In a state like Florida which attracts people from across the U.S., many citizens that want to move have a unique opportunity to attend a virtual job fair and land a job to facilitate the move. In industries in high demand like technology and medicine, you don’t have to limit your job pool to the local population. Also, external factors like poor weather, or emergency events do not affect virtual events, so there is very little chance for interruptions or cancellations.
  • Increased Productivity – hiring managers can meet with multiple job-seekers simultaneously, and do not have to make the job candidates wait in long lines. Being able to view resumes and start video chats makes it easy for recruiters to choose who they believe will be the best fit.
  • Reporting – platforms like Premier Virtual offer detailed reports that make virtual events much more efficient as well. Each employer will know, who visited their booths, and who submitted a resume. Each recruiter can rank the candidates and easily set up follow-up interviews.

The Cons

  • Less personal connection- for recruiters that put a high value on the physical handshake, there is nothing a virtual event can do to replicate that. The personal face-to-face experience is very immersive, so virtual events have to work harder to attract and keep the attendee’s attention.
  • Distractions – If the job seeker is at work, or multi-tasking it will be difficult to remain focused on the event. It is easy to get distracted when attending virtually, which can hurt retention or the job candidate not attending each booth that matched their qualifications.
  • Overwhelming – when an event has 300 or more booths, it can be overwhelming for the job seeker. This can create anxiety for a jobseeker that is trying to visit each booth to see what jobs are available. New options that allow job seekers to get a ‘matching job report’ and a job-seeker journey are being added to make their experience more positive
  • Downtime – although the Premier Virtual platform has not suffered any significant downtime, there is a chance the platform or the attendee’s internet connection is interrupted. This can cause a poor experience and be very frustrating if it occurs during a live interview. Technology doesn’t always cooperate and can be a bigger issue for areas of the country with less service or less broadband access.

Which Event is Right for your next Career Fair?

If you have not hosted a virtual event, here is a chart that helps illustrate the options:

Face-to-Face Virtual Hybrid
Most Effective Communication X
Faster Turnaround X
Cost Savings X X
Increased Collaboration X
Greater Reach X
Digital Reports X X
Relaying Complex Info X
Reduced Travel Cost X X

If you would like to get free advice on which option is best for you, or to find out more about our new QR code generator for hybrid events, please contact Premier Virtual online or at 561-717-9717 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our advisors.

We have powered over 6,000 virtual hiring events, where 60,000+ employers have connected with over 650,000 registered job seekers. Our best-in-class platform and experienced success managers are here to ensure you host the most successful virtual career fair possible.

We look forward to meeting you, so you can make the most informed decision to reach your company’s staffing goals.

Why Universities Should Hold Virtual Open Days

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes for universities. Many schools have spent the bulk of the last three semesters conducting virtual education. Facilities have been closed and activities restricted and canceled. Furthermore, there have been direct health-related challenges regarding the treatment and protection of students. Also among the challenges has been the need to adjust recruiting and admissions practices.

Managing the multi-faceted challenges of COVID is complicated, but it has given rise to a very innovative solution: Holding virtual open days. The success of these virtual events has exceeded all expectations, and while we expect to see in-person open house events returning (and in some cases, they already have), there are still many good reasons for universities to consider holding virtual open days moving forward.

Health & Safety

Health and safety are the main priorities moving forward and the key reasons behind the consideration of ideas like virtual open days in the first place. While the U.S. is in considerably better shape now than one year ago regarding COVID-19, there are still concerns about infections, spread, and variants. The more universities can embrace virtual alternatives to in-person practices, the better they will ensure that students and broader school communities remain safe.

Savings for Parents

With concern over health and safety so prevalent — and issues regarding the changing nature and quality of education also commanding quite a lot of attention — there has been relatively little public discussion about how parents and families can manage college costs. Financial hardship associated with the pandemic has been severe in many cases, which is limiting families’ options moving forward. This is true not only concerning tuition costs but, in some cases, even with the process of exploring college options.

Accordingly, the idea of helping parents to spend less on college visits came up within a broad discussion featuring university perspectives on pandemic changes. Specifically, a former admissions worker at multiple U.S. colleges pointed out that many families feel pressured to take on debt to visit campuses in person because they are aware that schools are tracking demonstrated interest. A transition toward making virtual open days the new norm would alleviate this pressure and save parents money in the years to come.

Expanding Reach

Another clear incentive for universities to embrace virtual open days is that it is likely to be an essential means of expanding the reach and preserving (if not improving) some sense of equity in admissions. There are genuine concerns about COVID-19 sidelining equity in education, mainly by affecting women and minorities more than others. As of now, these concerns relate primarily to faculty. However, there are similar issues with recruitment and admissions. We know that the pandemic more negatively impacts people in specific demographics than others, and it is reasonable to expect that the same people will have a more challenging time conducting traditional college searches and visits. Transitioning toward virtual open days would help universities open their arms to more heavily impacted prospective students and represent at least one step toward expanding reach and equity.

Meeting New Expectations

Simply put, a lot of young students may expect virtual options at this point. It may seem strange to people above “Gen Z,” but young people today are fluent in technology and prioritize convenience. Attending virtually does not mean they would not love to visit campuses given the option, but in many cases, they will expect, if not prefer, to have virtual touring opportunities. So in some sense, moving toward virtual open days can be used to enhance the overall experience for prospective students.

Marketing Professionals Can Handle It

The counter to some of the ideas above might be that university admissions and marketing departments will not be equipped to handle this kind of change. On the contrary, however, many of today’s marketing and digital media professionals are training specifically to handle the dynamic nature of their field. Expanding online education options (also a positive virtual consequence of the pandemic) are giving working marketers the chance to pursue MBAs online without giving up their jobs. Furthermore, while this is meant to result in a prestigious degree, the actual education involved in business administration studies focuses in part on changing dynamics, emerging methods, and tech-based optimization of business practices.

We realize that not every university has a trained MBA heading up a marketing or admissions department, ready to deploy virtual open days. However, things are moving in a direction in which people in these roles are increasingly educated in digital solutions, adaptability, and data-driven marketing savvy. As a result, universities today should manage the transition to virtual practice more readily than they would have even five years ago.

Tools Are Ready & Waiting

Just as the preparedness of marketing and digital media professionals enables universities to make this change, it is also important to note that there are virtual event tools ready and waiting! A great example is the virtual hiring event platform, Premier Virtual. This platform has powered over 2,500 virtual hiring events and makes it super easy to set up and host one.  It will still take a concerted effort for schools to implement the change entirely, but the fact that the digital tools exist does simplify matters to some extent. University admissions and recruiting departments motivated to provide virtual open days should have no trouble doing so from a purely technical standpoint.

Conclusion

Each university faces slightly different circumstances, and we do not yet know what the public health scenario will be in the months and years to come. It is clear, however, that by and large, colleges are beginning to embrace more virtual practices regardless. Among these practices, a transition toward virtual open days is both feasible and beneficial. It is a change all universities should consider, and we expect many will.

An article was written exclusively for premiervirtual.com
By Cassidy Todd

In-Person, Virtual, or Hybrid Career Fairs – Which Approach is Best?

In-Person, Virtual, or Hybrid Career Fairs – Which Approach is Best?

When planning a career fair, the common goal is to connect employers with qualified job candidates. A secondary goal is for jobseekers to learn more about companies they may have not considered working for previously.

Traditionally, live or in-person career fairs were the best option, but in today’s world, other options should be considered. Let’s take a minute to review them all.

In-Person- All attendees are physically present in one location

Virtual- People attend the event entirely online

Hybrid- Some people attend in-person and others online.  Using Premier Virtual’s new QR code generator, you can record the interactions and easily download all of the reports at the end of an event for efficient follow up.

How do you know which approach is right for your career fair?

There are different factors, such as event size, budget, timeline, the geography of attendees, and a common issue faced during the writing of this blog post – social distancing due to the Covid-19 virus.

Live Events – Still considered the most effective form of communication and is perceived as more credible and positive.

It was not long ago that the idea of meeting people online was denounced. Boomers and even millennials were openly against it and had the opinion that people only chose to go virtual if they lacked interpersonal skills. In a sense, they were somewhat ‘shamed’ for not wanting to connect in person.

In large part due to the Pandemic, and also as part of the natural evolution of digital apps and platforms, virtual events are quickly becoming a perfect alternative to in-person meetings. It is said the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation by as much as 3 to 5 years.

However, many people still appreciate and seek the opportunity to network in person, with factors such as effective communication, credibility, and overall positive experience as the leading factors.

It’s hard to argue that humans find face-to-face communication as most effective because of the entire experience it produces. Body language, postures, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements do not translate as well, even on a video call online.

Virtual Events – Faster turnaround time, reduced costs, and broader reach

The most common reasons clients choose virtual (pre-covid) include that time and money are at a premium. Virtual events allow the host to quickly create and launch an event, and depending on the size, on a much smaller budget.

Post-Covid, we see that social distancing and keeping everyone safe is the top reason organizations are choosing virtual. When it comes to virtual career fairs, the virtual options have resulted in higher attendance rates for jobseekers and more hiring companies are participating as well, due to the reduction in time and money required to do so.

Everyone who has hosted or attended a virtual event agrees it is a much more efficient process. No one has to wait in a long line to speak with a recruiter, and no company has to deal with the frustration of a poorly attended booth since they will typically receive reports with access to all of the resumes from registered candidates.

Reporting is another huge advantage to virtual events since each employer has their dashboard and is provided reports with all attendees, who attended their booth, and what resumes match their job openings.

While text/chat options or even a built-in one-on-one video interface do not compare with speaking in person, these tools do make it very easy for the recruiter to meet with candidates and get to see if they are a good fit, right on the spot.

Hybrid Events – Flexibility to reach the greatest number of qualified candidates.

So, while in-person hiring events remain a popular option for recruiters that enjoy face-to-face interaction, the limitation of social distancing, as well as traditional limitations of being available to travel to an in-person job fair make hybrid the best option.

Most often in-person job fairs attract the unemployed jobseeker. A hybrid event allows highly qualified candidates who are employed to also attend. These virtual attendees can quickly log on before work, or during a lunch hour, attend and apply online, whereas attending in-person might have been impossible.

Now Premier Virtual has launched a QR code generator that hosts and employers can use at live events.  These QR codes enable attendees to quickly access the event and employers virtual hiring booths which means that all of the activity can be tracked.  Now employers can simply download the resumes they received at the event for easy follow up, and attendees can keep notes as well.  This is the best of both worlds because you gather all of the data that comes with virtual events in an in-person setting.

The Pros and Cons of Hosting Virtual Events:

Pros:

  • Reduced Costs – The logistics of a physical event can be daunting. Renting a venue, printing badges, selling tickets, food, clean-up, etc., all drive up costs, time, and resources. These are all eliminated with a virtual event.
  • Broader Reach – with zero travel time, anyone from anywhere can attend. In a state like Florida which attracts people from across the U.S., many citizens that want to move have a unique opportunity to attend a virtual job fair and land a job to facilitate the move. In industries in high demand like technology and medicine, you don’t have to limit your job pool to the local population. Also, external factors like poor weather, or emergency events do not affect virtual events, so there is very little chance for interruptions or cancellations.
  • Increased Productivity – hiring managers can meet with multiple job-seekers simultaneously, and do not have to make the job candidates wait in long lines. Being able to view resumes and start video chats makes it easy for recruiters to choose who they believe will be the best fit.
  • Reporting – platforms like Premier Virtual offer detailed reports that make virtual events much more efficient as well. Each employer will know, who visited their booths, and who submitted a resume. Each recruiter can rank the candidates and easily set up follow-up interviews.

The Cons

  • Less personal connection- for recruiters that put a high value on the physical handshake, there is nothing a virtual event can do to replicate that. The personal face-to-face experience is very immersive, so virtual events have to work harder to attract and keep the attendee’s attention.
  • Distractions – If the job seeker is at work, or multi-tasking it will be difficult to remain focused on the event. It is easy to get distracted when attending virtually, which can hurt retention or the job candidate not attending each booth that matched their qualifications.
  • Overwhelming – when an event has 300 or more booths, it can be overwhelming for the job seeker. This can create anxiety for a jobseeker that is trying to visit each booth to see what jobs are available. New options that allow job seekers to get a ‘matching job report’ and a job-seeker journey are being added to make their experience more positive
  • Downtime – although the Premier Virtual platform has not suffered any significant downtime, there is a chance the platform or the attendee’s internet connection is interrupted. This can cause a poor experience and be very frustrating if it occurs during a live interview. Technology doesn’t always cooperate and can be a bigger issue for areas of the country with less service or less broadband access.

Which Event is Right for your next Career Fair?

If you have not hosted a virtual event, here is a chart that helps illustrate the options:

Face-to-Face Virtual Hybrid
Most Effective Communication X
Faster Turnaround X
Cost Savings X X
Increased Collaboration X
Greater Reach X
Flexibility & Convenience X
Relaying Complex Info X
Reduced Travel Cost X X

If you would like to get free advice on which option is best for you, please contact Premier Virtual online or at 561-717-9717 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our advisors.

We have powered over 6,000 virtual hiring events, where 60,000+ employers have connected with over 650,000 registered job seekers. Our best-in-class platform and experienced success managers are here to ensure you host the most successful virtual career fair possible.

We look forward to meeting you, so you can make the most informed decision to reach your company’s staffing goals.

How to Successfully Host & Market a Virtual Career Fair

Premier Virtual has powered more than 1,000 virtual hiring events in less than 1 year! Let us show you how you can host your own event.

About this webinar: 

Regardless of the challenges Covid-19 poses, virtual hiring events have proven much more effective and efficient than their in-person counterparts.

In this webinar Premier Virtual CEO, Steve Edwards and a round-table panel of current clients will discuss the best practices for hosting and marketing your event.

These clients all have multiple successful events under their belt and their experience is invaluable. The panel will also be answering any questions from attendees. As we confirm our panelists, we will update the list here.

Premier Virtual has powered more than 1,000 virtual hiring events in less than 1 year. These events have helped more than 10,000 employers fill critical positions from over 100,000 registered job-candidates that attended.

We look forward to your participation, click here to register for free. 

Keeping Your Holiday Traditions in 2020

Understandably, the pandemic forced many changes in our lives that we had little control over.  As I scroll through social media feeds, I see posts that reflect some of those sacrifices.  Most often people mention how they will miss seeing a family member or friend during this holiday season.  I also see many posts about holiday traditions that ‘might not happen this year’.  Granted, we all have certain traditions that will not be possible this year, but I believe it’s more important than ever to keep the ones you can or start some new ones.

Keeping traditions and making memories is very important to the Edwards family.  In our house, my wife and I are continuing a Christmas Cookie baking tradition with original recipes that have been passed down to us by our grandparents.  A benefit of virtual is that now when the grandparents can’t join us, we FaceTime them so they can still be a part of it!

The Edwards family making Christmas cookies.

The Edwards family making Christmas cookies.

We know the kids really enjoy it too (our boys just love making the mess and then devouring the cookies as soon as they’re ready).  More importantly, we know that we are planting these very special memories that they’ll never forget, and hopefully will pass them along to their children someday as well.  As adults, during very difficult years like 2020, it’s these memories that often get us through, bring a smile, and remind us of why it’s worth all the effort.

As the founder of Premier Virtual, we were fortunate that all of our hard work prepared us as the world was forced to shift to virtual and we were there to provide a quality service to meet the demand.  I look at the growth of our company, as the growth of a family and as such we are planning to implement a new tradition starting the first week of the new year.

Our company will be hosting it’s first annual retreat, and in addition to the work that needs to get done, we will take part in a golf-driving range competition and we’re planning a dinner party.  It’s a small first step but I know it will grow and it brings a sense of stability, comfort, and support to everyone that is a part of our company.  In 2020, we realize many companies have canceled their holiday parties, and events or have pivoted to virtual whenever possible.  While that is the responsible thing to do, let’s not completely abandon the traditions that remind our employees, why working at your company is more than a job.

Too often the first thing to go, or get cut out of the budget are these types of ‘items’.  What that balance sheet doesn’t reflect is that these cuts also hurt the culture of the organization and can damage the pride or positive spirit of the workplace.  As a person who has devoted his career to helping others find their careers, I’ve heard applicants mention all too often, that the reason they’re leaving is that ‘nobody cares’.  In a company that puts culture first, traditions matter, and the people that work there, know they matter too.

Holidays are a time to gather and be a part of a tradition that goes back as far as any of us can remember.  It gives us a sense of purpose and identity and that is why traditions are so important.  At home, we hope you can make the extra effort this year to keep those traditions alive while keeping safe.  At work, I encourage owners and senior-level managers to do everything possible to remind their most precious assets, their people, that culture matters and that they matter.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and a safe and prosperous New Year!

Steve Edwards, CEO – Premier Virtual

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