How to host a successful virtual career fair

In this article

Overview

There are many things to consider when organizing and hosting a career fair. Whether you are an event host, a recruiter, or an organization considering or preparing for a career fair, eCareerFairs has compiled a collection of tips and advice to clarify and ease the process.

Concepts covered

Examine the reasons and determine event scope

Why host a virtual career fair? By defining a clear objective of your event sets the stage for success. Factors contributing to the event objective range from organization to organization, but the most common are:

  • Reason for hosting
  • Type of organization hosting event
  • Amount of open positions offered at the event
  • Geography of open positions
  • Size and scale of your organization's potential outreach
  • Estimated number of attendees
  • Number of participating and available recruiters

Once these factors are considered, it is time to define a clear objective for your virtual career fair. Example objectives are:

  • Corporate hiring event for sales positions in New Jersey to be held this spring
  • Hiring fair for graduating science and technology students to be held about 3 months before graduation
  • College admissions fair for potential students aiming to be freshmen next fall
  • Hiring event for nursing positions (RN ad CRNA) in Washington DC region hospitals of our healthcare system
  • A global non-profit opportunity hiring event for women across Asia, Europe and the Americas
  • Hiring event for cleared professionals with top secret security clearance for several of our defense contractor clients

Determine the budget

Budget is an important consideration that directly affects the size of the event. Establish your budget early on.

The budget usually includes two major components, the cost of marketing outreach and the virtual event platform. You can reduce or eliminate the cost of marketing with the existing target audience, but you should consider the cost of paid advertising to target and draw additional fitting candidates.

You are likely to discover virtual event pricing from different vendors is similar. If your budget is constrained, remember that free services or much-reduced pricing usually indicate that some strings are attached to the offering.

You may have more bargaining power if you are planning a sizable event or looking to host a series of events. Of course you should do your due diligence, but do not expect to find a huge bargain.

Establish the target audience and methods of outreach

Consider who the event is for and how you are planning to get the word out to your audience. If your organization has an established outreach method to an existing target group, chances for success are higher. However augmenting your existing audience with additional outreach may improve the outcome.

Not having an existing audience is more challenging, but with proper effort, very feasible. Event attendance is one of key reasons events succeed, so you will need to find your audience. Look for external advertising opportunities for the event such as:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Social media sites
  • Professional association databases
  • Member organization subscription lists

Timing

Event timing is important. Date, time of the day and event duration are all factors you should carefully consider and weigh against your event objective.

Consider time zones of your audience, pick a time slot that's convenient for most of the attendees and plan accordingly.

Estimate event size

No one knows how many people attend events before they occur, however there are multiple ways to estimate. Hope is not a strategy, so be prepared to measure and act. During the outreach process we recommend that you keep an eye on stats such as clicks, email opens, conversions and registrations to help gauge expected attendance.

Choose virtual career fair platform

The popularity of virtual events has skyrocketed since the start of global pandemic. Likewise the availability of virtual event platforms has grown. You can choose from a variety of platforms designed for different virtual event types. Our recommendations is to choose a platform that is:

  • focused on hiring events
  • has intuitive interface
  • without overwhelming amount of graphics
  • works on mobile and desktop
  • offers good support and service
  • with history of hosting virtual career fairs
  • without a long learning curve

Prepare your team / clients

Establish potential conversation throughput. Consider estimated event size and its scope and goal to set the expected number of minutes for each one-on-one conversation. Our default is 10 minutes, but this number ranges from 5 minutes to 45 minutes depending on fair objective. If your team is planning to use text conversations our system supports up to 4 text conversations at the same time. One-on-one video conversations are always one at a time.

If you are in charge of the team, build it based on estimated conversation throughput.

Be ready to add or remove members as needed.

Train your team

As part of our full service eCareerFairs offers an online webinar for booth representatives using our system for the first time. We highly recommend attending this webinar as it's directly correlated with improved event outcomes.

Make size adjustments

As the event date draws near, you may need to make adjustments based on measurements. Depending on the outreach results, be ready to execute one or more of the following tactical steps:

  • increase number of booths
  • increase your team size
  • postpone event
  • switch from a single to a series of events

Be ready for the day of event

You are likely to be busy on the day of the event. Try to clear your schedule so you can be free to quickly coordinate and make the often necessary last minute adjustments. Make sure to review support protocols for your team, clients and vendor.

If you are hosting a virtual career fair for the first time, it's a good idea to discuss support protocol with your vendor.

Conclusion and follow up

Once the event concludes, download event data, stats and coordinate follow up communication with your human resources or clients and attendees. Our system retains your data months after the event ends, but getting your own copy is always a good idea.

If you follow the concepts in this article, you are likely to experience a smooth and successful event! Remember that you can always contact eCareerFairs with any questions.

Ask pros. eCareerFairs helps you succeed

eCareerFairs is hosting hundreds of virtual career fairs yearly since 2015. We have seen a wide variety of events, developed and tuned a set of best practices for virutal hiring events. We have both, the necessary experience and the platform with essential tools for achieving a successful virtual career fair. Contact eCareerFairs to start a dialog today.

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