Challenges:Low employer turnoutLow-flexibility eventsLow engagement at conventional career fairsSolution:Easy-to-navigate virtual spaceUser-friendly event platform and featuresOne-on-one and group chat forumVideo and resources vaultSocial Media integrationResults:352 event registrations9 employer boothsStellar event engagement scoreAbout AICPAThe American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It also develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance.The ChallengeCPA Career Center, the official job board for AICPA, frequently hosted events to bring together accounting professionals seeking career opportunities and top employers looking for accounting and financial talent. The problem with these conventional fairs was that they required months of planning which left next to no room for ad-hoc adjustments. This created problems in adjusting late employer participants in the events which reduced the overall value derived from the event as well as that delivered to job-seekers. Conventional career fairs also yielded few high-value interactions between job-seekers and the employers and following up with attendees was particularly challenging because it was difficult to track who visited which booth with how much interest.“One of our major challenges was that we kept getting participation requests from employers up until the last week before the event but we couldn’t accommodate them due to the stringent event setup and plan. This brought us at a disadvantage because we ended up with a lower-than-expected exhibitor count at the events.” – Zach Weiner, Marketing Manager, CPA Career Center.The SolutionIn their pursuit of making hiring events more flexible and scalable to last-minute customizations, the team at CPA Career Center decided to go online for their next career fair. During their research, they came across vFairs and were quickly won over by the user-friendly platform, the depth of interactive features along with the ample room for event/booth customization that it afforded.To make CPA Career Center’s first virtual career fair as life-like as possible, their event was given a virtual entrance that mimicked the exterior of a real convention center, complete with avatars of attendees moving in and out of the building. On entering the building, the visitors were taken to an Exhibit Hall that displayed multiple branded virtual booths manned by different employers. To make it easier for job-seekers to quickly reach relevant employers, the Exhibit Hall displayed a static Exhibitor Index under the sliding virtual booth display and a running logo board was added to make it even easier for visitors to identify which employers had relevant vacancies.The virtual career fair had 9 booths, each with its own unique design, layout, and content that resonated the corporate culture of the employer manning it. There were multiple spaces for employer branding here and visitors could engage with booth representatives via one-on-one chat, watch videos and pre-recorded webinars, download documents, submit forms and explore the company through tabs linked to their corporate website and LinkedIn page.To truly deliver valuable information to job-seekers, the fair had a video vault and resource center that hosted various employer videos, tutorials on how to navigate through the virtual career fair and interact with exhibitors along with case studies and documents containing employer information. Job-seekers could absorb all this content on-demand and also had the option to add items to a ‘Swag Bag’ for later viewing.A ‘Networking’ tab was incorporated to further boost engagement at the event. This group chat forum served as the go-to place for team CPA to make announcements and resolve visitor queries. This forum was also very well-received among both employers and job-seekers alike as it catalyzed meaningful conversations over topics like corporate culture, compensation & benefits, career growth paths and mentorship. It further allowed exhibitors to instantly answer queries presented by visitors and this real-time communication provided for a lead nurturing environment at the event which was directly in line with the event’s objective of providing employers with a healthy number of relevant candidate profiles against vacancies. Employers and job-seekers had the added option to continue these group conversations in a private chat forum or over audio/video calls directly from the platform for a more personalized and interactive experience.About their favorite feature, Zach said, “The live chat feature was the most important to us. Not only because it was monumental to driving event engagement but also because team vFairs made it so easy to use which made it easy for us to teach it to our exhibiting employers.”ResultsCPA Careers Center Virtual Career Fair was a huge success with both the employers and job-seekers. The event saw 352 registrations with hundreds of chat interactions having taken place over a variety of topics. Anecdotal feedback centered on vFairs’ ease-of-use and the highly nimble customer service that responded to impromptu queries in real-time. Alongside the massive utility of the chat platform and the engaging discussions that were made possible through it, CPA Career Center noted many other positives:“Team vFairs was very quick in building last-minute booths and even managed to build 4 new ones only 2 days before the event went live. They helped us run a fantastic event which was exceptionally user-friendly and we look forward to executing an even bigger vFairs-powered event very soon.”– Zach Weiner, Marketing Manager, CPA Career Center.About vFairsAt vFairs.com, we strive to build a top-class online event platform that will help event organizers make memorable connections with their target audience. We’re obsessed with taking out the hassle normally associated with physical events and leaving organizers and exhibitors to focus on what’s most important: engagement with the audience. Get in touch with an expert to learn more about vFairs here.