The cost-effectiveness of a virtual career fair, when compared to a physical recruitment event, has often been a topic of debate. Some may be skeptical about the extent of savings up for grabs, but a simple contrast of expenses is enough proof of a virtual fair’s impact, incredible ROI, and ability to provide substantially more value for less.

The Cost of Hosting a Virtual Event

The cost of a virtual career fair can vary based on the extent of features, duration, exhibitor participation, and customizations required to match the organizer’s needs. On average, institutions hosting virtual career fairs can expect prices for the platform to start around USD $9,000, with the standard solution set covering the following technology, support, and services:

  • Dedicated event manager from start to finish for hands-on assistance and expert advisory
  • Customized event landing and registration page
  • Unique branded virtual booths for each exhibitor
  • Technical support for seamless event operations (e.g. prerecording webinars, design customizations, content uploading, etc.)
  • Live technical support during the event 
  • Chat tools
  • Webinars
  • Post-event analytics and custom event reports

It’s important to note that the costs increase based on the length of the virtual event, the number of users, features in use, customizations, and optional marketing services that some vendors might offer. The basic event framework for hosts to look forward to is a power-packed bundle of functionalities and personalized digital assets that can ensure the virtual career fair does not go unnoticed. Further enhancements can always be incorporated at an additional price, such as resume search filters and other advanced recruitment technology.

The Cost of Hosting a Physical Career Fair (all estimates are in USD):

To determine the pricing and budget for a physical event, let’s take a look at some of the key costs involved and their pricing quotes from vendors.

1. Venue Rental: $8,400

Undisputedly the largest chunk of the cost — your event planner will have to research locations, negotiate rates, and confirm the availability of space for the day(s) you would like to host your career fair. Even for a mid-sized local recruitment event with an anticipated audience of 300, when venue pricing is calculated based on the industry average of  $0.14 per gross square foot per day, the rental cost incurred will be $8,400 for a 60,000 sq ft hall.

2. Parking: $1,000

Arranging a parking lot to prioritize guest convenience is critical. Rental rates can range anywhere between $1,000 to $1,500 based on medium-to-large capacities.

3. Marketing: $5,500

To get all eyes and ears focused on your upcoming event, branding and running a marketing campaign is critical. Design, PR, strategy, and reporting services from an established agency can cost about $5,500/ month.

4. Technology Assets/Audio and Visual Equipment Rental: $1,000

Stage setup, equipment for keynote speeches, professional quality lighting rigs, projectors, and technical assistance all come at a price. From assembling to delivery, on-site technical assistance and AV equipment rental rates for an 8-hour career fair will be an estimated $1,000 at the bare minimum.

5. Insurance: $150

It’s always better to be overprepared than under. To avoid unwanted stress, hosts can insure a medium-sized career fair at a starting price tag of about $150.

6. Hospitality: $4,200

Keeping recruiters and staff energized during the event visibly improves the job seeker experience. Arranging on-site corporate catering even for a conservative group of 60 members (breakfast, afternoon snack, and lunch included) can run the organizer a hefty bill of up to $70 per person (or $4,200 in total).

7. Staffing: $4,000

The standard rule of staffing is providing at least 1 assistant for every 12 guests. To spearhead the smooth running of operations for an 8-hour event with an audience of 300, you will require at least a team of 25. Rates start at an estimated $20 an hour, leading to a hike in expenses of $4,000.

8. Event Planner and Manager: $3,615

Event planners can charge on an hourly basis, or a flat fee based on the scale of the event. To bring an experienced event manager on board, you will have to dedicate an estimated 15%-20% of the total event budget to this role. The total event budget based on the above-mentioned estimates is around $24,100. So an extra 15% of $24,100 = $3,615.

Physical Career Fair: Summary Of Total Costs: $27,715

Venue Rental: $8,400; Parking: $1,000; Marketing: $5,500; Technology Assets/Audio and Visual Equipment Rental: $1,000; Insurance: $150; Hospitality: $4,200; Staffing: $4,000; Event Planner and Manager: $3,615


Simply based on quick math covering the bare essential costs of a physical career fair, hosting a virtual career fair can cost less than one-third of the price on average. The expenses of a traditional recruitment event can easily get out of hand fast — the extent of branding, marketing collateral, giveaways, staff travel arrangements, and the time needed for post-event analysis are additional price points to evaluate and dedicate the event budget toward.

Hiring virtually delivers unparalleled gains; no capacity constraints, restricted timings, hospitality fees, pricey marketing, insurance coverage, or event management hurdles means your money has been freed up for reallocation elsewhere. Providing global outreach, recruitment efficiency, guest convenience, and an exciting event schedule without equipment rental, the exceptional cost-cutting with virtual events is an easy win for hosts to secure.

Want to learn more about Virtual Career Fairs? Read “The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Career Fairs”.k

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