The cost-effectiveness of a virtual career fair, when compared to a physical recruitment event, has often been a topic of debate. With skepticism involving the extent of savings up for grabs, a simple contrast of expenses is enough proof of its 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, hosts can expect prices for the platform to start around USD $8,000 for an event 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.

A power-packed bundle of functionalities and personalized digital assets to ensure that your virtual career fair does not go unnoticed, this is just the basic framework of the event for hosts to look forward to. Further enhancements can always be incorporated at an additional price to benefit from advanced recruitment technology such as resume search filters.

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 availability of space for the day 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 set up, 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 a bare minimum.

5) Insurance: $150

It’s always better to be over-prepared 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 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 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.

Total event budget based on the above-mentioned estimates: $24,100

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, it’s clear that hosting a virtual career fair costs less than 1/3 of the price. The expenses of a traditional recruitment event can easily get out of hand fast-the extent of branding, marketing collateral, giveaways, staff’s travel arrangements, the time needed for post-event analysis are additional price points to evaluate and dedicate the event budget towards.

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 is an easy win for hosts to secure.

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

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