Before engaging with vFairs, YALI Africa faced a multitude of hurdles that threatened the successful execution of their Alumni Marketplace event. The challenges included:
Organizing the YALI Africa Alumni Marketplace within a short lead time of 10 days was a significant challenge. This included coordinating with exhibitors, organizing networking opportunities, and setting up the virtual environment. It was crucial to ensure that the event was well-planned and executed despite the time pressure.
One of the primary objectives was to showcase their top-performing alumni and their ongoing work to private sector industries. However, condensing and presenting the vast and diverse accomplishments of their alumni in a succinct and engaging manner was a challenge.
YALI Africa’s audience was spread across the entire continent, which posed logistical issues. The global COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these challenges, making traditional in-person engagement strategies nonviable. Therefore, finding an accessible and safe way to bring together their widespread audience was a pressing concern.
Facilitating networking and connection building among their alumni was another issue. YALI Africa wanted to allow their alumni to create meaningful connections with each other and with potential employers or organizations. However, fostering these relationships in a virtual space was a new and complex task.
Private Sector Collaboration
Connecting private employers and organizations with alumni was a central objective. The event aimed to provide a space for collaboration and potential job opportunities. However, creating this interface between diverse private entities and the alumni while ensuring it was beneficial for all parties involved was challenging.
YALI Africa aimed to diversify its funding sources, seeking support from private sector organizations besides its primary funder, USAID. This required making a compelling case for the value of their work and the potential benefits for the investing organizations, which is always a complex and delicate task.
To overcome these challenges, YALI Africa opted for a partnership with vFairs, a leading virtual event platform. The proposed solutions were as follows:
Fast Turnaround Time
vFairs’ expertise in delivering high-quality virtual events within a short time frame was crucial. Their dedicated team worked relentlessly to accommodate the short lead time, ensuring that all facets of the event – from exhibitor coordination to virtual environment setup – were well planned and executed. This swift action mitigated the time constraint challenge significantly.
vFairs created a life-like, immersive virtual environment to draw in the audience from the start. They utilized visually rich 3D graphics and custom avatars representing various ethnicities of the African continent. This not only ensured audience engagement but also celebrated the diverse cultural heritage of the participants.
To showcase the work of YALI Africa’s top-performing alumni, vFairs designed a customized exhibit hall with 40 different booths. These booths allowed the alumni to interact with attendees, promote their businesses, and share their successes. This feature effectively highlighted the valuable work of the alumni to private sector industries.
Understanding the importance of networking for the event, vFairs integrated a networking tab featuring numerous chat rooms. These chat rooms, including a general discussion room and exhibitor-specific rooms, facilitated meaningful conversations among attendees, exhibitors, and alumni. This feature successfully addressed the challenge of fostering connections in a virtual environment.
Private Sector Collaboration
The virtual event space created by vFairs served as a bridge between private employers, organizations, and alumni. The customized exhibitor booths and chat rooms allowed for direct interaction, thereby facilitating collaboration and potential job opportunities. This solution effectively connected private entities with alumni in a beneficial way.
24/7 Live Support
In line with their commitment to impeccable customer service, vFairs provided 24/7 live support to assist YALI Africa with any issues that arose during the event. This ensured smooth operation and quick resolution of any technical issues, contributing to the overall success of the event.
The partnership with vFairs resulted in a successful event that surpassed expectations. Despite the time constraints, the event registered an impressive number of 1500 attendees, a remarkable feat considering registration opened only five days before the actual event.
The feedback from attendees and exhibitors was overwhelmingly positive. They found the event easy to navigate, and the setup exciting. With the success of this event, YALI Africa is all geared up to hold another event in 2022.