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Does vFairs work well with events for special needs students? The DC3C Next Steps Conference proves it with a successful event. This event made career and education opportunities available to this audience.
DC3C is a special program under the DC Special Education Cooperative. Its 3 Cs stand for career, college, and community. It aims to offer career and education opportunities to special needs youth. The program aims to help these youth find the right career paths for them once they graduate school. It also helps them get access to higher education.
So, the organization wanted to host its sixth annual DC3C Next Steps annual conference. For the past two years, it has taken this event virtual because of restrictions. Besides, vendors and special needs students could access events online much more conveniently.
DC3C wanted to host this year’s edition of the Next Steps conference online. So, it narrowed down a few online event platform options. Ultimately, it went with vFairs due to many reasons, such as:
The DC3C Next Steps event took place from December 2, 2021 to December 24, 2021. It gathered together special needs students, parents, and career and education providers in one place. The goal of this event was to help students learn about post-secondary education and career opportunities.
In addition, the organizers wanted these students to learn about at least one new career at this event. Furthermore, they wanted to introduce special needs youth to various professionals. Then, they could learn about accessible options for their future. DC3C met these requirements using the suite of features vFairs offers.
Of course, accessibility features were quite important for this event. The organizers reported that user tests found the screen reading feature to be quite effective. Also, it appreciated the closed captioning and other aspects as well.
In fact, they felt that these features should be highlighted more in all of vFairs events. This is because they make virtual events even more inclusive and convenient for more people.
The organizers stated that the issue with their vendors is that they may not have enough staff to send to in-person events. So, a virtual event was a perfect alternative. They were able to approach new exhibitors as well as work again with their previous partners.
In addition, these vendors were able to get the word out about their projects and make students aware of the opportunities they had to offer.
Visually, the event was quite immersive and visitors really appreciated the lobby navigation and diverse avatars. The hosts really liked the fact that their lobby, auditorium and other environments reflected what they wanted.
They used the graphical appeal of this event to their advantage, as it helped push engagement and interaction.
The hosts reported that the gamification features were quite a success. As most of their visitors were youngsters, they responded well to the leaderboard. The idea of incentivised participation in the event encouraged more engagement. In addition, the organizers offered raffle tickets and gift cards. These linked to this leaderboard, so they got good levels of interaction.
Furthermore, this gamification allowed the organization to gather important data. This data helped them learn about the special needs students in their circles. This information is valuable for its future activities and programs, so it really appreciated this aspect.
One thing which really stood out for the hosts was the excellent customer support at every step of the way. They reported that they needed some help with setting up their webinars. So, the vFairs customer representative came up with a whole system for them. In addition, they loved how their rep was available for all their questions and needs whenever they needed.
In fact, they specifically requested to work with the same representative for all future events. So, they were highly satisfied with the customer support vFairs offers.
Dr Rebecca Foster, the Director of Secondary Transition at DC3C, reported that the event worked out quite well. The biggest advantage was how easily special needs students were able to access the conference. In addition, she stated that the accessibility features were great to discover. She tested them out on her special needs friends and students, to excellent results.
Both students and their parents appreciated the event, and were excited to see career opportunities for the future. The engagement features helped everyone get into the conference. So, they had an immersive and enjoyable experience.
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