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Have you ever attended a career fair? I remember walking through a crowded hall, gingerly going up to a booth with a swamp of aspirants around me. Chaotic and oh so scary.
If you’re anything like me, you’d have shuddered from that trip down memory lane.
But the good news for introverts and those averse to traveling is that hiring events have gone virtual. Career fairs, university events, and job fairs now popularly take place on the internet.
While some of us have loved this transition to calmer hiring events, not everyone is in the same boat. Many complain about feeling disconnected and disengaged in virtual settings.
However, the benefits of virtual hiring events just cannot be ignored. They’re much more cost-effective and convenient for both organizers and attendees. So the next question is, how do you fix the actual culprit i.e. boring virtual events?
I turned to my fellow vFairs project managers for some tried and tested tips. And they’ve let me in on the secret sauce.
Luckily, I am one to share. So, here are the top tips for maximizing engagement at virtual hiring events. Let’s go!
Creating marketing buzz and setting the tone for your virtual hiring event is the first step to getting people excited. You want your attendees to feel the fear of missing out.
Start your marketing activities at least a month in advance. This will help your target audience remember it and be more and more inclined to attend.
Send your first invitation a month in advance. This should include the event agenda and answer this question for attendees: Why should I attend the event?.
You want to mention any influencers and high-profile companies here. You’d also want to do giveaways and contests to bring more people to your event so mention these in your agenda as well.
Then, follow up with two to three reminders for those who didn’t register. Space these out evenly so you don’t run the risk of annoying your prospects.
Oh and don’t forget to remind all the registrants that you’re going live at least 30 min before the event.
Social media is a gold mine for building event hype. And it’s so versatile!
Make teaser videos, share testimonials from past events. You’ll also want to add hashtags so all your posts get more visibility and are easier to reference. Create your own custom hashtag and ask sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees to use it to boost reach.
More importantly, make it fun! People need to want to attend so highlight the pull factors in your messaging. Mention every company and speaker that’s a crowd-puller. If Unilever has a booth at your university’s job fair, students will run to the registration page!
Virtual events have existed long before COVID-19. But why didn’t they take off back then? The reason for their lack of fame was the disconnected experience they offered. It was the lack of an immersive environment.
That’s why virtual venues can be the difference between a virtual hiring event that people keep talking about long after it’s over and one that’s quickly forgotten.
Many virtual event platforms like vFairs offer 3D event spaces like virtual lobbies, auditoriums, networking lounges, and exhibit floors. These mimic actual venues so they’re easier to navigate and also more exciting than traditional event web pages.
Welcome attendees to the event with a pre-recorded video. When they log in for the first time, you want to auto-play the welcome video. But what should be in it?
Tell them how you appreciate their presence and what they can expect from the event. Moreover, many attendees might still struggle with new technology so it always helps to provide extra help. Guide them through the application and show them the different areas they can navigate to.
Have this video accessible at any time in case some people forget their way around the virtual space. If your platform has a video vault, store the video there. Towards the end of the welcome video, you can let viewers know that the video can be accessed at any time from the video vault. While this isn’t mandatory, it helps attendees feel more valued and taken care of. And as a consequence, more invested in the event.
If you’re hosting a virtual job fair, help your exhibitors set up their respective booths to represent their company. Each exhibitor has the power to style the booth as per their liking and branding. If it’s a virtual career fair, you can display different departments at different booths and share the relevant information for each.
Again, this makes a more immersive experience. Showcasing prominent logos always helps increase an event’s appeal.
Live job boards are great to reel in attendees and help them find relevant roles quickly. They provide an easy and quick way to check for open roles, find what interests you, and head to the right booths. This saves time and optimizes the career fair experience for attendees.
Social walls like walls.io are a great way to showcase event engagement and build momentum. These walls consolidate all social media posts on various channels and display them in an embedded widget on your event page.
This helps people see what other attendees are up to and even the event areas that are catching the most attention. And attendees can tell where the party is at. This is great for boosting engagement at virtual hiring events.
While chat and video calls are now available with most virtual event providers, you’d want to take it up a notch to keep attendees hooked. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to do that now!
A scavenger hunt can do multiple things at once. While you can make the event more attractive for attendees with clues and the appeal of the competition, you can also incentivize it with giveaways.
But there’s something in it for exhibitors as well. You can direct attendees to specific booths by placing clues there and initiating more conversations. For virtual career fairs, you can direct people to departments that have the most openings.
Trivia games are an exciting way to initiate friendly competition and get people excited about things that interest them. You can also use them to test industry knowledge and other skills. Ultimately, it’s a great way to stimulate the mind.
You can also have live polls to take a pulse check on how attendees feel at the event.
A smart way to link up relevant people together is by utilizing auto-matchmaking. This helps match recruiters with candidates that they’re in search of and vice versa. You can also bring two similar candidates together so they can share their insights, make new connections, and network with like-minded people at the event.
Who said you couldn’t get swag bags at virtual hiring events?
Get in touch with a local vendor who does corporate gift packages. For job fairs, you can charge your exhibitors a special fee if they’d like to be a part of the swag bag promotion. You can brand different items for different sponsors. So the pen can be branded for Company Alpha while the notebooks come in the colors of Company Beta. Useful and relevant freebies always boost engagement at virtual hiring events.
This also makes for an added incentive to register for the event.
And, that’s a wrap. It’s high time we make the experience as engaging and comfortable as possible for our prospects. These tips for boosting engagement at virtual hiring events will help you just as they’ve helped thousands of vFairs customers. Happy hiring!
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