Virtual Career Fair: The Ultimate Guide (2020)

 

The rise of dynamic and user-friendly virtual career fairs has given traditional hiring events tough competition. It’s easy to see why hosts would want them. From employment agencies to universities, everyone wants in on the action. 

Thus, virtual events pave the way for improved hiring outcomes. They simplify setup, execution, and even post-event analysis. Online career fairs are a game changer with multiple benefits over physical events. Let’s explore what they are and why they are becoming so popular.

Exhibit hall of a Virtual Career Fair

What Is a Virtual Career Fair?

Virtual career fairs are a dynamic solution to help a single employer hire talent for departments across their organization. It breaks free from the limitations of traditional hiring events. They provide a 3D online platform where employers and job seekers can connect. It mimics the look and feel of a physical event.

A virtual career fair eliminates the need for hiring managers or job seekers to invest in expensive travel. In addition, it empowers businesses with the freedom to select talent from a global candidate pool.

Why Employers Love Virtual Career Fairs

Virtual career events offer a realistic event experience. They do this with powerful customizable features. These include bespoke exhibitor booths with downloadable content, contact information, galleries, and streamable videos. A virtual career fair can also offer tremendous flexibility in its running time. You can leave the event on demand and accessible to potential candidates for as long as a month. This is a perk that no physical hiring event could deliver.

The convenience doesn’t end here. Virtual fairs offer features:

1) Job boards

2) Resume search tools

3) Matchmaking tools

4) Appointment scheduling slots

Rather than sifting through CVs, employers can meet with prospective candidates face to face and make offers on the spot. Thus, exhibitors can breeze through recruitment and quickly shortlist talent.

Virtual Booth in an Online Career Fair

Why Should You Choose a Virtual Career Fair?

Traditional career fairs have some common problems, such as:

  • Expensive venue rental, logistics, administrative planning, and event management
  • Low attendance volume due to potential attendees’ travel, budget and time constraints
  • Inefficient talent acquisition due to manual resume sorting
  • Difficulty in marketing
  • Boring visitor experiences due to limited mediums
  • No measurable results or real-time insights

Virtual career fairs can play a key role in helping companies ace their staffing. Therefore, companies are now moving towards virtual career fairs. Here’s a quick list of the benefits that organizations can reap from virtual events.

1. Improved Recruitment Efficiency

A job board with available positions and a smart resume search feature helps employers sift through candidates more easily. The virtual platform improves efficiency with a matchmaking tool for both employers and prospective employees. This saves time for both recruiters and job seekers. 

audio vido chats during recruitment

2. Higher Visitor Attendance

Regardless of their location across the globe, the removal of physical travel constraints encourages higher participation. Therefore, it leads to more registration and more regional (or even global) reach.

3. Building Candidate Pipelines

Through the extended reach, employers gain access to talent with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. They then benefit from well-rounded candidate pipelines to aid collaborative and swift recruitment.

4. Easy Information Exchange

During registration, the host can create custom registration fields. This can be used to create profiles of candidates. This will make things more seamless during matchmaking at the event. It will also be exportable as user data for the hosts candidate database. 

Virtual career fair features such as the video vault and resource center help to easily share company videos, photo galleries, FAQs, brochures, and more. The audio and video chat tools make it easy for swift interaction between company representatives and candidates.

matchmaking

5. Powerful Employer Branding

Virtual events provide employers with personalized booths. Exhibitors can include personalized 3D avatars, banners and logos to represent their company. Additionally they can share information through special tabs, upload video content, documents, appointment schedules and more! A swag bag can include all company infographics, brochures, guides or other materials that applicants can email to themselves. 

6. Exciting Visitor Experience

Imagine the improved visitor traction if employers used gamification to boost audience interactions. You can keep score with a virtual leader board and have giveaways for winners. A 3D virtual environment that replicates your building or a specific site gives an added touch. Applicants not only feel like they are at the live venue, but this increases their usability. People familiar with the virtual environment will be able to navigate easily. 

7. Secure Live Chat

Online career events provide booths with chat features, enabling job seekers to quickly reach out to booth representatives and get answers in real-time. Meanwhile, recruiters can also make use of this technology for quick interviewing to screen candidates on the spot. 

8. Hassle-Free Setup

A virtual career fair is an awesome time-saver. So, you can set it up in a matter of weeks and  accelerate hiring. With a dedicated project manager you have everything planned and organized for you. They provide you support all the way from pre-event, in- event and post event.

9. Pre-Event Marketing Tools

An online event streamlines pre-event marketing. Therefore, you can use email marketing, social media campaigns to attract and excite audiences, and a beautiful custom-branded landing page for easy candidate registration.

10. Measurable Results

You can acquire real-time data to identify preferred employers, job types, unique & recurring visitors, and webinar views. Resultantly, these insights help drive consistent improvement in event quality.

How Can Job Seekers Attend a Virtual Career Fair?

Candidates simply need to register on the host’s custom designed landing page and register to create their profile. They will also be able to upload their CVs. Afterwards, they can access the event through any of their devices; including through their mobiles. 

If the event is on demand it allows prospective employees to browse at their own convenience. They can explore exhibitor booths, view job boards, and apply for positions digitally. Therefore, candidates can get the best out of these events with proper planning.

A well-designed event hosting platform will provide real-time or pre-recorded videos, and both audio and video chat options. This will enable candidates to interact with employer representatives. Hosts will have to devise ways to increase engagement as well. Virtual career fairs work overtime to attract and retain audiences through on-demand webinars, real-time Q&A sessions, and live keynote speeches. Thus, they deliver exceptional value for hosts, employers, and guests around the globe.

What Are the Different Types of Virtual Career Fairs?

1. Conventional Virtual Career Fair

Virtual career events are not just the future, but also a current favorite among organizers. They provide access to a global audience. They equip hosts with the advantage of quick setup within 3 – 4 weeks instead of months of planning. Also, virtual career fairs are known to pull greater traffic than physical events. This is due to unlimited capacity and round-the-clock convenience.

These events have innovative features such as easy-to-navigate virtual lobbies and auditoriums. Employers get custom booths in the exhibitors hall. They also include useful content like current job openings, company overviews, informational videos, and downloadable brochures. So, visitors can also have one-on-one chats with company representatives. They can even interview on the spot via audio/chat/video capabilities.

2. Hybrid Career Fair

Hybrid events combine the attributes of both online and traditional career fairs. This means they take place in both a physical and digital setting. You can bring together employers and local job seekers in a physical setting. At the same time, you can provide companies with online booths for remote candidates to view vacancies and apply for roles online.

They are excellent at targeting active and passive candidates, improving hiring quality, and enabling data-driven lead tracking. Therefore, this route is great for hosts to monitor engagement levels and even conduct post-event follow-ups.

3. Evergreen Virtual Career Fair

Hosting evergreen events is the perfect solution for organizations interested in virtual career fair longevity. So, what is an “evergreen” online career fair?

Simply put, an online event remains available for an extended period of time to always keep recruitment momentum in action. The “live” aspects are confined to a small amount of time. For example, live chat and webinars are only scheduled for specific dates. Meanwhile, the rest of the content such as media and job boards are available for a longer period of time.

Find out which type of online career fairs suit your business needs the most.

 

How Much Does a Virtual Career Fair Cost vs a Physical Fair?

The cost-effectiveness of a digital career fair, when compared to a physical recruitment event, has often been a topic of debate. However, a simple contrast of expenses is enough proof of its impact, incredible ROI, and the ability to offer more value for less. So, you should compare its costs with those of a physical career fair for the best picture. Let’s look at costs based on a 100-person event.

The Cost of Hosting a Virtual Event: Approx. $15,000 (USD)

On average, you can expect prices for the platform to start around $15,000 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  
  • Customized event landing & registration page
  • Unique branded virtual booths
  • Technical support for seamless event operations (e.g. pre-recording webinars, design customizations, content uploading, etc.)
  • Live technical support
  • Chat tools
  • Webinars
  • Post-event analytics & custom event reports

However, it’s important to note here that the costs continue to increase based on the length of the virtual event, the number of users, features in use, customizations, and optional marketing services.

booth

The Cost of Hosting a Physical Career Fair: Approx. $23,6331 – $42,378

To determine the pricing and budget for a physical event, let’s take a look at some of the key costs involved:

1) Venue rental: $6,000 – $12,000

Depending on the kind of venue you are using, costs might vary. Whether it is on the lawn of a country club or inside a hotel, costs will fluctuate

2) Parking: $1,000 – $1,500

Rental rates can range anywhere between $1,000 to $1,500, based on medium-to-large capacities.

3) Marketing: $1,800 – $6000/Month

Design, PR, strategy, and reporting services from an established agency can cost about $1800 to $6000/month, which is about the amount of time it will take to successfully promote your event.

4) Technology assets/audio and visual equipment rental: $1,000 – $3000/day

Stage setup, equipment for keynote speeches, professional quality lighting rigs, projectors, and technical assistance all come at a price.

Depending on what you need all equipment rental rates for an 8-hour career fair between $1000 – $3000/day.

5) Insurance: $150

The cost of insuring a medium-sized career fair carries a starting price tag of about $150 for a 100 person event.

6) Hospitality: $70/person

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. For a 100 person event that is $7000.

7) Staffing: $3,600 – $7,200

The standard rule of staffing is providing at least one assistant for every 12 guests. For an 8-hour event with an audience of 100, you will require a team of at least nine. Rates start at an estimated $50 to $100/ hour, leading to a hike in expenses between $3,600 to $7,200.

8) Event planner and manager: $3,083 – $5,528

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 above-mentioned estimates:

15% of $20,550 = $3,083

15% of $36,850 = $5,528

Bear in mind that this is an estimate and costs may go up based on the hourly or monthly rates.

Physical Career Fair (Summary of Total Costs)

  • Venue rental: $6,000 – $12,000
  • Parking: $1,000 – $1,500
  • Marketing: $1,800 – $6000/Month
  • Technology assets/audio and visual equipment rental: $1,000 – $3000/day
  • Insurance: $150
  • Hospitality: $70/person ($7000 for 100 person event)
  • Staffing: $3,600 – $7,200 (team of 9 people for 100 guests)
  • Event planner and manager: $3,083 – $5,528

Features to Include in a Virtual Career Fair 

The success of an unforgettable virtual career event strongly depends on a fantastic feature set. Here are 6 tips for hosting a job fair for better placements. This ensures fast recruitment, secure interactions, and measurable performance outcomes. Attending a virtual career fair should be fun!

Here are a few key features you must include in your virtual career fair.

1. Custom Landing Page

This is where your event is highlighted and marketed. Job seekers will be able to register for the event, build profiles, and upload their resumes. Custom registration forms will populate the user profiles automatically. 

This page should also provide a career fair overview, agenda, exhibitor details, job search advice, and any other additional information.

2. Multi-Platform Compatibility

You should accommodate job seekers around the world. Therefore, you need to select a vendor that provides event hosting compatible with Android and iOS platforms. The event can also be accessible through a mobile app. 

Versatile integrations will also benefit your fair. Including Zoom, online accreditations, Miro whiteboard, language interpretations, matchmaking tools, social media walls and more. 

3. Customizable Booths

Your virtual platform of choice should provide each exhibitor with custom-designed booths and staff avatars to represent company representatives.

Additionally, booths should enable ease of information exchange. They should have tabs leading to content such as downloadable brochures, company job boards, videos, and chat options.

job-boards

4. Easy Navigation

The virtual career fair should offer a fantastic user experience. It should enable visitors to browse in a user-friendly manner. Clearly titled spaces such as a lobby, exhibitor hall, auditorium, information desk, and networking lounges all serve dedicated functions. They allow job seekers to navigate seamlessly.

5. Secure Chat Options

You need to incorporate audio, video, and text-based chat capabilities. This way, talent can easily reach out to employer representatives. Moreover, recruiters can answer questions and even conduct on-the-spot screenings.

6. Networking Lounge

A networking lounge allows job seekers to connect in a chat room. This encourages open dialogue and discussion. Then, visitors can initiate conversations and make valuable connections.

7. Immersive Webinars

Dynamic webinars are the virtual event superstars. They offer live content such as keynotes speeches from organizers, Q&A sessions with industry experts, and other guest speakers sharing helpful advice. This spearheads an overall immersive attendee experience.

8. Swag Bag

Paperless marketing and electronic job applications are ideal for eco-friendly employers. The online event should enable all downloadable resources to be added to what some vendors call a “swag bag” or a ” virtual briefcase”. Attendees can then mail it to themselves. 

9. Video Repository

Employers can make use of this feature to share compelling content and provide streamable videos. These videos can highlight company culture, upcoming initiatives, and other incentives to spark interest.

10. Information Desk

There should be a help or information desk staffed by your technology provider. This will help ensure that all guests’ questions are promptly answered.

11. WCAG Accessibility Compliance

The digital career fair should ideally be in compliance with web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG). It should offer special color contrasts, text character flexibility, page narrations, and captioned webinars. This makes the event more accessible and meaningful.

12. Resume Search Filters

Smart resume search features allow for quick shortlisting based on recruiters’ selected criteria. They can zoom into the talent of highest relevance within seconds for further screening.

13. Real-Time Job Board

A job board with all available positions and their requirements visible makes it easy for potential candidates to submit resumes. Meanwhile, exhibitors can get a more relevant pool of applicants for their needs.

14. Measurable Results

A virtual career fair lets you gather more insights. Through reporting, you can measure all performance metrics that matter. These include registrations, attendees, booth visits,  and webinar views. They also include job applications received and chats initiated.

15. Gamification

Virtual job hunts can be as exhausting as physical ones. Leaderboards and scavenger hunts make your events more fun and engaging. You can incorporate them to make your event more appealing for visitors. It’s also a fun way to lead attendees to important areas within your event.

gamification

Questions to Ask Your Virtual Career Fair Provider

Planning a career fair brings with it a lot of stress. You need to find the right virtual platform provider for the job. Conduct the right amount of research to get the best results.  You should  use this opportunity to figure out what you want. Here is a list of points that you must discuss in your consultation with various platforms.

1. Will You Get a Detailed Demo Of The Platform?

This is important for several reasons. No matter how great their platform looks on the brochure, you need a live demo to really get a sense of what your candidate journey will be like. The demo will allow you to analyze crucial features like on-the-spot interviews, platform navigation, and virtual booth displays.

2. How Much Customization Is Possible?

This is where you make the all-important decisions. You can decide whether you want an off-the-shelf solution or a bespoke one. Although the former is generally cheaper and quicker to set up, a tailor-made solution can deliver a far better ROI. This is because it is designed to bring you the results that you are looking for.

Check with your provider about their ability to deliver on all the design and functionality changes you will need for your virtual career fair so there’s no confusion later on.

3. How Long Does Event Setup Take?

Planning is essential. You should know how long the provider will take to construct the event from start to finish. This will help you schedule and pace your pre-event marketing strategy. It will also help you prepare and train your team for the virtual event before it goes live. In addition, you can optimize your post-event follow-up strategy.

A competent virtual events provider takes anywhere from four to six weeks to set up a custom virtual event. However, this timeframe depends on your feature and design requirements.

4. Can You See Any Past Events?

Customer stories, testimonials, and past events act as a great window into the work that your provider has done in the past. Therefore, look at case studies or past event walkthroughs from their clients from your industry. Then, this will quickly help you uncover whether the provider is competent in solving problems that you might face. Then, it will also help you test the reliability and credibility of the provider.

5. Where Will The Event Be Hosted And How Secure Will It Be?

Be sure to ask your virtual event provider about their hosting company and the security features that they employ. Why is this important? This is because it is your right to have a finished platform that is free from fraud, viruses, and crashing servers when you have peak traffic at the virtual career fair.

6. Who Owns The Data?

Your online career event will likely have a lot of confidential data. This ranges from candidate resumes and profiles to feedback forms and copyrighted videos. Also, it includes other marketing collateral. Because of this, it becomes important to detail who owns everything on the cloud storage platform. So, there should be no ambiguity in this regard.

7. What Can You Expect From Their Customer Support?

Even if your virtual career fair platform is designed to be foolproof, there are numerous situations that can pop up where you will need your provider’s support. In this case, you need to know the details of the person you can reach out to for any concerns or in-event troubleshooting.

Similarly, if your event and your provider operate in different time zones, it pays to know if you will have 24-hour live-event support. You should know how much to expect from your provider. This will keep you prepared for all the ad-hoc contingencies that events are likely to present.

Why Should You Choose vFairs?

Hosting a virtual career fair can be easy and stress free. Do your research thoroughly and see which even hosting platforms make the mark. You’ll see that most platforms simply offer the technology, but do not have any support. In addition, most of them miss out on some features.

However, vFairs has everything you need, and much more. It offers customized solutions to all your career fair requirements. You just have to plan your event thoroughly, and reap the benefits of an incisive, user-friendly platform.

Explore some of vFairs Career Fair Case Studies

  1. Job Seekers Flock to NHS Virtual Career Fair
  2. ATOS Uses vFairs to Host Their Virtual In-House Day
  3. Diversity in Ed & vFairs: Promoting Diversity And Inclusion One Virtual Job Fair At a Time

Conclusion

Thanks to technology, virtual career fairs have become very popular. They offer a lot of benefits to recruiters and job seekers. In conclusion, a virtual career fair is not as intimidating as it may seem. You need to organize it properly, and know what to look for in your hosting platform. Here are some key pointers for reference:

  • Employers gain significantly from virtual career fairs
  • Job seekers can sign up quite easily
  • Virtual career fairs offer efficiency, convenience, & flexibility
  • There are three types of virtual career fairs: conventional, hybrid, & evergreen
  • Virtual fairs cost nearly half as much as physical events
  • These events offer some powerful features
  • You should ask your shortlisted providers a series of questions before you make your choice
  • vFairs has everything you need to host a successful virtual career fair

 

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Virtual Career Fair: The Ultimate Guide (2020)

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