Once you’ve decided on conducting a Virtual Career Fair, you’re onto the next most crucial step: finding the right provider for the task. It always pays to know what you’re looking for because you enter the conversation knowing what your must-haves are, what factors will act as deal-breakers and what extra ‘sweeteners’ you might be in for. Here’s a list to get you started on some of the crucial aspects you should discuss with your event provider before you sign up with them.1) Will you get a detailed demo of your Virtual Career Fair?Request a thorough demo of the platform to get a sense of what your career fair will look like. The demo will also help you test aspects like platform functionality, ease of use, navigation, visual quality and built-in features that are central to obtaining your event objectives. Don’t settle for a brochure or a PowerPoint presentation. Getting the look and feel of your future event is crucial and a custom demo is your first step to visualizing and planning a sophisticated Virtual Career Fair. Ask the provider to show both the visitor and recruiter interface during this demo. This former will allow your team to experience the job-seekers journey at the event and provide feedback and the latter will give them a sense of the back-end view that they will be interacting with. Try to include all relevant team members at this demo so that concerns from all potential users can be addressed there and then, and no critical feedback is missed.2) What extent of customization is possible?Although off-the-shelf solutions are quick to launch, they rarely ever perform as well as bespoke solutions do. Your organization is unique and has its own criteria for measuring its career fair success. Therefore, remember to check with your provider if they can prepare a tailor-made solution for your organization that incorporates features that drive your event success and eliminates the fuss that you do not need. Be sure to discuss whether the scope of customization is limited to design or of you can incorporate features like on-spot interview scheduling, CV shortlisting and database sharing. Once you do this, you will ensure that you are not paying for the features that you don’t need and are not missing out on the ones you do need.3) How long is their time to set up?To ensure that your events calendar stays on schedule, do enquire the average time it takes for the provider to set up the event, from start to finish. Knowing this duration will assist you in chalking out your entire pre-event marketing strategy and will also give your team enough time to prepare for the live event. This duration will usually depend on how extensive your requirements are and how competent your provider is at furnishing them. However, any high caliber provider should not take longer than 10-12 weeks to set the event up.4) Are there any past executions that can be shown?Asking the provider for past customer stories or for a visit to another customer’s Virtual Career Fair will give you a lot of insight into the platform’s competence. It will help you uncover whether their platform has historically produced functional events for companies within your industry and will also act as a window into the provider’s dependability.5) Where will the Career Fair be hosted and how secure will it be?Event hosting security is vital to your career fair’s success. Make it a point to ask your virtual events provider about the hosting company that they partner with and the specific security features that they have in place (like RAID, Uptime, Secure Datacenter). Knowing this is important for a few reasons: the virtual career fair platform is expensive and as a result, it should be protected from data fraud, viruses, and crashing servers when the event sees bulk registration.6) Who owns all the data?Data automation and cloud storage bring a lot of relief in team collaboration and access. However, the data stored on your Virtual Career Fair platform will oftentimes be highly confidential. You will be storing hundreds of candidate profiles, feedback forms, company data, and copyrighted marketing collateral. Therefore, it is essential to clarify with your provider as to who owns all this data that is being placed on the cloud. Your contract should be very clear in detailing the provider’s right to store and process the data whilst relinquishing all data ownership to your organization.7) What kind of support do they offer?The technology itself is just one piece of it all. There are so many factors that go around the product that you will need help with. The last thing you want is experiencing a malfunction during the live event and not knowing whom to reach to rectify it. Ask your provider if they have a Service Level Agreement in place because knowing what it entails will simplify the entire troubleshooting process because you will know whom to reach when a particular issue arises and head to its quick resolution. Bear in mind that when implementing new technology, questions are your friend. Don’t be afraid to prepare and ask as many questions as your mind allows if the answers will help you see how the Virtual Career Fair maps to your event objectives. These questions are only intended to cover the broad basics of choosing a competent virtual event platform provider. Leave room for the more detailed questions that cover your design, functionality and reporting needs so you leave the discussion with all your concerns satisfied.Want to learn more about Virtual Career Fairs? Read “The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Career Fairs”.