A company with a large field population scattered across the USA faces many hurdles in engaging with their employees. Employees are always on the road and disseminating information is a challenge. Long before COVID-19 disrupted normal business functions, Hillrom was already one step ahead of the game. They were already engaging their employees via vFairs to provide valuable information on benefits plans and connecting them to benefits partners with a virtual benefits fair. WHAT IS HILLROM? Hillrom is a medical device company. It has a global footprint with a 10,000 strong army of employees. 5,000 of these are spread across the USA. Hillrom’s innovation paved the way for more advancements to help provide better patient care. They are dedicated to connecting care teams today for a more insightful tomorrow. Currently, they have 9 locations across the USA and getting employees interested in benefits plans remains a constant struggle. In early 2021, Hillrom hosted its second virtual benefits fair with vFairs. Chris Mahoney, Manager of Employee Benefits Plan expressed her comfort using vFairs “We were very familiar with the process, it was great to build on what we learnt from the first time we used it, and make it grander”.GOALS FOR HILLROM VIRTUAL BENEFITS FAIR Hillrom virtual benefits fair was focused on delivering on the following goals: Educate and communicate to employees to maximize benefits. Get employees on vFairs and to different benefit partner sites.People sign up for benefits, however they don’t completely understand how the benefits program works. Hillrom really wanted to ace educating and communicating with employees regarding these benefits partners and plans. WHY VFAIRS? Back when Hillrom was considering hosting a virtual benefits fair event before the onset of COVID-19, they looked up different options and companies offering virtual platforms. At that time there weren’t many companies which were hosting virtual events. vFairs’ was one of the companies that Hillrom took a demo with along with a few more. However, vFairs was by far the most user friendly. This is how Hillrom came to choose vFairs. EXHIBITORS AND ATTENDEESThere were 22 different benefits partners who had set up their booths. These offered various benefits in dental, pet insurance, fertility, savings solutions and many more. Additionally, there was a booth for Hillrom’s HR benefits team. The attendees included employees across the organization. The team at Hillrom greatly facilitated benefits partners. They clearly outlined what Hillrom expected. They outlined parameters for the booths, to ensure greater foot fall. For instance, booths had to have two videos so employees could view them and not only earn wellness points but also educate themselves. Plus they needed three flyers that described the benefit of their service. Additionally Hillrom provided specific instructions and expectations on what benefits partners could have in their booth, in a presentation. Chris ended up receiving positive feedback for extensively facilitating exhibitors through the booth setup process. To draw in attendees, Hillrom campaigned vigorously on their internal platforms. The message was sent across through internal communications, home mailers, emailers and communication on the internal home page. Hillrom was very happy with the turnout of the event. Let’s explore the factors that contributed to their success in the second year hosting with vFairs. LEADERBOARD Hillrom leveraged the leaderboard to full capacity in 2021’s open enrollment virtual benefits fair. The first year was not what Hillrom had hoped. They were not able to generate enough interest with their employees. In 2020, they tied the event and its activities to their wellness program. This year, in order to drive people to their site, and to track their movements across the virtual platform they incentivized actions. Attendees earned wellness points for their participation. For instance, visiting different booths, or listening to the opening program webinar etc. These points turned into Health Savings Accounts dollars. Even taking the Benefits Knowledge Check quiz and Benefits Survey earned attendees valuable points to add to their wellness program. SURVEYS They included two surveys in the virtual platform. The first survey was a knowledge test. This was to ensure that attendees actually understood the benefits. Hillrom felt employees would sign up for the benefits however, did not have the complete knowledge. If attendees wished to add points to their wellness program, the quiz was mandatory. It was a difficult quiz and attendees could take it multiple times, however, they would only earn points once. The second was a benefits survey. This was to understand their attendee demographics and how they would like to be communicated with in the future. Collecting this helps Hillrom in future internal communication plans. PRESENTATIONS IN THE VIRTUAL AUDITORIUMHillrom conducted a live open enrollment session. The rest of the presentations were a mix of live and pre-recorded. The live presentations were immediately uploaded. Attendees can view them later when convenient. At times, attendees wish to review the benefits with their spouses and hence, this option was available to accommodate them.EXHIBIT HALLThe exhibit hall featured all 22 benefits partners and Hillroms HR team. Attendees could easily scroll through the hall or select the exhibitor of choice in the menu. The booth avatars were ethnically diverse and dressed in smart attire. Some booths featured both male and female avatars, however, mostly had only female representatives. These booths hosted a ton of relevant information. From user manuals, solutions and even links to social media accounts. Additionally, there were videos and documents in each booth as well that further added value to the attendees experience. vFairs allows exhibitors to self-select avatars and send a strong message of diversity and inclusivity with their virtual avatars. The exhibit hall design was chosen from vFairs existing templates. Hillrom was happy with the choices which were available there. RESOURCESChris Mahoney pointed out how they aimed to facilitate attendees to explore benefits options and plans at their own convenience. For this they had a ‘briefcase’ and ‘resources’ tabs in the virtual platform which featured documents attendees could save and download for later referencing. BENEFITS REALIZEDPreviously Chris had to travel to nine different locations and do four live presentations in each location. This meant there wasn’t much room to interact with people. However, with vFairs, they were able to reach more people as their platform was open 24 hours for 30 days. They deemed the 2021 open enrollment a success. They measured this success based on how many people came back to them. Their biggest selling feature in this year’s fair was the tying up of activities with wellness points. This encouraged people to cover more virtual ground, and even successfully drove them to the booths. The two surveys, on the other hand ensured people understood the plans, and were not just signing up for them. vFairs met Hillrom’s expectations. Chris Mahoney goes on to relate her wonderful experience with vFairs saying “We refer [vFairs] to other clients. This is our level of satisfaction. We explored four more options when considering a virtual benefits fair, but nothing in the market comes close to what vFairs has to offer”.