Hosting Virtual Housing Fairs: A Quick Guide

Looking for the perfect accommodation isn’t an easy task when students have hundreds of items on their to-do list already. 

As a school, it is for you to assist them by connecting them with the most promising accommodation providers near your campus. Virtual housing fairs are the ultimate solution to help your global students find the perfect place before their session starts. 

If you’re planning to host one anytime soon, this quick guide will help you host the most interactive virtual housing fair. 

What Are Virtual Housing Fairs?

Sample of virtual housing fairs' 3D virtual lobby, modeled after real-life venues
Sample of a virtual housing fair lobby

A virtual housing fair helps you connect your existing and new students with accommodation providers. With a virtual housing fair, you can showcase properties, answer questions, and share important housing advice. You can also give virtual tours of the campus and show them what the campus life is like. 

With branded exhibit booths, 3D virtual environment and a powerful tech-stack, you will be all set to deliver an unforgettable virtual event experience. 

Quick Steps on How to Host the Best Virtual Housing Fairs

Hosting a virtual housing fair isn’t a piece of cake. We understand how overwhelming it can get, so here are a few super simple steps that will set you up for a successful virtual housing fair: 

Step 1: Determine Your Event Goals

Determining your goals right is crucial to host an effective virtual fair. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you set your event goals:

  • What is the purpose of our virtual event?
  • Who would you like to invite?
  • What would determine the success of your virtual event?
  • What would you want your attendees to learn or walk away with?
  • How would you measure success?

As a school, your main goal is to connect students with numerous accommodation options – all in one place. This will help your global students narrow down their search and find the right accommodation provider according to their preference. 

A virtual housing fair provides the students an opportunity to network with accommodation providers, view properties, ask questions, and get housing advice.

Step 2: Decide On A Budget

Do you have a budget in mind for your event? If not, well let us help you with this. 

The key to generate a budget for your virtual housing fair is to recognize all the costs that might incur. Make a spreadsheet with all the relevant information such as budget items categorization, expense tracking, and expense details.

This will be your ultimate expense sheet for the event. Add in expenses and find out how much you’re left with, all on within this sheet.

If you’re looking for an in-depth guide on how to budget like a pro, this blog is all you need.  

Step 3: Choose The Right Event Platform

 

Here comes the big decision! Choosing the right event platform is one of the most important decisions you will make for your virtual event.  Therefore, there are a lot of aspects that you need to consider before making your decision.

We always emphasize on choosing a platform based on its functionality, features,  pricing, and customer support. You will have to keep in mind what you want to offer your attendees, such as breakout rooms, event mobile app, chatting options, branded exhibitor booths, and more.

Always remember to check out case studies and client success stories of every platform that you are considering. This will give you an overview of what the platform is like, how it performs with different organizations,  and how well their customer support is.

Good virtual event platforms will offer you a live personalized demo to give you a walk through of the platform as well as answer any questions you might have.   

Step 4: Set Up Your Event Schedule

You’ve chosen the perfect virtual platform for your housing fair and now you need to decide on the complete  schedule for your event. You will need to decide the number of exhibitors that will be attending the event, the webinars that will run, and the timings. 

It would be great if your event schedule is displayed on your event’s landing page since it removes any confusion and it makes it easier for students to navigate the fair. 

Step 5: Structure Your Event

The next step is to invite your speakers and send out their invitations. This is the right time to test the functionality of your chosen virtual event platform. As the host of your virtual housing fair, your goal is to keep your attendees engaged and offer them networking opportunities. 

Therefore in order to deliver a stellar event experience,  it is important to create your content that would help attendees engage. Make sure your marketing collateral,  welcome videos,  and sessions are in lieu  with the theme of your event. 

Step 6: Promote Your Virtual Housing Fair

I think we would all agree that pre-event buzz can actually make a huge difference.  Imagine you have a great virtual housing fair planned, but not a lot of people know about it because you didn’t focus on promoting your event.  Now, that would be tragic!

Therefore, promoting your event should be next on your checklist. 

For that, you need a very well-thought-out marketing plan. For virtual housing fairs,  email marketing can do a great deal to get the word out.  Since the housing fair is for incoming and existing students, email newsletters are a great way to promote your event.  You can also post ads on student forums. 

Go ahead and create some pre-event hype by sharing a glimpse of your event and perhaps a list of companies who will be participating to keep attendees engaged and excited to be a part of your housing fair. 

Step 7: Invite The Right Speakers

This is where the importance of content really matters. If you’re planning to host a superbly planned and executed virtual housing fair,  it is important for you to choose the right speakers, sponsors,  and community partners. 

Your speakers should be able to engage your audience and deliver knowledge in an easy-to-understand and captivating manner. Therefore,  you will have to look harder and find speakers that would share extremely valuable information that your audience will definitely be interested in. 

Step 8: Expect The Unexpected

Yes, it’s true. No matter how many hours you put in working on your virtual housing fair,  you still cannot guarantee a perfect event. A lot happens while executing your plan; hiccups, last minute changes, technical problems and delays.

Therefore, a strong contingency plan for a backup plan should always be a part of your event planning. 

A great way to make event navigation smoother for your attendees is to share an in-depth tutorial  that can help them familiarize with the platform.  This way you will have a low number of people asking for help. 

If you have opted for a good virtual event  platform,  you will be given a project manager to help you cope up with any confusion or discrepancies before, during, and after the event. 

Step 9: Measure Success Post-Event 

virtual housing fair

This is where you measure the success of your goals and objectives you had established while planning for virtual housing fairs. We know that this step is usually a part of the post-event analytics,  but it is equally important for your planning process.

In order to measure the success of your event it is important for you to gather feedback through live polls during webinars, and surveys. This is extremely meaningful data that can help you track whether you have met your attendance goals, how engaged your attendees were, and whether your audience connected well with the sponsors. 

You can also use this data as a guide and make changes to your future virtual events. 

Final Thoughts 

Organizing virtual housing fairs takes a lot of time and effort but with the right guidance,  your planning process can go by smoothly. With a well executed virtual housing fair,  you will be able to connect students with the best accommodation providers with ease. 

Want to learn more about vFairs virtual housing fair? Find out what we have to offer and schedule a personalized demo today. 

Hosting Virtual Housing Fairs: A Quick Guide

Amna Akhtar

Amna is a content writer at vFairs and has been producing content for different industries. She has created social media content for various IT firms in the US. She loves to challenge herself by writing about different niches, which calms her ongoing curiosity to learn new things. When she’s not working on her pieces, you’ll find her somewhere outdoors, clicking photos of everything she finds beautiful.

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Hosting Virtual Housing Fairs: A Quick Guide

Amna Akhtar

Amna is a content writer at vFairs and has been producing content for different industries. She has created social media content for various IT firms in the US. She loves to challenge herself by writing about different niches, which calms her ongoing curiosity to learn new things. When she’s not working on her pieces, you’ll find her somewhere outdoors, clicking photos of everything she finds beautiful.
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