Why virtual career fairs are important when hiring top talent

Virtual career fairs seem to be all the rage these days. Universities and employers are facing the new reality where hosting recruiting events online is becoming the status quo. Fortunately b.

The COVID 19 pandemic has made it likely that most events for 2020 will be held online – and it could stay that way. Online events offer tremendous opportunities: they are both financially and environmentally sustainable.

The COVID 19 pandemic has made it likely that most events for 2020 will be held online – and it could stay that way . Online events offer tremendous opportunities: they are both more financially and environmentally sustainable, they are more accessible and make it easier to connect with people around the world, and they offer new advantages in format and programming .

In the recruiting industry, online career events are a particularly useful innovation because companies and talent don't have to be in the same place to connect with each other. Job seekers may be trying to decide on the perfect job, while companies may struggle to find the right person for a role and need to broaden their search. Some experts also predict that our widespread shift to remote work will outpace the coronavirus pandemic as companies and employees discover the benefits and conveniences of working from home.

But that doesn't make online events a no-brainer. Online events present their own unique challenges for organizers to deal with. It may be tempting to think that once you have the technology in place, you're ready to host an online event anytime, anywhere. In reality, online events also require careful thought, preparation and an understanding of the challenges you may face.

To help you get started, here are our tips on some of the most important things to think about when hosting an online career event.

Don't make sessions too long

It's harder to hold the attention span of someone sitting in front of a laptop than someone in a quiet auditorium. There's much less social pressure for your attendees to sit still and listen when their kitchen is right next door, and their laptop is both the gateway to your event and full of other distractions: social media, email, music, Netflix. This means you have to make an extra effort to ensure their focus stays with you and your event.

Of course, your event itself should be as interesting as possible. But another good tip is to reduce the length of your sessions. Consider cutting the speaking time by a third or even half. If your keynote speeches usually last forty minutes, try cutting them down to thirty minutes. If you have an AMA session that usually lasts half an hour, try cutting it down to fifteen minutes.

You require your audience to listen intently for a shorter time, so they are less likely to digress, and the reduced length also has a psychological effect. Attendees have less time to get all the information they want from the session, so they're more likely to pay attention, knowing they could very easily miss a lot of the useful content.

Allow for different forms of interaction

Allow for different forms of interaction

In real life, different people prefer different ways of connecting, and online this is amplified. People have different accessibility requirements and it is also likely that your participants will have different levels of comfort with online interaction. Someone might be a slow typist and be happy to video chat; someone else might be shy and prefer to hide behind their keyboard.

A successful event platform will provide multiple forms of interaction. Video and text chats should both be an integral part of your event. On the Talentspace platform, upvoting in the Q&A section has also proven to be extremely useful, allowing participants to push questions they find most relevant and thus find a common direction for each session.

Increase your engagement efforts

It's easy to pat yourself on the back and declare it over when 1000 people sign up for an event. But while online events are usually easier to persuade people to attend (they don't even have to get out of bed!), it's also usually harder to make sure people actually show up. Attendees may not feel the same way about having to leave home to attend the event, and there is often a lower sense of FOMO at an online event than at an offline event. Signing up for an online event is great, but it's only the first step in making sure people actually attend.

Before you host an online event, make sure you have a plan in place to increase the engagement of your audience. Some good tips are to ask the audience to sign up for individual sessions. This will give you more opportunity to remind them about each session and give them a sense of excitement about individual parts of the event. You could also ask attendees to submit at least one question for each session in advance: This piques their curiosity and makes them want to attend to hear their personal question answered. Last but not least, although people are less likely to pay money for an online event than for an offline event, you might also consider charging some kind of fee. People don't like to feel like they're wasting money, so even a small ticket fee (z. B. 3 €) Increase the engagement of your audience.

Organizers need to think more about how to create space for the connections and conversations that can happen more spontaneously offline.

Consolidate your archiving

On the one hand, an online event suddenly seems much easier to archive. There are plenty of apps and tools that allow you to record your laptop's screen, and if all else fails, a simple screenshot will suffice. Online events are also usually cheaper to record than an offline event, as you rarely need to pay a professional videographer or photographer to capture the moment.

However, you need to pay careful attention to privacy and data laws before including content from your online event, especially if you are in the EU and face GDPR restrictions. Make a thorough and detailed plan for how you will get everyone's consent and knowledge for the shots you want to take well in advance of the event. And remember that you may have attendees from different countries around the world: Your privacy policy should complement and adhere to any legal restrictions and requirements in each country you are sending to.

Be aware of the atmosphere

Let's not beat around the bush: it's difficult to build an atmosphere for an online event in the same way you would for an offline event. Obviously, there are fewer opportunities for chit-chat, spontaneous jokes, handshakes, chance encounters and more. But that doesn't mean online events must necessarily be sterile and segmented affairs. It just means that organizers need to think more about how to create space for the connections and conversations that can happen more spontaneously offline.

There are many ways you can approach this topic. The most important thing is to think it through and make a plan. You may want to set up a general chat room where people can interact throughout the day, or more specific chat rooms for people with the same interests to create dedicated spaces for networking. You could have some fun by setting up a "speed dating"-style roundtable conversation. At the end of our online talent dream, we even had a live DJ broadcasting from his apartment! Online contacts will always be different, but that doesn't mean they have to be worse.

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