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Virtual business event – soon to be common practice!

Virtual business event – soon to be common practice!

A Mumbai headquartered career centre, frequently hosted events to bring together professionals seeking career opportunities and top employers looking for management and engineering talents. This career centre receives job applications from PAN India and most of the employers are from Western, Central and North India. 

The problem with these conventional fairs was that they required months of planning which left next to no room for ad-hoc adjustments. This created problems in adjusting late employer participants in the events which reduced the overall value derived from the event as well as that delivered to job-seekers. Conventional career fairs also yielded few high-value interactions between job-seekers and employers and following up with attendees was particularly challenging because it was difficult to track who visited which booth with how much interest. The online event was posing challenges such as limited local audience, high setup costs and cramped venues. 

Understanding the severity of the problem, and its gaining momentum during the pandemic, a newer approach and dimension was called for. LinkedIn acquaintance pinged and we agreed to meet. With a couple of brainstorming sessions, an interactive web-based platform was chalked out. In their pursuit of making such events more flexible and scalable to last-minute customizations, the Career Center decided to go online for their next career fair. During the demonstration trials, they came across the user-friendly platform, the depth of interactive features along with the ample room for event/booth customization that it afforded. Objectives for online events were amplified branding, improved lead generation and increased ROMI for exhibitors. The goal for this virtual event was to establish the brand as an industry titan! Promotion and execution of this event were hence essentially conducted through digital media channels.

To make the first virtual career fair as life-like as possible, the event was given a virtual entrance that mimicked the exterior of a real convention centre. On entering the building, the visitors were taken to an exhibition hall that displayed multiple branded virtual booths manned by different employers. To make it easier for job-seekers to quickly reach relevant employers, the hall displayed a static exhibitor index under the sliding virtual booth display and a running logo board was added to make it even easier for visitors to identify which employers had relevant vacancies.

The virtual career fair had 9 booths, each with its own unique design, layout, and content that resonated with the corporate culture of the employer. There were multiple spaces for employer branding here and visitors could engage with booth representatives via one-on-one chat, watch videos and pre-recorded webinars, download documents, submit forms and explore the company through tabs linked to their corporate website and LinkedIn page.

To truly deliver valuable information to job-seekers, the fair had a video vault and resource centre that hosted various employer videos, tutorials on how to navigate through the virtual career fair and interact with exhibitors along with case studies and documents containing employer information. Job-seekers could absorb all this content on-demand and also had the option to add items for later viewing.

A ‘Networking’ tab was incorporated to further boost engagement at the event. This group chat forum served as the go-to place for the career centre to make announcements and resolve visitor queries. This forum was also very well-received among both employers and job-seekers alike as it catalyzed meaningful conversations over topics like corporate culture, compensation & benefits, career growth paths and mentorship. It further allowed exhibitors to instantly answer queries presented by visitors and this real-time communication provided for a lead nurturing environment at the event which was directly in line with the event’s objective of providing employers with a healthy number of relevant candidate profiles against vacancies. Employers and job-seekers had the added option to continue these group conversations in a private chat forum or over audio/video calls directly from the platform for a more personalized and interactive experience.

Anecdotal feedback centred on ease-of-use and the highly nimble customer service that responded to impromptu queries in real-time. Alongside the massive utility of the chat platform and the engaging discussions that were made possible through it.

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