Thinking Outside the LMS: How to Host a Virtual Career Fair

January 4, 2022
Woman being interviewed on a laptop during a virtual career fair
We all need some inspiration now and then, especially when finding new ways to engage association members and generate non-dues revenue. So, when one of our clients thought up a creative way to leverage their LMS, we just had to share!

Established in 1883, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) is dedicated to the profession of veterinary medicine. PVMA has over 3,800 members representing every veterinary team profession. Looking to gain more exposure, PVMA came up with the idea of hosting a virtual career fair on their Path LMS™ site. 

PVMA had held career fairs, yet going entirely virtual provided many more advantages and fewer logistical hassles for the PVMA team. Let's dive into how they achieved a successful event and look at the many high-level benefits of a virtual career fair:


Strategy

The secret to a successful virtual career fair is to make it as easy as possible—for hosts, sponsors, and participants. Being organized, doing most of the heavy lifting ahead of time, and having a clear plan of action is key.

Here’s what PVMA did to set the stage:

  • PVMA held its virtual career fair from Thanksgiving until early January. Doing so gave them extra exposure during the typically slow holiday season and drew attention to their charitable giving efforts and scholarships.
  • Leaving the career fair open for six weeks gave both companies and job seekers plenty of time and flexibility to participate.
  • Job seekers did not have to pay to attend, but they did need to register, which provided PVMA with potential member acquisition leads.
  • Each participating company was charged a fee for their virtual booth (offering both non-member and member pricing). The fee included creating and setting up the booth by the PVMA team on Path LMS.
  • Participating companies submitted assets and content for their booths via DropBox, which consisted of informational PDFs, videos, and contact information.
  • PVMA provided a booth example for companies to see before they submitted material.
  • Because of the Path LMS on-demand video capabilities, companies could upload video content to help job seekers learn more about them and get a good sense of the company culture. PVMA provided a helpful instructional guide with tips and tricks on creating natural and authentic video content.
  • PVMA organized the virtual booths by geographical region to make it easier for job seekers to find opportunities in their desired location.
Creative Incentives

How do you get companies to sponsor a virtual career fair? Get creative with incentives and provide plenty of brand exposure opportunities. PVMA came up with creative ways to extend the reach of both company booths and event sponsors, and incentivize participation, including:

  • Various sponsorship levels, from being listed as a supporter on promotional materials to a banner ad on the Welcome Page and inclusion in promotional emails
  • Highlighted booths on the promotional event emails
  • $25 of the virtual booth cost was made as a donation to Animal Care PA's EDUCATE Program, PVMA's charitable arm, which provides scholarships for PA veterinary students and veterinary technology students; any out-of-state practices had $25 donated to their state's veterinary medical association

Advantages

There are many advantages to hosting virtual events, such as career fairs; those advantages will likely be different depending on your industry or type of association. Here is a summary of how the career fair benefited PVMA and the career fair exhibitors:

FOR EXHIBITORS
  • Increased exposure during the holiday season without traveling to attend an in-person event
  • An opportunity to present themselves in a unique, customizable way in a competitive job market
  • A reasonable price point—much more cost-effective than a physical event booth—with part of the cost donated to Animal Care PA's EDUCATE Program
  • The flexibility of participating during a long period and not having to always staff their booth with a live person
  • Opportunities to extend their reach through paid sponsorship
FOR PVMA
  • Avoided travel risks for PVMA and event attendees, allowing them the flexibility to attend anytime from anywhere
  • Exponentially less expensive than a traditional in-person career fair; brought in additional revenue with no monetary investment; all it took was the time to build out the Path LMS site and virtual booths
  • A virtual event provided a broader reach for an extended period
  • Helped bolster donations for their season of giving and scholarships
  • Built relationships with members and sponsors and provided additional engagement opportunities with students and companies

If you’re thinking about hosting a virtual career fair, make sure you have an easy-to-use, intuitive platform to make it happen. Learn more about Blue Sky eLearn’s services and award-winning LMS here, or reach out, and I’ll help answer your questions!

About the Author

Jodi Ray is a Client Success Manager at Blue Sky eLearn. She has been with Blue Sky eLearn since 2012 and, for 20 years prior, also served associations helping them educate their members. As a Client Success Manager, she strives to be the hero for her clients so they can be a hero to their members and help them advance their careers through professional development. Jodi is also mom to two amazing adult daughters and one special Mini Bernedoodle puppy.

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