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Handshake Hacks

A guide to virtual fair marketing

A week-by-week virtual fair marketing plan to bolster student and employer attendance

Virtual career fairs are a new medium for your students and employers, and they’ll need your help to navigate them through the process. We’ve put together some best practices and a sample virtual fair marketing plan for you to set your students and employers up for success.

Four tips for virtual fair marketing

1. Monitor your employer schedules and student sign ups

Aim to hit 80% of your expected employer registration (use last year’s attendance as a benchmark) and 80% of employer schedules created before sending student invites. You will have visibility into employer registrations, schedule creations, and student sign ups from the virtual fair dashboard, so you’ll know to send additional outreach if needed.

2. Err on the side of inviting more students

Like with in-person events, not all students who register for a virtual fair will attend. Experiment with widening your invite list to boost student attendance. For virtual fairs hosted through September 2020, 53% of students who registered for the fair signed up for an employer session. Of those students, 83% attended the session.

3. Encourage students to sign up for employer sessions

A week before the fair, you should aim to have 50% of registered students signed up for an employer session. Students who sign up in advance are more likely to attend. High student sign ups before the fair also help employers feel more confidence in the value of your fair. Read more about key considerations for student success at virtual fairs here.

Handshake will help you achieve this with system-generated reminder emails and push notifications for registered students two days before the fair and the morning of. In certain cases, Handshake will also send a “Just In Time” email to students who might be interested in employers with low session sign ups the day before the fair. Read more about these and other virtual fair notifications here.

4. Use the Handshake Virtual Engagement Kit

The Virtual Engagement Kit is stocked with how-to guides, email templates, videos, webinars, and more to help you promote your fair. In addition to content that helps your team learn how virtual fairs work, we’ve also included entire sections devoted to inviting and training your employers and students. Use these resources to ensure everyone comes to their first virtual fair feeling prepared and excited to find new opportunities.

Sample virtual fair marketing plan

Level the playing field for your students