In fall 2020, Sheri Blight, Employer Relations & Events Manager at Kennesaw State University shared details on how her team approached facilitating virtual fairs in Handshake. Having hosted several successful fairs in the fall, Sheri is back with more recommendations. If you’ve reviewed Sheri’s original blog post on how to staff a virtual fair, check out her tips below.
Student Practice Fair
To help students get acclimated with the virtual fair experience, Sheri’s team is hosting a practice fair before the actual event. Consisting of three group sessions, the practice fair will give students the opportunity to:
- Get comfortable building a schedule
- Test their audio and video setup
- Use in-session features like raised hand and screen sharing
- Get tips from the career center about virtual professionalism
Tips for communicating with employers
- Send at least one email to employers directly from your email address.
This ensures the message is less likely to go to spam or be overlooked. It also gives employers a direct email they can reach out to with questions. Sheri recommends doing this for a “last minute tips” email right before the fair.
- Add employer attendees directly to the calendar invite for your Zoom/help room.
We all live by our calendars now more than ever. Employers know you mean business when they see that multi-hour block on their calendars. This approach led to higher attendance in the employer help room, even just for last minute tips or to check-in with our team.
Fair staffing roles
In addition to 5-8 team members joining the student and employer Zoom/help rooms, Sheri’s team has created two additional roles for the day of the virtual fair.
One staff member in the Zoom/help room focuses specifically on technical questions. Handshake’s technical guides for students and employers are key assets for this person. The team uses Zoom’s ‘open/self-select’ breakout rooms to allow this person to handle questions separately.
No shows are often individuals running late or having technical issues. This person monitors the session details page and connects with student and employer no-shows to provide assistance.
Students no-shows are emailed asking if they need technical help and referring them to the student Zoom/help room. They are reminded that, if they do not plan to attend, they are subject to the school’s no-show policy and should unregister for the session to open time for other students.
Employer no-shows are also emailed asking if they need technical help and referring them to the employer Zoom/help room. The lead recruiter at the company in question is notified if the recruiter continues missing sessions.
Note: Employers using an external video platform to host sessions will appear as a no-show on the session details page. This is because they are joining the session outside of Handshake. You can identify these sessions by looking for a link icon next to the registrant count. Clicking on the link icon will copy the external meeting link to your clipboard.