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Employer Sponsorships at Handshake Virtual Fairs

How career services can offer unique, impactful employer sponsorships at virtual fairs hosted on Handshake.

We aim to maintain the value of an in-person fair while redefining the fair experience for a virtual setting on our platform. Employer sponsorships for in-person career fairs provide both an opportunity to connect your students with employers who are eager to recruit them and drive revenue for your office as well. While career fair banners and booths do not exist in Handshake virtual fairs to help you get the word out about your sponsors, both of these outcomes can be easily achieved (and even expanded upon) in a virtual setting.

Marketing employer sponsorships externally

Delivering on the value of employer sponsorship is all about driving visibility with students. One highly impactful way of accomplishing this is by integrating employer sponsorships into your virtual fair marketing efforts. Targeted emails sent to students and social media campaigns are a great place to start. Both offer you the opportunity to highlight employer sponsors and what types of students they’re hiring.

One unique option (already adopted by several schools) is having employers do a social media takeover. By giving an employer access to your Instagram account for a day, you give them the opportunity to highlight their open positions, company culture, and employees to an attentive student audience. This type of programming helps drive more students to view the employer's profile and apply for their jobs.

We’ve also heard multiple partner institutions share that they hosted a kickoff event before the career fair where panelists from employer sponsors were highlighted. Whether you brand it as a panel with multiple representatives, or a more intimate fireside chat with one or two, you can provide even more value to your sponsors by giving them additional airtime with students.

Finally, you can also offer sponsors access to student resume books before or after the fair. While employers can see the public resumes of any students who attended a 1:1 or group meeting with them during the fair, they may be interested in assessing a wider pool of candidates. If your office already has a resume book program, this is a great opportunity to promote it. If you don’t, you can easily ask students if they’d like to opt into sharing their resume using custom survey questions they fill out during registration. Once you’ve identified your list of participants, you can use Handshake’s bulk download feature to assemble resume books in a PDF or zip file.

Promoting employer sponsors within your virtual fair

While you may not have posters or large booths to show off the logos of your employer sponsors, there are still plenty of ways to highlight them in Handshake. First and foremost, each virtual fair can have it’s own unique logo, as well as embedded images in the career fair description and student welcome message. All offer a great opportunity to include logos of employer sponsors in a highly visible location for students registering for the fair.

Collecting employer sponsorships

When setting up your virtual fair, you can offer employer sponsorships just like you would for in-person fairs. One option is to create a separate “registration type” for sponsors to choose when signing up. This works best if you want to offer a bundle of sponsorship incentives. You can also offer sponsorship as an “extra item” that employers add onto their regular registration. This method makes it easier to offer multiple types of sponsorship incentives a la carte. For example, using some of the ideas shared above, you could offer the following “extra items” for employer sponsors:

  1. Email & Social Media Marketing Package
  2. Speaking Slot at Pre-Fair Event
  3. {Institution Name & Program} Resume Book

Both options allow you to share a description of the benefits of sponsorship, the cost, and the total number of sponsorship slots that you’d like to offer overall and integrate seamlessly into the invoicing process.

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