This article was written in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In-person networking fairs simply aren’t possible during a pandemic; however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t host one for your students.
Instead, you’ll simply have to adapt your networking fair to a virtual setting. Here’s how you can do so given the plethora of virtual tools that we now have at our disposal.
Networking Fair Format
The first thing you’ll need to consider when planning a virtual networking fair is the format of the event.
Predominantly, most virtual networking events will be organized among one (or both) of the following formats:
- Group Video/Text Chat Sessions
- 1-on-1 Video/Text Chat Sessions
Once you’ve decided upon the format of your networking fair, you will then need to determine how you’ll facilitate your event.
Facilitating your Networking Fair
If you decide that group sessions are the way to go for your networking fair, there are several ways that you can go about facilitating your event.
A common approach is to set up Zoom rooms for each attending recruiter who would like to network with your students. Oftentimes, your recruiters can provide their own virtual meeting rooms that you can then share with students.
One important consideration is to make sure that the number of attendees in each of these video rooms is small enough so that intimate conversations can take place. If there are too many students in one room, it will be difficult to network properly.
If you would like to offer a more intimate experience where both students and recruiters can have 1-on-1 engagements, you will need to utilize a solution that can help facilitate the logistics of scheduling and providing these 1-on-1 sessions.
To illustrate, Eventus.io offers a scheduling system for both 1-on-1 video chats as well as group chats so that students can book times convenient for them based on a recruiter’s availability.
When powering a networking fair with 1-on-1 sessions, the key to success is an organized schedule. Students need to know which recruiters that they’re speaking with and vice versa during your event.
Although this may require more up front cost and preparation, the end result is that your students will get high-touch engagements with your attending recruiters and alumni.
Because of the pandemic, students can’t sit at a networking table and speak with a visiting recruiter; however, they can do the virtual equivalent by participating in a virtual networking fair.
With ample virtual platforms like Zoom and Eventus.io available, you can still provide a solid networking experience through group and 1-on-1 video chat sessions.