The year 2020 has forced all of us try and adopt smarter ways of doing things beyond the extent to which we would have ever imagined. The world has become more familiar and comfortable with the virtual ways of keeping the business going as usual. People have become more tech savvy, Work from home and online learning has become the new normal, networking by maintaining social distancing is something most of us have become used to by now. The higher education space has seen rapid technology adoption in the last few months and more so with high demand for virtual career fairs.
Since physical career fairs are not possible in the near future, almost all the institutes are planning for their career fair to be virtual. Most of the institutions would be doing the virtual career fair for the first time and hence are worried about the teething problems they may come across. Virtual Career Fairs are a welcome change for the higher education sector. The institutes can save logistics cost and engage more students and employers by conducting virtual career fair. Virtual career fairs are technology driven and having a robust technology platform is highly essential to conduct a virtual career fair successfully.
Lets look at some of the basic attributes that one should look for while evaluating a virtual career fair solution:
- Say no to newly baked collaboration tools: The collaboration tool is the most critical component in a virtual career fair solution. When you select a platform to run the virtual career fair, ensure that the meeting or the collaboration tool utilized in the platform is not a ‘fresh from the oven’ technology. The tool should have stood the test of time and widely used. Always choose a solution that has an enterprise grade collaboration tool so that you don’t face any trouble during the fair because of technology failure.
- Zero Restrictions: The virtual career fair platform should not restrict the event organizer in any manner. Many solutions available in the market have restrictions on the number of fairs that can be conducted, limits on duration of the fair, cap on the number of group sessions and one on one sessions during the fair etc. As an event organizer, you should always look for solutions that do not impose restrictions on the way you want to plan and conduct the event. A no restriction platform will give you a lot of flexibility in organizing the event. You could do a one hour event or a 30 days event – the platform should support you.
- Scalability: The solution to be used for a virtual career fair should be scalable and should support high volume of traffic and parallel meetings. The collaboration component on the virtual career fair solution should be robust enough to support heavy usage at any given point in time. Similarly, you should ensure the solution is hosted on trusted, enterprise grade elastic cloud which can handle heavy traffic.
- Minimum graphics: Several virtual career fair solutions provide graphics intensive user interfaces and even 3D virtualization of event halls and booths. Such solutions would look attractive but can be heavy on the network and consume high internet bandwidth which could make it difficult for students who may not have super-fast internet connections to use such jazzy applications. This will also not work on mobile devices. It is advisable to have a virtual career fair solution which is not graphics intensive and works on average internet speeds.
- Everywhere use: The virtual career fair solution should be designed for everywhere use. It should work on any device – either as a desktop or mobile app or on any browser. There should not be dependency on high end laptops or smartphones to join the fair which will make it easier for students.