Handshake — the platform that the Stony Brook University Career Center uses to help students find employment — published a study on the Center’s efforts to successfully promote its virtual career fairs. In Fall 2020 the Center hosted five virtual industry-related job and internship fairs in Handshake. Across all five events, more than 1,600 students attended, forming more than 5,000 connections with employers.
The team’s virtual fair marketing strategy was key to their success as they created much of the content and programming themselves.
“The virtual fairs we conducted this semester provided an amazing opportunity for us to think differently about how we could facilitate connections between students and employers,” said Marianna Savoca, Assistant Vice President for Career Development and Experiential Education. “We attracted a diverse representation of employers that included many organizations new to recruiting at SBU, and the tool allowed for more planful and meaningful 1:1 sessions. Our marketing team put together an incredibly comprehensive plan that built anticipation for the opening of schedules including a daily countdown and incorporated key stakeholders including live Instagram sessions with academic deans, faculty members, and employers. The virtual platform allowed for more access and resulted in increased engagement with students and alumni from diverse academic and demographic backgrounds.”
Here are five unique strategies that the team used to drive students to attend the fairs:
- Build hype around key dates
- Share short virtual fair walkthroughs
- Host an Instagram Live series
- Highlight tips from employers
- Send personalized reminders