Sheffield University Shows What’s Next For Virtual Events

By now you might have gathered we work closely with a number of educational institutions to deliver virtual student recruitment events.

But, some universities are beginning to utilise our sophisticated platform for other events. For example, the University of Sheffield, who have been a client since early 2016, decided to try something new, in the form of a virtual careers fair with some very specific objectives.

Tim Fletcher, Careers Adviser at Sheffield University joined me to explain in more detail.

OUR CHALLENGE

At Sheffield, we’re very committed to supporting students in their search for a career but for some international students wanting to build their career back at home, traditional careers fairs were not attracting enough of the key regional companies, in particular from China.

So, with over 4,000 students from East and South East Asia, we were looking for an alternative time and cost-efficient way to connect these students (which include 2,900 from China) to locally-based companies looking for graduates.

THE SOLUTION

We hosted our first ever virtual careers fair to support students wanting to return to work in South East Asia.

iVent tailored the virtual event platform, which we already use for student recruitment events, to create a bespoke East & South East Asia Careers Fair.

Run over 5 days, the event included presentations, live chat with employers in their booths and documentation on the various companies.

Our objective was to support students looking to return to East & South East Asian countries to work and this virtual event far exceeded our targets in terms of the number of students we engaged.

THE COMPANIES

We worked hard to promote the event to key companies in the regions and the final fair included 33 employers from a wide range of sectors in China, Malaysia and Singapore. These included international and regional companies covering both technical and commercial areas.

The majority of companies who attended the event have said that they would like to feature in future virtual events to connect them with students.

THE DATA

Carrying out a virtual careers event provided us with much more information on student behaviour, such as areas they visited and the types of information they found of interest, which can be used to shape future events.

AND BUILDING ON THIS SUCCESS – WHAT NEXT?

The virtual event felt like a natural fit to connect overseas employers with our students and whilst a fairly new concept in Careers Fairs, I certainly see it as a growth area. So we’re currently in discussions about how we use the platform again for future careers fairs. Our immediate thoughts are that we can expand the number of countries and companies we invite to a virtual event.

So, with a great set of results, including hundreds of students attending and the average session length reaching almost an hour, virtual careers fairs seem the obvious next step in our higher education journey.


COMING SOON: We’re planning a free webinar for universities shortly and will keep you posted.

With over 25 years working in the events industry, Gavin spotted a gap in the market for virtual events and created ivent in 2010. Highly motivated and spurred on by virtual event successes – including launching a client’s product to 60 countries simultaneously – Gavin is an inspiring, down to earth leader with great ideas. If you call him, he’ll happily share his favourite digital events’ highlights…

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