How much does it cost to host a virtual career fair?

Jul 10, 2020 - Cat DiStasio

If you’ve read any of our previous articles on virtual career fairs, you know one of the biggest benefits of a virtual career fair is how cost effective they can be. The bottom line is that a virtual career fair can be a lot less expensive than a traditional in-person career fair, considering you’ll never have to rent a venue or purchase airline tickets to host one.

But there still is a cost and there are a variety of factors that affect pricing. Generally speaking, the larger a virtual career fair is, the more it will cost. The more recruiters, the more employers, or the more attendees you have will likely lead to an increase in the expense.

You’re probably still asking: how much does it actually cost to host a virtual career fair? Well, the precise cost of a virtual career fair is controlled by a number of contributing factors, and learning about each one is key to understanding the total cost of a virtual career fair. So let’s explore all the major contributors and give you a better idea of what influences the cost of a virtual recruiting event.

What type of virtual career fair host are you?

The first step to understanding the potential cost of a virtual career fair is to define what type of event you’ll be hosting. All virtual career fair hosts fall into one of the following three categories.

  1. First and perhaps the most common, there are single-company hosts, which are hiring companies who are directly recruiting candidates to work in positions at that company.
  2. The second category is university career fair hosts, which typically means a career services or alumni relations department, and they host events that connect students and recent graduates to job opportunities at multiple companies.
  3. The last category of virtual career fair hosts is job boards, membership or workforce groups, which are sometimes government departments, who host events to connect job seekers to potential employers, often in a geographically specific area or a defined job category.

Once you’ve determined which of these categories you belong to, you can continue reading to learn how virtual career fair pricing changes with each.

Single-company virtual career fair hosts

If you’re in this category, you run the show. Your virtual career fairs feature job openings for one employer: your organization. For hosts in this category, virtual career fair platforms typically charge a base fee, structured on an annual basis, which includes an unlimited number of events. The fee is typically based on the number of recruiter “seats” (licenses), which means smaller recruiting teams would pay less and larger teams (up to unlimited seats) would pay more.

There are a number of other features that vendors charge for separately that could increase the cost, depending on which options you add. Will your virtual career fair be a text-only (i.e. online chat) event? Or will you also incorporate video features? Perhaps you’re going one more level and using a webinar or broadcast feature to enhance your virtual recruiting events. Each level of features comes with its own additional fee, which is typically assessed per seat.

University virtual career fair hosts

Hosting a multi-employer virtual career fair is a common way for universities to help students, recent grads, and alumni take their career to the next level. Unlike a single-employer event, which essentially has just one employer sponsor, university virtual career fairs have multiple booths, typically one for each featured employer. In some cases, an employer might want to run multiple booths, if they wanted to use one booth for a webinar-style presentation and then send candidates over to a separate chat booth to engage with recruiters. For universities, the number of booths usually determines the base fee, as well as the number of sign-ups (i.e. student or alumni job seekers).

As with the single-company category, the level of features also affects the price. It’s important to determine whether each booth will be text only, text and video, or webinar/broadcast, as these fees are assessed per booth for university hosts.

Job boards, memberships, and workforce group virtual career fair hosts

Job boards, memberships, and workforce groups help professionals in a wide variety of industries connect with potential employers. These multi-employer events are priced similarly to university virtual career fairs, based on the number of booths and the number of sign-ups. Again, the larger the event, the higher the fees.

Add-on features come with their own pricing structure, just as with the university category. The host will have to determine if each booth is text-only, text and video, or a webinar/broadcast booth. The fees are assessed per booth.

Saving money with virtual career fairs

Compared to in-person career fairs, virtual job fairs represent a wonderful opportunity to cut costs and improve efficiency. The exact cost of your virtual career fair is determined by the number of employers (or booths), the number of candidates, and the level of virtual career fair features you select.

While this pricing structure may seem complicated, it’s actually a benefit, because it means virtual career fair hosts won’t pay for features they don’t use, and the cost of each event will be proportionate to the size and complexity of that event, rather than an overinflated flat fee that could make virtual career fairs inaccessible for smaller employers or organizations.

Understanding how all these factors affect the cost of your virtual career fairs can help you plan your events more effectively and, if you’re hosting a multi-employer event, you’ll be better equipped to monetize those events to benefit your organization.

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