How to use Brazen to host a virtual benefits fair

Aug 17, 2020 - Cat DiStasio

Our platform hosts hundreds of virtual events each month. While many of our clients use our tools to recruit new employees, there’s a growing trend amongst companies using virtual events to support their existing workforce. Virtual benefits fairs are a creative way to use Brazen to distribute information to employees while maintaining social distancing standards, and it’s a perfect fit for organizations with employees at multiple locations or who are working remotely.

We explored the best practices for virtual benefits fairs on the blog earlier this year, and today we’re diving deeper by outlining a step-by-step guide to hosting virtual benefits fairs on the Brazen platform. Beware, though. Once you read this article, you may feel inspired to start planning your own virtual benefits fair. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. But it’ll be worth it.

Step 1: Make a marketing plan for your virtual benefits fair

Just like recruiting events, you need to create a plan for getting the word out about your online benefits fair. Once you set the date, work with your organization’s communication team to help spread the word through employee newsletters and intranet sites, as well as emails and physical marketing materials. Remind managers to mention the event in staff meetings as well.

You also need to prepare your presenters before the event. Send training materials to your benefits vendors in advance so that they know how to set up their booth with the appropriate materials and how to use the communication options. Make sure they know how to get help during the event if they run into any issues. Designating a staff member as a point person for questions is typically a good approach.

Step 2: Craft your welcome message

Every great virtual benefits fair begins with a welcome message to employees. Brazen’s Broadcast video feature is the perfect tool for delivering a welcome message, typically by your benefits manager or administrator. The message should let employees know about any big changes or new offerings, and explain the structure of the benefits fair and include tips on using the platform or where to go for help.

Schedule your online benefits fair to last three to six hours, to give employees with different schedules a chance to join when it's the right time for them. You may decide to broadcast the welcome message live at the beginning of the event, but make sure to save the video so employees who join later can still see it.

Step 3: Determine how many booths you’ll need

Ideally, you’ll have one booth for each benefits vendor or provider, if they have representatives available and willing to participate. Invite all your benefits vendors, including medical, dental, retirement savings, life insurance, gyms, and even internal wellness programs staffed by your team. Each booth can be a different type of interaction, so vendors can tailor the experience to fit their brand. A booth can be set up as text only, audio only, video (Broadcast or one-on-one video chat), and even webinars/presentations.

If providers aren’t participating, you may still want to have a booth for each plan or offering, and staff it with a benefits team member who can answer employees’ questions about that particular plan or option.

Step 4: Answer all the questions

Employees typically come to benefits fairs with a lot of questions, ranging from plan coverage to copays to tax issues. Offer multiple options for employees to ask questions. The Brazen platform makes it possible for participants to submit questions anonymously in advance, during live Q&A sessions, or to schedule one-on-one meetings with a benefits administrator to ask questions later.

Sharing a metric ton of benefits information doesn’t exactly sound like a party, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your virtual benefits fair fun. Consider challenging employees to do a scavenger hunt, or create a digital passport they can get ‘stamped’ at each booth, to encourage employees to visit every booth. At the end of the event, you can even raffle off some fun prizes to encourage participation (make sure you advertise this when you promote the event).

Step 5: Follow up

Of course, you’ll still want to make sure that all your employees have received the benefits information they need. Use Brazen’s event analytics to see who attended the event, and follow up with those who missed it to schedule one-on-one meetings if necessary. You can also use follow ups to remind employees of submission deadlines for new enrollments and changes, as well as any other updates they need to know.

Many benefits of virtual events

We’re all doing the best we can during this confusing, stressful time. We’re continually amazed and impressed by the creative ways our clients are using our virtual events platform, and we’ll keep sharing the great examples as we learn about them. Hosting a virtual benefits fair shows your employees you’re committed to their safety as well as their continued access to crucial health benefits and other employee perks. You may not be able to solve all the problems of the world but you can do a lot to support your employees and let them know you care. A virtual benefits fair is just the tip of the iceberg.