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Enhancing In-Person Career Fairs and Recruiting Events

Our purpose at Career Fair Plus (CF+) is to help event organizers improve outcomes for their job seekers. We listen to employer and candidate feedback to continually improve our recruiting technology.

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Four former college and university recruiters launched CF+ in 2012 based on the shared certainty they could enhance employer and job seeker interactions during in-person recruiting events with proprietary technology.

More than nine years later, millions of applicants have connected with tens of thousands of employers during dozens of different types of recruiting programs.


How to make in-person recruiting events work for you

Before the unanticipated and abrupt shift to online recruiting in 2020, in-person career fairs welcomed employers and candidates, each group ready to shake hands and share basic information. But after more than a year of virtual recruiting, attendees want hosts to carry forward tech-driven features like previewing resumes, exploring company profiles, and scheduling meetings in advance as they resume offering on-site recruiting programs.

Integrating these typically virtual opportunities into in-person events is easier than you think, especially when you partner with Career Fair+.

Let’s start by answering four questions to re-energize your return to in-person recruiting:

Who hosts what type of recruiting events these days?

Leaders in multiple sectors choose a wide variety of in-person, online, or hybrid events. Whether or not you enhance these programs with technology like a companion app, diversifying the types of programs optimizes the recruiting funnel without negatively impacting quality, personal interactions, or cost.
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What is a technology-enhanced in-person career fair?

Sometimes referred to as a digital recruiting event or offering a companion app, a technology-enhanced program optimizes software features to improve the in-person experience. A well-designed, robust recruiting event app (spoiler alert: the CF+ app!) is user-friendly, easy to set up, and includes:

  1. Interactive map(s)
  2. Meeting scheduling
  3. Online employer profiles and job descriptions
  4. Posted candidate profiles and resumes
  5. Jobseeker tips
  6. Push notifications and event announcements or tips
  7. Real-time analytics

Also Helpful:

Save time planning your career fair with the booth assignment tool!


Should I offer a companion app with my in-person recruiting events?

Ideally, you should offer a companion app with your on-site career fairs and other recruiting events if you want to carry preferred features of virtual recruiting into your in-person events. A technology-enhanced program:

Increases efficiency for employers and recruiters

With a platform that includes an interactive map, job seekers know where to meet their priority employers. No more following the crowd or standing in line only to discover the candidate’s engineering degree doesn’t match the firm’s need for graphic designers.

Allows attendees to pre-scheduling meetings 

Having experienced virtual recruiting, employers likely prefer avoiding the random meetings typical of in-person career fairs. A useful companion app should display recruiters’ schedules--and the type of meetings they’re accepting so candidates can reserve 1-on-1 time or a seat in group or informational sessions with their preferred employers.

Offers continual access to available jobs

Candidates can tailor their elevator pitch to each posted job opening, leading to more productive face-to-face conversations.

Provides virtual branding space for employers

A companion app for an in-person recruiting event lets employers showcase their organization in advance. Company videos and messaging typically increases intentional booth traffic, which as a bonus, might simultaneously reduce “swag-only” visits.


Additionally, today’s job seekers evaluate positions on far more than title, salary, and benefits. They’re looking at a completely different type of benefit: how they feel about an employer’s brand and culture. An effective and attractive company profile should answer these common jobseeker questions: 

  • What will I work on, and how will it make a difference in the world?
  • Will I work with a team, and if so, what are they like?
  • What does my career path look like in your company?
  • How does your organization give back to the community?
  • Will you tell me about someone who succeeded in your company that’s similar to me?

Current job seekers also prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) sustainability goals over job status or the number of paid vacation days. So, encourage employers to address these potential deal breakers in their company profiles to maximize in-person recruiting opportunities.

Also Helpful:

Achieve success with a digital career fair

Simplify resume collecting to facilitate day-of and post-event conversations

A companion app lets employers view candidate profiles and resumes to prepare for scheduled meetings. Smart fair organizers are also taking advantage of online recruiting software to help employers and candidates continue these conversations after the live event.

Offering a virtual resume drop feature simplifies resume collection while eliminating overstuffed manilla envelopes or lost cover sheets. Some software programs (spoiler alert again: CF+!) also centralize note-taking and ranking candidates.

Augmenting an in-person event with a feature-rich companion app gives employers and job seekers more information. A well-planned day clarifies expectations which often creates more relaxed and engaging conversations.


How do I plan an on-site recruiting event?

Trust your experience and what you learned hosting virtual recruiting events.

The key tasks are very similar, made easier with time-saving automation, customizable schedules, multiple meeting formats, and a bunch of easy-going, happy people at CF+ ready to help!


Plan ahead. Five to six months is usually enough time to accomplish the following:

  1. Define your event - Will you host a large event or a smaller, targeted program?
  2. Set your budget - Venue rental, A/V equipment, tables, chairs, marketing materials, paid advertising, employer meals or snacks, and printing costs are typical expenses for an in-person event. Also, budget for staff salaries, ground transportation, parking, and meals as needed. Finally, include potential technology costs, too.
  3. Choose your venue - select a space large enough to accommodate registration tables and employer booths as well as the recruiters staffing these tables and, of course, job seekers as well. Your venue needs adequate parking and easy access to unloading/loading areas. And if your budget allows, providing quiet interview spaces is usually appreciated.
  4. Invite employers - recruiters’ schedules finalize quickly, so invite them at least four months in advance.
  5. Market your event - create the webpage, use social media, hang flyers as allowed, and consider posting on job boards
  6. Help candidates prepare and set expectations.
  7. Assign employees and volunteers their planning and day-of tasks


  1. Ready your check-in location 
  2. Confirm your staff and volunteers are in position and know what they need to do when
  3. Help coordinate employer booth setup
  4. Provide a help desk (another spoiler alert: CF+ is really helpful with this part!)


  1. Send thank you notes to your team and employers
  2. Solicit feedback from attendees
  3. Share what you learned with your team and save it for future reference
  4. Invite CF+ to your next planning meeting. We’re delightful and quite helpful guests!

Also Helpful:

10 Career Fair Questions We Hear a Lot

CF+ supports your in-person events. We also help you host virtual recruiting programs, and our proprietary platform elevates your hybrid recruiting.

Our software is easy to use, and we work as hard as our customers do to deliver productive, rewarding, and cost-efficient recruiting events. Bring it all together, and Career Fair+ is uniquely positioned to help you host rewarding in-person, virtual, and hybrid career fairs.

Schedule a call with one of our super-friendly problem solvers who can explain it all. (That’s a thank you rhyme for reading this whole blog!)

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