Virtual events allow employers to cultivate brand awareness and engage with students from all backgrounds, disciplines, and interests. Students can also connect with your brand and organization in a meaningful way and ask live questions, see offices, and interact with employees in real time.
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Setting up a virtual event
1. Click on Events from the left navigation bar.
2. Click on Request Event in the top right corner of the page.
3. Select Virtual as the format, and include the URL to your online event in the Web Host URL text box.
- The URL should be a link to the livestream platform you will be using for this event.
The event will be immediately approved upon creation if a host school isn't selected — this is because you "own" the event. However, to make your event searchable on Handshake, you must select either a host school or invite a school(s) to promote your event.
Once approved, your event will appear on the school's event board and students will be able to find and register for your event. For additional details on requesting an event in Handshake, refer to How to Request an Event.
Types of virtual events
- Office tour
- If your office is open, highlight what a day in the life of an intern or new college grad would be like. If your office is currently closed, share any videos you might have on YouTube that showcase everyday life.
- Show the fun aspects that make being in your office exciting and rewarding. These should be pre-recorded so that there aren’t any issues with content or employee consent.
- AMA (Ask Me Anything)
- Host this session with a recruiter or advocate as well as a moderator.
- Allow students to ask questions about the interview process and timeline, employer perks, culture, mentorship, career growth, and overall company sentiment. Come prepared with a list of FAQs to help respond to questions and deliver maximum insight for your attendees.
- Employee panel
- Feature recent grads or alumni — students like to hear from people with similar backgrounds and experiences. Ask a moderator to prepare a few pre-canned questions about their journey from college to career, experience at the organization, and why they are most proud of their work. This will help the panel answer questions that may arise.
- ERGs (Employee Resource Groups)
- Leverage internal ERGs to show potential candidates how the company is committed to creating an inclusive workplace — where each individual has a community to lean on.
Identify your livestream platform
Once you’ve decided on the type of virtual event you’ll be hosting, the next step is to decide on a livestream platform. Handshake does not offer live streaming. However, you can post your external event or webinar link.
Many of our employer partners leverage platforms such as WebEx, GoToMeeting, YouTube Live, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facebook Live, and Instagram TV.
General tips and best practices
- The best days of the week to host a virtual event are Tuesdays through Thursdays. If you are inviting students nationally, consider hosting the event during a convenient time across time zones (generally 3-6 pm ET). If you’re inviting students regionally, 11 am local time works best.
- Events should be a maximum of 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of QA to keep students alert and engaged.
- Keep your events authentic — the less scripted the better. Students want to hear from current employees in a personalized and casual way.
- Like with any virtual event or webinar, there will be a drop-off from RSVP to attendee. Marketing experts advise preparing for a 40% drop-off.
During an Event
- Test audio and video: Ask a fellow employee to log in as an attendee to help test your audio and video — about 20 minutes before your event.
- Track who attends: Virtual event attendees are leads just like students who stop by in person at your career fair booth. Make sure you track who shows up.
- Check to see if your livestream platform allows for an attendee download. Many livestream platforms let you download a CSV file so you can track the names and emails of those who attended.
- Monitor chat questions: Chat questions— just like live questions— are a great indicator of interest. Make sure there's a moderator alongside your host or co-hosts to facilitate the conversation.
After an Event
Follow up with your attendees and absentees
- Use Handshake’s Event Attendee Page to follow up with attendees en masse.
- Consider tying your call to action (i.e. what you want talent to do after your event) with your post-event follow-up. We recommend sending separate follow-ups to attendees and no-shows.
- For attendees, we recommend a follow-up message recapping content and sharing your call to action, like a link to apply to an open job.
- For folks who couldn’t attend, we recommend a follow-up message and sharing your call to action.
Track virtual event attendees all the way to hire
If you direct candidates to a job to apply, make sure you’re including a source code so that you can track candidates from RSVP to attendees to hire. If this is your first event, tracking attendees through your hiring funnel is a great way to demonstrate the potential success of your first virtual event to leadership.