In-Person vs. Digital Career Fairs: 7 Reasons to Go Virtual

digital career fair

In recent years, Americans have changed the way they work. Zoom meetings, virtual recruiting events, and digital nomads have become the new normal. The workplace has gone digital.

Large events and festivals are going in the same direction. Some of the biggest companies in the world have recently held digital events. So how does this impact recruiting?

Smart talent acquisition professionals are taking their recruitment strategy into the future by replacing physical career fairs with digital options. In fact, 70% of industry professionals believe that virtual hiring events are the new standard.1

Still not convinced? Here are seven reasons to choose a digital job fair over an in-person event.

#1: Lower Costs

If you’re a seasoned talent acquisition professional, you know that in-person hiring events can be pricey to run or even attend. Costs vary based on location, length, and the number of attendees, but the total price tag can be over $25,000. Let’s break down that number.

  • Venue rental: $5,000 – $15,000
  • Technology set-up fees: $1,000
  • Parking: $1,000
  • Catering: $2,000 – $5,000
  • Venue staff: $4,000 – $6,000
  • Event planner: $3,000 – $5000
  • Hotel: $2,000 – $4,000
  • Insurance $100 – $300

It’s easy to see how quickly the costs rise. And they could be even higher depending on hourly or monthly rates. Meanwhile, hiring budgets have been cut in recent years.2

The good news? Digital job fairs offer the same benefits as physical events at a fraction of the cost. For $349 a month, you can run an unlimited number of virtual career fairs with Live Recruit.

#2: Easier & Quicker Setup

While in-person events can take weeks or months of planning, you can set up a virtual event in five minutes or less.

Since everything is virtual, there’s no need for location scouting, clearing your schedule, or booking travel. You can plan your career fair any time, anywhere.

Plus, Live Recruit’s technology makes it easy to:

  • Build customized registration pages
  • Create custom candidate forms
  • Streamline the sign-up process
  • Send email and text reminders
  • Showcase your employer branding

#3: More Convenient for Recruiters

In-person career fairs require a lot of time and effort from recruiters. You need to spend countless hours planning the event. And it doesn’t end there. The day of the fair is usually a high-stress environment that requires set-up time, dealing with logistical problems, and collecting resumes and entering them into a system.

A digital career fair takes the annoying, behind-the-scenes work out of the equation. Everything can be done from the comfort of your office or even your home!

And there’s no need to master a complex platform. Live Recruit is intuitive, easy to use, and designed specifically for recruiters, by recruiters.

#4: Higher Participation & Reach

One of the biggest limitations of in-person job fairs is location. As the world continues to shift into remote work, geography should no longer be a barrier.

If you hold an in-person career fair in Boston, who’s going to attend? Candidates in Boston. With digital career fairs, on the other hand, job-seekers from across the country can take part. On top of that, candidates who lack transportation or don’t have enough time to take off from their current job can easily attend. What does this mean for you? Higher reach and a larger pool of qualified, diverse applicants.

Learn how one company used Live Recruit to engage 30,000+ candidates across the United States, with 70% of candidates interviewed being extended offers.

#5: Increased Efficiency for Employers

In-person career fairs can be overwhelming for employers. Countless applicants, paper resumes, and no time to write notes. With all the chaos, employers can easily lose sight of their top candidates.

Virtual job fairs and recruiting events offer a more organized and efficient process. For example, Live Recruit lets you:

  • Communicate through chat, call, or video
  • See a candidate overview while chatting with them
  • Take notes and rate candidates in real-time
  • Sort candidates based on various criteria
  • Refer candidates to hiring managers within the platform

#6: A Superior Candidate Experience

By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce.3 And what do millennials love? Technology.

Digital careers fairs appeal to millennials and Gen Z because they offer an upgraded experience. Instead of waiting in long lines at a physical fair, candidates can:

  • Easily register for the event online
  • Receive email and text reminders
  • Quickly upload their resume
  • Schedule a time with a recruiter
  • Have one-on-one, stress-free conversations

Candidates also feel more comfortable at virtual events. They can quickly learn about your organization online, watch videos, and explore your job postings. Preparation builds confidence in candidates, leading to more relaxed and enjoyable conversations with recruiters and hiring managers.

If your goal is to attract the top talent across the country, creating a superior experience is a must. The best way to do that? Make it easy for candidates by going virtual.

#7: Better Reporting & Analytics

In-person career fairs are limited when it comes to data and metrics. Recruiters need to spend a significant amount of time uploading resumes to get candidate data, and it’s difficult to track how many candidates you speak to, which ones you liked, and how many are interested in moving forward.

Virtual career fairs, on the other hand, let you:

  • See an overview of your talent pipeline
  • Collect and view comprehensive candidate data
  • Download a meeting schedule
  • Analyze granular data points
  • See which marketing channels performed best
  • Push data into your ATS

Why is all this important? Seeing what worked and what didn’t is the best way to optimize your events and improve your hiring process.

Ready to Plan Your Digital Career Fair?

Now’s the time to go digital. A lot of workplace shifts have taken place in recent years. 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs during the Great Resignation, forcing employers to evolve with the times.4

In today’s hiring environment, finding qualified applicants requires a more modern approach. You need to set your organization apart. Digital career fairs are one of the best ways to do that. Request a Live Recruit demo today and dive into the next level of talent acquisition.


  1. Lewis, G. (2020, October 21). 6 recruiting trends that will shape 2021. LinkedIn.
  2. Chang, J. (2021, December 22). Candidate hiring continues to evolve. Changes to the process are now focused on making job hunting much easier. Financesonline.Com.
  3. Maftean, R. (2021, January 4). HR Statistics: Job Search, Hiring & Recruiting Data 2020. ResumeLab.
  4. Rosenberg, E., Bhattarai, A., & van Dam, A. (2021, October 12). A record number of workers are quitting their jobs, empowered by new leverage. Washington Post.

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