Virtual employee benefit fairs are now a reality because of the desire to better manage remote workers and the rapidly advancing technology
In this ever changing world where smartphones and social media are becoming the primary way that people interact with each other, it makes sense that some businesses would want to host their employee benefit fairs in a virtual environment. An online or virtual employee benefit fair is just as the name suggests, an online service that delivers information about the employees benefits in a benefit fair medium. It also allows employees to interact and ask questions about their company’s benefits. Virtual benefit fairs are typically easier for benefit fair managers to set up because they do not require a lot of logistical work to be done beforehand, but they tend to be poorly attended despite being easy to access. Benefit managers do not have to request conference room space, set up physical tables or coordinate as much with their company’s benefit partners to be able to put on the fair. Virtual benefit fairs also mean that employees do not have to travel into the office to attend, which saves time and money. Online and virtual benefit fairs can connect employees from one office or from anywhere around the world and does a better job of bringing employees together than the in-person version.
What is a Virtual Employee Benefit Fair?
An online or virtual employee benefit fair is just like an in-person benefit fair except that employees can attend it from any internet connected device, even from smartphones. Just like a business version of “Second Life”, virtual employee benefit fairs have online ‘booths’ that employees can click on, to instantly chat with a representative from the company who is offering them their work benefit. Employees can pose specific questions to their healthcare insurance provider or learn more about what kinds of corporate discounts are being exclusively offered to them as a company employee. Some virtual benefit fairs even allow their guests to see who else is online from the company and give them a chance to virtually chat with them as well, which creates a positive feeling of inclusion. The primary idea behind making a benefit fair virtual is to allow employees to get the same access to their benefit partners that they would have done in person, while streamlining the whole process online.
Why an In-Person Employee Benefit Fair is Best
In-person employee benefit fairs are inherently superior to virtual ones as they allow employees to get real face-to-face interactions with their co-workers and the company’s benefit partners. Business executives tend to prefer online benefit fairs to in-person benefit fairs because they are typically a cheaper option, but you get what you pay for as the online fair is typically a lesser experience that in-person. Employees often feel disconnected and sometimes the benefit companies can feel the same way, so the choice of solution is critical. It is important for both parties that they feel they received what they needed out of attending a benefit fair, otherwise they will not come back next time. Another major issue is that the virtual benefit site can crash while the fair is live and the benefit fair manager who would be blamed. In comparison, an in-person benefit fair would never lose connectivity.
Virtual Employee Benefit Fair System Vendors
A number of companies have developed virtual benefit fair systems that help other companies deliver a virtual benefit fair customized to their own corporate requirements. These vendors include:
vFairs is probably the most developed and well thought-out online system for hosting virtual employee benefit fairs. Their service is offered for more than a dozen different types of events including, but not limited to, career fairs, college fairs and trade shows. Their service also comes with an event manager, operations manager, online marketing services and live event support just in case there are any issues during the event.
This service is most like a real life corporate fair experience and this company primarily deals with professional events, like employee benefit fairs. With this user experience, employees ‘walk’ through a fictional office building starting in the main lobby and going from room to room to different meetings. Users are accompanied by a virtual assistant who helps guide them through the fair. They may also ‘walk’ past other employees on their routes and can communicate with them.
6Connex is an all inclusive virtual environment service that has worked with many top US based companies. Their services are always custom designed to their clients needs and no two events they have hosted are exactly the same. Their service works on all platforms including Windows, Mac, desktop, laptop and mobile and is the most expensive service in this genre, but delivers the most customized solution.