Virtual vs. physical events

Get a quick overview of the differences between a traditional physical event and a virtual job fair.

Written By Luisa Pfleiderer (Super Administrator)

Updated at December 27th, 2021

If you are new to virtual career fairs this article will give you a quick overview of the differences between a traditional physical event and a virtual job fair.

Both virtual and physical fairs offer value to the participant –  each just promises something different. Here we have shortened it down to the 3 key differences and to help you consider what virtual career fairs can do for you.

1. Ease of access

  • Virtual career fair:
    The main and undeniable advantage of virtual fairs is the ease of access. Even if your address is “the North Pole”, you can still scout job opportunities with companies from every corner of the globe (provided that you have a decent wifi connection up there). Without the stress and strains of a big physical event, you can focus on making the most of your opportunities.

  • Physical career fair:
    To attend any traditional jobs fair you need to get there first, which means being limited by travel. This isn’t just a factor for you, it applies to employers too. If a company doesn’t attend the (offline) career fair you’re at, you can wave goodbye to your chances of talking to them.

2. Making contact 

  • Virtual career fair:
    It is easier to find the right people to talk to! Go visit the company stalls prior to the event and get an overview of whom you find interesting. Since you will be meeting companies digitally and communicating using online messages, quality of writing should be your top priority here. Be prepared to chat your way to a concrete job offer or the start of a promising recruitment process. At an online fair, you'll have the chance to really think everything through before sending your message.

  • Physical career fair:
    As you will be meeting company representatives face to face, they will inevitably put more emphasis on your interpersonal skills. You'll have the chance to charm potential employers with your confidence and personality. Additionally, you'll also have the chance to meet other job seekers and grow your network in the traditional manner.

3. Efficiency 

  • Virtual career fair:
    The companies have the chance to preselect the people they want to talk to based on the attendees’ online profiles. (This is to ensure they speak to the most relevant people). As a result, the process is very time-efficient for both parties – giving participants a better chance of ensuring they get to speak to the companies they have their eye on.

    For recruiters, knowing clearly who they are speaking to can help facilitate dialogue, meaning a greater willingness to engage in a valuable conversation. And one that might just result in a job offer, or an invitation to an interview.

  • Physical career fair:
    Usually, the main aim of attending a traditional career fair is not to walk out with a new job already secured. It’s about getting to know the companies and gaining unique first-hand insight into how they operate. You may spend a great deal of time in line only to find out that there is no chemistry between you and a certain company representative.