The benefits fair is a staple of human resources. It’s when employees gather to learn about your company’s benefits, ask questions and enroll for the first time (for new hires) or make changes to their existing benefits. In today’s hybrid and global workforce, hosting exclusively in-person benefits fairs may not equip your team to offer this valuable event to all of your employees. Enter the virtual benefits fair: All the information and support your employees have come to expect, but now hosted online to ensure accessibility for all of your employees, regardless of where they work.
Why Offer Virtual Benefits Fairs?
Virtual benefits and wellness fairs can help you educate employees on the benefits you offer, give them opportunities to ask questions privately and encourage employees to utilize the benefits available to them. Plus, they can educate employees about benefits they may not realize they have access to, helping boost retention.
In addition, using a virtual event on the Radancy Talent Acquisition Cloud to host benefits fairs enables your team to go beyond open enrollment and regularly host these sessions throughout the year to drive adoption of key benefits and offer an inexpensive, convenient way to market your benefits to new employees as they join.
How Often to Host Virtual Benefits Fairs
We recommend hosting a virtual benefits fair for annual enrollment, as well as offering a cadence of virtual benefits events that spotlight a specific benefit (i.e., mental health coverage) with provider reps on-hand to present/answer questions. Many employers are seeing great results from hosting regular virtual benefits office hours where employees can chat 1:1 with a benefits administrator, so they can learn more about their coverage, ask questions and get help with coverage changes. This helps both current employees and new employees access the information they want and need about getting the most out of your benefits. This is a critical strategy for bringing important elements of your branded candidate experience to life.
The Benefits of Hosting Virtual Benefits Fairs
Since virtual events like this can be easily accessed from any location with an internet connection and on a variety of devices, your employees can participate from the comfort of their homes, remote offices or wherever else they find themselves right now. Likewise, your benefits team won’t need to travel to satellite offices to give the same speech over and over. You can include all your employees in the same event, saving everyone time and money.
A virtual benefits fair can offer more than the traditional presentation-based webinar you may be familiar with. With today’s innovations in event technology and video, your virtual benefits fair can be just as personable – and personal – as in-person benefits fairs.
How to Host a Virtual Benefits Fair with Radancy’s Hiring Events
Let’s look at how to host a virtual benefits fair and ensure it’s a success.
1) Select a Virtual Benefits Fair Technology
Give your human resources team the power to host engaging virtual benefits fairs that educate your employees while allowing your team to be readily available. Powered by the Radancy Talent Acquisition Cloud, our advanced hiring events technology provides a complete event solution and seamlessly integrates into your overall recruiting strategy, streamlining the process. Optimized for one-on-one conversations, large-scale presentations and everything in between, Radancy’s Hiring Events technology enables you to broadcast live webinars and panel-style presentations from benefits specialists, host interactive education programs for new employees during open enrollment periods, create group networking videos, host subject matter Q&As and so much more.
With Radancy’s Hiring Events, you’ll get:
- A customizable virtual environment and content that reinforces your brand
- The ability to host live broadcast video to attendees and record it to provide to those unable to attend the event
- Flexibility for employees to use text, audio or video conversation to chat with benefits specialists and vendor experts
- The ability to invite representatives from vendor companies to serve as booth reps in addition to members of your own HR team
- Secure conversations that allow for employees to discuss their personal circumstances with providers
- An intuitive user experience that equips employees to navigate between live broadcasts, informational booths and one-on-one chats with specialists
- Improved accessibility for your employees regardless of geographic location
- A desktop- and mobile-friendly experience that can integrate with single-sign-on and make employee registration seamless
- An event dashboard providing a wide array of tracking and reporting tools, including post-event metrics and follow-up tools
- And more!
2) Organize Your Benefits Fair & Schedule Conversations in Advance
While some employees may just be looking for basic benefits information, such as materials or presentations they could access in the resources tabs of vendor booths, others may want a deeper dive into the various services and requirements offered by certain partner vendors, or may have specific questions that they need addressed. With Hiring Events, you can do both! With features like Scheduled Chat, attending representatives can offer the ability for employees to schedule one-to-one time during the event in advance, reducing the need to schedule one-off calls on an ad-hoc basis.
Vendors may also wish to host topical workshops, Q&As, discussions or presentations that are better conducted in smaller groups. For that, Radancy’s Hiring Events technology also offers Group Video as a way to host interactive meetings or sessions with multiple attendees at once, in addition to larger broadcast video booths, which allow you to broadcast live videos to large numbers of attendees.
These different booth options not only let vendors know how many representatives to staff well before the start of the event in a way that uses their time most efficiently, but also allows for more personalized interactions to make the benefits fair experience all the more valuable and engaging to attending employees.
You also need to prepare your presenters, including both internal and external benefits experts before the event. Ensure that vendor benefits plan messaging aligns with that of your organization. Send training materials to your benefits vendors in advance so that they know how to set up their booth with the appropriate materials and how to use the communication options. Make sure they know how to get help during the event if they run into any issues. Our live chat is a great way to make sure your guests get fast, easy-to-reach technical support. Designating a staff member as a point person for other questions about your specific event should have you covered.
3) Make a Marketing Plan for Your Virtual Benefits Fair
Just like with virtual recruiting events, you need to create a plan for getting the word out on all internal communication channels about your virtual benefits fair. This is a great way to share your organization’s benefits options for new employees and during open enrollment. Once you set the date, work with your organization’s communication team to help spread the word through employee newsletters and intranet sites, as well as emails and physical marketing materials. Remind managers to mention the event in staff meetings as well.
4) Craft a Welcome Message
Every great virtual benefits fair begins with a welcome message to employees. Radancy’s Hiring Events broadcast video feature is the perfect tool for delivering a welcome message in your online event, typically hosted by your benefits manager or administrator.
The presentation should let employees know about any big changes, key features or new offerings, and explain the structure of the benefits fair and include tips on using the technology or where to go for help.
Schedule your online benefits fair to last three to six hours, to give employees with different schedules a chance to join when it’s the right time for them. You may decide to broadcast the welcome message live at the beginning of the event, but make sure to save the video so employees who join later can still see it.
5) Determine How Many and Which Booths You’ll Need
Ideally, you’ll have at least one vendor booth for each benefits provider, if they have representatives available and willing to participate. Invite all your benefits vendors, including medical, dental, retirement savings, life insurance, gyms and even internal wellness programs staffed by your team. Each booth can be a different type of interaction, so vendors can tailor the experience to fit their brand, goals and communication style. Our virtual booths can be set up in multiple ways during a live event, such as text only, text, video and audio, live video broadcasts, group video, and open networking booths, to mention a few. Some vendors may wish to have multiple types of booths to provide different ways to connect with attendees, and your organization may also wish to set up several booth types so your team can also connect directly with attendees as well.
If benefits providers aren’t participating, you may still want to have a booth for each plan or offering, and staff it with an internal benefits team member who can answer employees’ questions about general benefits choices or that particular plan or option.
6) Answer All the Questions
Employees typically come to benefits fairs with a lot of questions, ranging from plan coverage to copays to tax issues. Offer multiple options for employees to ask questions and consider sending a pre-event survey to collect questions ahead of time so you can proactively answer broad questions in your initial presentation. Radancy’s Hiring Events technology makes it possible for participants to submit questions during live Q&A sessions or to schedule one-on-one meetings with a benefits administrator to ask questions later.
Also consider how to drive engagement and make your virtual benefits fair fun. Consider challenging employees to do a scavenger hunt or create a digital passport they can get ‘stamped’ at each booth, to encourage employees to visit every booth. Feature Open Networking Booths to encourage attendees from different departments to connect with one another in between presentations. At the end of the event, you can even raffle off some fun prizes to encourage participation (make sure you advertise this when you promote the event).
7) Follow Up
Of course, you’ll still want to make sure that all your employees have received the benefits information they need. But unlike traditional benefits fairs, virtual ones can actually help you keep track of who showed up. Use Radancy’s event analytics to see who attended the event, and follow up with those who missed it to schedule one-on-one meetings if necessary. Record any broadcasts of presentations so you can easily share them with people who missed the live event. You can also use follow ups to remind employees of submission deadlines for new enrollments and changes, as well as any other updates they need to know.
Many Benefits of Virtual Events
As the way we work continues to evolve, with more and more need to connect virtual and hybrid teammates to the organization in interactive online experiences, we’re continually amazed and impressed by the creative ways our customers are using our virtual events technology, and we’ll keep sharing the great examples as we learn about them. Hosting a virtual benefits fair shows your employees you’re committed to their safety as well as their continued access to crucial health benefits and other employee perks. You may not be able to solve all the problems of the world, but you can do a lot to support your employees and let them know you care. A virtual benefits fair is just the tip of the iceberg.
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