Next Level Events With Veertly - How to have unique and engaging virtual career fairs

43 min read


Next Level Events With Veertly brings the latest insights from the online event industry for those who want to level up with their virtual or hybrid events. We interview experts worldwide and share their vision on how to create better and more engaging virtual or hybrid events. 


In this episode, we discuss the importance of knowing yourself and finding your own ‘superpowers’ to excel in the workplace. Our guest, Dawne Warner is an HR expert and a coach whose primary role is assisting individuals and leaders to learn how to build healthy relationships and achieve the results that they desire. Dawne will also give us an insight on how to create engaging and unique virtual career fairs.


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Dawne Warner is a coach, speaker, motivator, HR, and an employer and community engagement expert at the University of Saskatchewan. She has over 20 years of experience inside large and mid-size organizations (private, public, and corporate) and has successfully motivated people to strive for their personal best. Through her work, she has assisted individuals, students, managers, and leaders of all ages in learning how to become keen observers, build healthy relationships and achieve the desired results.  

Today, Dawne works with individuals, groups, and organizations that want to create positive, productive, and healthy change in the world.  

Connect with Dawne on LinkedIn here  |  Visit Dawne’s website here  |  Find Dawne on Guidely here


Dawne podcast quote 1  (2)“In order to succeed, you need to get to know yourself. Everyone is different and everyone has that special superpower. Find yours!” 

The first step is to take your time, find the support and resources to help you identify what are your skills and your abilities. What are your superpowers? It’s important to note that those gifts are hard to identify because we're just born that way. We assume that everyone is like that, whereas the truth is everyone is different. That's really the core of who we are.  

Reach out to a career coach and ask and for personality to really understand your own skills and gifts. 



_Dawne podcast quote 2  (2)“What employees really want more than anything are meaningful connections and relation to companies’ values. This is where employers fall short.  They forget to brand themselves” 

Where employers fall short is forgetting to brand themselves.  There are a lot of companies out there who think that just because they are a big company, people will come work for them. That is not true. People want meaningful connections and are going back to the place of values. They ask themselves “will you value us?”.  

Don't just put things out there that speak about your mission and vision. Ask yourself, how are you really showing up authentically?  



_Dawne podcast quote 3  (2)“I believe that the future of work will be hybrid. Technology and the ability to make interaction virtually is becoming much more comfortable” 

 The future of work is going to be hybrid. It’s going there because we are already getting more comfortable with it, especially regarding interviewing, which I think is great. So instead, of people having to travel across cities and limiting themselves in applications, you can now do everything virtually.  Even before COVID19, we started conducting interviews online.  

As we continue to build the technology and the ability to make interaction virtually more comfortable, and we will also get more comfortable with it. This way you can keep the global market open, and you get to talk and connect with people around the world. Companies are now able to hire internationally, all around the world.  



Dawne podcast quote 4 (1)“Moving career fairs virtually has allowed me to bring even more people together than I would with an in-person event. I finally have enough space and time, and can connect anyone from anywhere” 

 Doing career fairs virtually has enabled our alumni to attend a career fair from wherever they might be in the world. With in-person career fairs, our alumni could only attend if they were only a few hours away from the university, and we have over 10,000 alumni who are currently living and working outside of Saskatchewan.  







Intro: Hello and welcome. You are listening to The Veertly Show, a podcast that brings you the latest insights from the online and hybrid event industry. You will listen to experts worldwide who share their visions, thoughts and ideas on how to create better, engaging and unique virtual or hybrid events. This episode has been brought to you by Veertly, the most flexible platform for your hybrid and online events and digital interactions. 

Peter: Well, hello and welcome to The Veertly Show. I'm your host, Peter Benei director of marketing at Veertly. At Veertly our goal is to provide the most flexible platform for hybrid and online events and digital interactions. On our show, we talk with leaders in the event industry and beyond to provide more insights on how you can have better, more engaging, more interactive, and more fulfilling events. Today's guest is Dawne Warner. She's an HR expert from the University of Saskatchewan. I hope I pronounced it right. And the coach who helps others to become the change they want to see in the world. Hi Dawne, welcome to the show.  

Dawne: Hi, Peter.  Thanks for having me  

Peter: Love to have you here and welcome all of our attendees and guests on the show. I hope you will enjoy today's episode. So how are you doing Dawne?  

Dawne: I'm doing great. It's morning for me. So it's like 10 30, just have fruit and coffee and yeah, this is a new experience. I've done Zoom, MS, but never podcast. 

Peter: Lovely to have you here. So we start our show with a short intro on our guests and we figured it would be best if the guests themselves described the work they do. So if you don't mind, could you give us a short intro, please? On what you do and what are you up to at the University of Saskatchewan? 

Dawne: Sure. I give you a little bit about my Like you said, HR was definitely the core part of my career until about five years ago. I pivoted from HR mound to coaching and went on my own as a consultant. And it was really insightful. Well, I did it during the recession, so it's taken me kick back a bit and pivoted by her to where I am today with the University of Saskatchewan. And it was a big shift of see academia working with students. So today what I'm doing is I work with the students helping them transition from being a student to going into the workforce. As well, as on the side, I do life and personal development.  

Peter: You do help the students at the University of Saskatchewan, but also you do personal development coaching and just to quickly confirm how does that, how does it differ from each other? So the personal development coaching compared to the work that you do with students and how is it similar in terms of. Inspiring people to meet their aspirations. And that's a really interesting topic to discuss.  

Dawne: Yeah. To be honest, they kind of overlap, but the scope of my job with the University of Saskatchewan is really career-focused. So it really, the focus is around students that are now getting ready to graduate, to transition into the workplace, or find a work placement. Right. So really working on their networking. Connection job search. That's my daytime role, I guess. People, my HR definitely helps with that. My nighttime or my side hustle as I call it. That I have definitely a lot more room to explore. So this is where I can step in to do all the things I've just talked about. But I also can take you deeper in terms of understanding yourself, what are those barriers blocks holding you back from probably living the life that you want, getting the career that you want. So I just can go a lot deeper with you and that's what I love. And that's why stepping away from HR was really key for me because. It kept me in the box-like, and I had to, my role was what it was, but did my side coaching. I found there was a lot of people really struggling with mental health issues being blocked by different life, things that were impacting them from moving forward and taking the courage to go forward. So that's why. I love, I guess my nighttime evening work because I really can go deeper with people that are ready to unblock that stuff. But still saying that within my day job, I help a lot of students. Like just before I hopped on here, I got a great email from a grad student or master's student that was trying to get a job in his industry, the water industry. And I walked him through how to do the job, search, how to have conversations with these employers, understand all of the backgrounds. From the employer's side, how to then, you know, put their best foot forward. He got offered the job, so he's thrilled. So yeah. I love those stories and I get a number of them. 

Peter: Yeah. And what do you think, what are the shall we say, because some people are moving from the grad. So you didn't get it ready to fresh, fresh graduates to the job workforce for the first time. What are the main issues that they are facing? Is it because maybe I'm just guessing from my old days, what I had that you had more and bigger dreams and that's been higher aspirations, and then you entered the workforce and you just like dial it down. Because you know, like the real-life is kind of like tough compared to the two-year dreams in the uni, or do you have anything else, like an example like that maybe?  

Dawne: Well, you know, what, what I find and it's, it's basic, but the complex is the biggest issue. All of us have whatever stage for the career fair is we don't understand ourselves and we don't know how to articulate. Our skills or abilities, our dreams or goals or passion. And so the one step we seem to skip is like, I'll get a job, and then we'll figure me out. And that's the biggest misstep. And so my biggest takeaway for anyone today is to really succeed in the workplace or succeed in life is getting to know you. So if you know what your strengths, your weaknesses, what you like, what you don't. Then when you're looking at jobs and companies, you can say, okay, that company resonates with it. They're like, oh, I don't believe in what they're doing. And you know, you can then look at jobs that maybe aren't your dream job, but say, oh, those aspects of it, I can see how can transfer my skills there. And I could see how that could get me maybe to the next step of where I want to go. Because the career prep is not a straight line. Like, I know everybody thinks as you go to school, you get your dream job, you get the family you retire. Well, I don't think for 99% of the population that happens, like I'm a sociology major. Never had HR on my right. And because of a manager that saw the gifts and skills in me, he actually tapped me on the shoulder and said, Dawne, here's where you need to go. And I was like, I'm not qualified. He's like, yes you are. And you know, I didn't know about HR when I was 18. Like I have no clue. Right. It's stumbled into university. I knew what I liked and stuff. And now looking back I'm like it was the right profession. It was the right area. Cause I love people. I love inspiring supporting, advocating. But I didn't know that at 18.  

Peter: And, but did you understand that you will have a career in HR once you actually graduated from the uni?  

Dawne: No, I, I didn't even know then a bachelor of sociology. I'm like probably a lot of students that get your resume and you look at, and you're like, okay, I need a job, but I've only done restaurant. I've only worked in retail. I've only done construction. Well, this doesn't mean anything like my gosh, I'm going to a professional business. Like this is horrible. And that's my perception. So when I looked at a resume and I'm like my boyfriend at the time, he has commerce experience, so he could put down and he could do a county and he could do finance. So it was like, wow, he's better than me. Like, he's thought these skills and now, and that's why I want to talk to all these people. If they're like, oh my gosh, you've got amazing skills. If you've done retail, customer service, we know Peter, right, dealing with people and conflict and emotion and how they show up. And making them feel important, heard, and supporting them. That's major servers deal with that every day, but you have to be able to take your skills, your life experiences, and connect those dots to that job posting and show to that employer. Here are the skills, the life experience I've had here, how it connects to that job of what you're needing and wanting. And here's how it connects to the vision of your company. And if you can connect yourself and weave yourself into the vision of the company, they'll hire you.  

Peter: Yes. But you also said at the very start that the fresh grads from the unis usually don't know themselves in like HR sense and they think that the company where they are applying to, or want to apply. The company has to figure out for them, what would be the ideal role or more responsibility that they should do. And I think that, well, the truth is always between the middle, of course, but, but you need to spend as a fresh grad you need to spend the time, the energy and that combination to actually go deep and get some information about yourself and not just yourself, but also about the opportunities that you can have on the job market. And as you said, yes, most of the companies, do have like vision and expectations and stuff. I think a fresh guest should be able to talk more in a conversation with companies as well to figure out what they think. And what, what they want to do with themselves. Right. Can you, can you help to facilitate that conversation with them or like preparing these fresh grads to ask, for example, the relevant questions? Maybe. I think that's awesome.  

Dawne: Well, exactly. You're right, Peter. And so the thing is number one. When you say fresh grads, I want to put out there that it's never too early or too late to start your career journey. So if you are a fresh grad or you've just graduated, you're two years old, you're like, oh my gosh, everything she's saying I'm too late. You're never too late. I recreate and rebuilt my career in my 40. So you're never too late to reinvent yourself. So I just want to put that out differently, but if you're in university and you're a first-year, second-year, Great time to start getting to know you understand skill sets at universities and other institutions post-secondaries are really getting good at helping students understand skill transferability competencies. So you can identify them because what you said was really important. If you have really good HR person or hiring manager, they will look at your resume and connect you. But honestly, that's not their job. they are looking at hundreds of resumes, they need you to do that. And the ones that do that. They rise to the top and those are the ones that are getting the interviews. So it really means the first step is to take your time, find the support and resources to help you identify what are your skills, your abilities. And I would say, what are your superpowers? And those gifts are really hard to identify because we're just born that way. We think that way, we just assume everybody's like that, but we don't know. That's really the core of who we are. So I always say that you can reach out to a career coach and ask and you can do like different personality assessments and stuff to really understand, get the language to what these are skills and gifts, or as your closest friends, family, employers, like what is it you love about me. Like what makes me stand out and it'll be amazing how they articulate and you'll just be like, well, that's just basic. That's what everybody's like. And it's like, that's not true. So that's, you understand your core, super skills where they are. And so once you really understand who you are and your skills and ability. Then you can start to go out and look at industries. Like if you know which industry you're interested in, great. Then look at some of the companies and research them. And that's what I did look at their forecast pun. Where are they going? Where do they want to grow? What are the challenges they have? And if you look at those challenges, say, wow, I could help them achieve their goals because I know this, or I think their approach is wrong. I think they could try this. Or, you know, I've studied this new innovation and this can help. That's where you can get the conversation going and that's where you can even do. I would call career information sessions where you can knock on the door before a job is posted 80% of the positions that are filled. And this is a stat that's been around forever. So it's probably 70 to 85. The jobs are never posted because the hiring managers have to post them. But if I'm a hiring manager and I met somebody. Or an employee comes to me and says, Hey, I met this great person. They'd be great for this kind of work. I don't have anything, but someone retires it's a fire or in growing my, my area, I'll knock on that door. It'll pull that person in, do an interview and hire them within three days, rather than post it. Look over the job posting host that spent hours and hours doing it. So the key is really in a job search is to get out ahead of it before a job posting, because when a job posting is up there, now you're competing with 300 plus people. So why not compete before that, seek them out, take that motivation and that drive and initiative. And those are key skills that employers are looking for. They can't teach you to be innovative take initiative, right. And if you do that for yourself, you're going to use those skills in my company.  

Peter: And also you work with, I highly agree. You also work, with the fresh grads on a, like a little bit of a longer approach, like coaching or mentoring them for months or weeks. But a career fair, for example, it's more like a, to me it's more like a focused approach. Like you have to like agree with yourself, what are your superpowers are, are superpower skills, right? What do you want to achieve or work with? And go into the carrier fair talking to others, talking to the companies, get to know them. And if they think that you are like, kind of value for them even though there's no job opportunity at the moment, they can still hire you. So, so job fairs should be facilitated, like a short focused approach.  

Dawne: Well, the job fair is great, and then one of the things I love about even, I guess, like Veertly in the hybrid model, like while COVID, wasn't a great thing for the world, I always look for the gifts of everything and it did make us have to go virtual and online. And so number one, it opened up the marketplace, right? So there are so many career fairs and events that people can attend and tune into. Like, if I wanted to work in Europe. I can hop on a job fair there and meet employers that I definitely couldn't do any other way. We wouldn't be talking today if it wasn't for COVID, I wouldn't have had to seek out Veertly for our career fairs pivot, and it's been really exciting. And so the nice thing I love about this is, and career fairs give that focus, but I don't want everyone to shy away from going to the career fairs. Cause it's like, well, I'm not polished. I don't have my superpower, so I'm not going to go to the event. The thing is of it. You've got to be clear in your tension of why you're going to the career fair. So if one pops up, like, is it to learn about the companies? So then when you attend, you attend as I'm being open to learning. And so when you meet with the employers, you say, you know, I'm just exploring opportunities. I'm here today, just to learn about your company, the organizations. I'm not really sure about what career I'm looking at. So I just want to have a conversation with you. So that's great. You're clear. Now, if you're looking for a job, the last thing you want to do though is go in over desperate. So again, you want to research the companies beforehand. So all virtual platforms, usually tell you what companies have a booth. So take your time to research those companies. The thing about it today is there's so much knowledge and information out there. Employers know that. Right. So if you don't do a search on them, then they're going to wonder, okay, so you're lazy. You're not taking that time because everything's there. Right? You can do this. You can Google them. If you see who's there. The first thing I would do, if I go into the booth, I see their name. I'll go check them on LinkedIn before. Huh? Go see, where did they go to school? What are they interested in? What are their hotspots? Right? So then when I go in and I meet that recruiter, like, yeah, I checked you out on LinkedIn. I saw you graduated here. Your career path kind of went this way. That was kind of different, right? So you can really get into a deeper conversation and get out of the standard, do you know, spiel of here's our company, blah, blah, blah. Right. Take a different. Take a new approach and that's how you can stand out differently. So career fairs can really use to your advantage, especially virtually because when you're in person and you walk up to that booth, you can't just sit there and stare at them, grab the brochure, walk away, go Google them, and come back. Right. Which like with virtually, what I love is you can pop up the company, you see their information. If they've shared, who's going to be in the booth. I'll go. And I would go in, look at that ahead of time before I entered like a far walk through that door. And that's what I love about this.  

Peter: Yeah. That's, that's the beauty of doing any kind of online even then just a career fair that you can actually do preliminary research on the go. Because you are doing the research online anyway. Yeah. And are you also like practically organizing career fairs? As well, or just facilitating the organization as well?  

Dawne: No, I do both. So with COVID, I had to jump in and figure out how we were going to pivot ours in person. And just as a point of reference, Our in-person ones were challenged because we were finding limited space and getting dates out. So again, being part of COVID yeah. Allowed me to reach out, to look for different alternatives. And of course being a smaller university and tight budgets, especially in today's economy. I had to look for something cost-effective but would give me everything I needed, like with respect to the flexibility, the service the ability to do the video, talk with employers, but that's really important to be able to connect. And when I literally tripped over Veertly It was the answer, honestly, all my prayer, the checks, all my boxes. I was like, yes. And I can say now I planned a career for like a week. Andrea and the team were phenomenal in helping me navigate. But it was great because how he gets to embed the apps, you can make it really flexible and dynamic and change it. So in January I learned a lot, the learning curve is steep, but now again, yeah, I'm looking forward. I'm planning to our September fair. We're doing another three in January. And I'm overseeing the creation of all of those. So now my big challenge is how do I go deeper? I kept it very basic about just making sure, bringing employers and students connect video. And now I want to go into building a online conference feel. And so then we can take it a whole deeper level. We can go into panels. We can have keynotes. We can have. Loose being the trade fix. So basically we can have things there for all of our students from the first year, right up to young alumni, which I think we're serving as seen our whole student key stakeholder group in a more meaningful way through virtually than we could in person because we just don't have the space. Physically to do that or to bring everybody in like Saskatchewan for reference for a couple of people that don't know is a province away in seven hours away from working right now where 10,000 of our alumni live in this city that in Calgary, another six, and we have a ton around the world. So doing it virtually our alumni now can attend a career fair at the university, whereas before they couldn't, they have to live within an hour limit. 

Peter: And it's Canada. So, I mean it's, it's pretty big.  

Dawne: Yeah, that's huge. I love it. It's better. I'll never go away.  

Peter: Thank you for all the comments, by the way. I hope that the customer service team of ours is listening.  

Dawne: Yeah, I hope so. They're fabulous. Honestly, if I didn't have them I would have chosen a different platform this fall, because I think as we saw with technology, it's amazing, but it breaks and it doesn't always work. But you need the team there that can navigate through that because even if you prep ahead of time, it still happens. So customer service to me is huge.  

Peter: Technology is just one thing. Our strongest asset is people so cool. And in terms of online and offline career fairs we already talked about the differences between networking, for example so it's easy, it's easier, or like more intuitive to like show the same background, check people before we talk with them online. But apart from that do you have any, examples that work or worked better for you online compared, to offline for your fairs?  

Dawne: Honestly, I don't know that there's a difference because for me, well, I guess one would be. I guess the obvious know, the platform. So practice ahead of time. If you're going to go it, if you can go to an event, get comfortable with it make sure you check your audio video so you can pop up a zoom, right? Check your background. What's showing that kind of stuff, which I say is basic, but maybe it's not like, so making sure that you're presenting yourself, you know, that you're. Limiting as many outside influences in your home, which is that sometimes this is a challenge. So you might have to be in the bathroom or a closet. I've heard lots of people hide out in the closet, whatever it takes, but just do that part. Like, that's that part about setting yourself up for success so that if you're gonna talk to an employer, be aware that everything that you see on the screen they see on the screen and it is absolutely amplified. In a video versus, you know, in person, the background. Fades away, but you know, when it's a screen, you kind of distract from staring at the person. So you start seeing, oh, I love the tree in the background. And like, oh, look at your color, your pain, and your place, Peter. Right? Like it's so strategic. So you can tell a story with the stuff that you have the background. So like, for me as a coach, I could have left just a blank wall. I could turn to the left and there'd be a. As a coach that's really boring and not very warm and exciting. So I said, put some pictures, you know, some stuff to make it a little bit interactive. So if someone's shy and nervous as a client, they say, oh, don't tell me about that in the background. Right? So I've created something that they can distract themselves from. But I think a big key in terms of even career fairs, whether it's in-person or virtual become a master as a storyteller. So once you bought it to know yourself then you can read about the companies. And so storytelling isn't about that, you go from like, okay, when you're first born until the current five, right. You look at the company or the interest of that person in networking. And what you want to do is then how do you weave that part of your story into their story? And you become relatable. And then when employers hear that, that's great. And they suddenly start to see you as part of that company or corporation. The other magic trick that I like is sorry to jump in, but that's also true for a company. So the company also has to be a great storyteller to attract their relevant people. And I think it's really important to be able to tell that story whether you are doing it online or offline Branding that stuff. Yeah. If you want to switch to that, I can definitely put my employer hat on and you're right. Where employers kind of fall short is they forget to brand themselves. And then a lot of times I see big companies as think, cause I'm a big company, that'll come and work with us, but that's not true. Jen said today, They're really wanting meaningful connection. So I've got, I have one in my house and I listened to him and his friends are doing the research. They're going back to a place of values. They're seeing what's going on in our world. And they're like, okay. So what do you value us? Yeah. We know technology, you can give us all those wonderful things that you gave to the millennials, but no, we want that people connection. Right. And so you're right. Don't just put things on there that speak about your mission and vision and values. How are you really showing up authentically? Because of the one thing about gen Z, they're various astute. They can do research in like a quarter of the time that, and they can find the good, the bad, the evil about your company. So if you're saying one thing, but you're actually treating employees a different way. That's going to get out there and you can kill your brand real quick. 

Peter: Everything is transparent. Sorry to jump in and everything it's so easy to research everyone. Yeah. And the younger, you are, I think that's like coming alive to coming out commonality, not just with gen Z, but anyone else, the younger you are the more. Aspiration driven you are driven by your dreams and stuff. And then it really matters when you are applying at least to your first or first two jobs.  

Dawne: Well, corporate culture is huge. I was blessed. I had really good managers and mentors and of course, learning from a really good mentor is wonderful. Right? Because then that sets you up for success, but to kind of throw it there, 80% of people quit a company because of their direct manager, which is hot. So if you are not, you know, training and supporting your frontline managers to have the people skills and the way to communicate and engage and motivate your staff, you're going to have a lot of high overhead because you're, if you've got people coming in and out. And then you can't move ahead. It's easier to keep a customer than get a customer, the same thing with an employee. It's easier to keep one. And when you have your employees who love working for you, what I found in HR is they're the best ones to go find, do the right fit for the other jobs in your company. So I'd rather my philosophy is I'd rather do a strong employee referral plan and give money to them and make them all HR recruiters. So then, they clear everybody in terms of fit, and then they give you the resume and screen way cleaner and easier. But that's when you're authentically owning who you want your company to be. And there's a lot of great examples out there. And so for companies, that's what I feel is like just don't spend tens of thousands of marketing own it, like create your brand, but then also make your employees, your strong ambassadors to go out there and carry that message. And you'll do brilliantly like really authenticity is needed from employees, but also from organizations.  

Peter: Yes. Yes. And that, and what do you think, how can you like showcase that kind of authenticity? What are the best practices that you, saw in terms of career fairs both online and offline? 

Dawne: Is bringing in alumni, bring in your employees, right? Let them speak, bringing your hiring managers. I think career fairs, HR should really kind of take a step back. They're there. To support, but have the hiring managers have alumni have students, right? You could even have a customer depending on your customer, bring in clients and say, this is why I love working with this company. Right? You've got people that are basically talking to testimonials. You can do short videos that show the workplace. Like not everybody has like these brilliant, beautiful lit aesthetically building. So be authentic. What is your workplace look like? Right. Allow them to meet their needs. Future possible teammates. Right? So that it's not just that recruiter talking and looking good. I had a student yesterday. I was talking to her, she applied for this job the next day she was interviewed, but the hiring manager, wasn't her hiring manager and they want her to move across Canada. So it'd be, I guess in Germany, it'd be almost like moving to Portugal or something like that without talking to any of her team members. Or even a hiring manager. And so my feedback was the follow-up. You want to meet your hiring manager. You want to virtually, you could meet your team, right? Like, so those are easy things to do. So when you don't do them in my mind, if I was a job seeker, I'd be like, what are you hiding from me? Like, why don't you want me to meet these people? Right. So be transparent.  

Peter: That's that's really great. That's by the way, the certainly awkward situation when you need to travel all the world for like nothing. Yeah. I just want to remind our attendees that they can ask Dawne questions She would be happy to answer anything too, on how to ask questions, just go to the left side of the sidebar and enter the question on the chat on the global chat. I guess. Cool. And what do you think in terms of, as we talked about, we talked a lot about gen Z and gen Y or I don't know, these genes are actually legitimate anyway? I like fresh grads and the due date. Online job fairs or offline job fairs, or do they prefer online work compared to offline work. 

Dawne: If you notice, I think, I think there's a big question, mark. Still. I really think, well, the only common thing that's coming out is that it's going to be a hybrid with a big question, mark. Cause nobody even knows what that word looks like or the new normal, right? Like nobody knows what any of this means or looks like. I do feel that this still in person is needed. But the one thing with the virtual, I think it's going to be that hybrid. It's going to be there because as we get more comfortable with it, it's going to be easier for interviewing, which I think is great. Right. Instead of people having to travel across cities or limit personality, like opportunities for you to apply, you can now interview this way and it was happening. Like even before COVID we were finding our employer base, we're doing the first interviews by recording or virtually. So it was already happening. So now I think what they're going to find is in regards to interviewing, that's going to stay. So you're going to have to stay comfortable and with events, networking and stuff, I think the exciting part is, yeah, there's going to be the person you need that. You know, connection, but as we still build the technology and the ability to make interaction virtually more comfortable, and we get more comfortable with it if you give you to keep the global market open and you get to talk and connect with people around the world, and again, it was happening. Companies were hiring already, you know, internationally. But for example, I was talking to it, head hunter last summer. And he said, one company had the like, oh my God, this is awesome. I no longer have to move that person over to Korea. They can actually stay where they are in Canada. Yeah, I worked for my company. And so that's saving companies tens of thousands of dollars and you know, all the visas and immigration and stuff, it really is going to shift a lot of things, which I think really is exciting about people finding the right fit for where their career path is and companies are going to help them find the best employees. And it doesn't have to be limited. So when we talk about diversity inclusion, which was out there before. It really has shifted even that, because now the diversity is worldwide. Inclusion is worldwide. It really is about the skills competencies. And that's why have the job seekers, the fresh grads really, really have to get to know themselves what their skill sets are and then how they can showcase them. And employers that they have their side, they have to start writing their job descriptions that clearly articulate the skills and competencies, because I've seen some that look really fluffy and, you know, engaging. But when I look at the job posts and then we have students, they're like, why didn't apply? Because I don't know what skills they're looking for. Like their story was great, but I don't know. I didn't see myself in the job because I don't know what they mean. So as you're really clear about what they're looking for too.  

Peter: Yeah. I think it's a challenge too. So although it sounds. Amazing. And they're inspiring that a, an inspiring that you can actually apply to any kind of jobs anywhere in the world through online career fairs. It's also challenging for, for recruiters, our organization. Those who are organizing degrees are first to accommodate this kind of diverse culture into one single event. And I think that's true. That's where collaboration tools come into the picture to test and assess these skills and just some practical tips if you want to share, what kind of, what do you think, what kind of tools where people can use during these events these career events, or what kind of tools do you use when you're organizing career fairs through Veertly. Yeah. Well, I think first is before you can get caught up in all the tools and apps and stuff. Cause that's a nice thing for us it's customizable in so many ways is stepping back and really determining what your priorities are for your event or your conference, how you visualize it happening, what you want the experience to be, and what those priorities are because there are so many ways and things you can embed. 

Dawne: That can make it overwhelming, especially if you've never done it before. So my philosophy is to keep it simple in the beginning. If you've never done it before, then what's your key focus. And make sure that you're using the tools and apps to make that happen. Like, so with Veertly at the time in general, my big tool for the rooms, because they did the video conferencing, but you could kind of put in your background and you could customize it a little bit. Right. So, yeah, exactly. So it left that interaction. It allowed recruiters to have others in the room, like hiring managers, alumni. But now like there's capacity with zoom. So embedding zoom and zoom has got the webinars, but the breakout rooms, I do love the idea of a student lounge and I tried it, but honestly, it fell flat. Nobody went in there because the students were just so overwhelmed with the experience, like, okay, I've got to, how do I get to the employer? Which employer do I want to look at? Right. So they were new. But I could see that if we baby steps on them and hoping this fall, that they see like, oh, I can now go into student lounge to connect with students and friends and stuff. Right. But they, they weren't ready for that. That was too much. So I think that's the thing too, is you've got to know where you're at, what are those important steps and then add in things like photo booths and make it fun. And I was thinking about it, and I would love to do it. But I don't know that our students are ready for it. So my focus this fall, for example, is going to be definitely the career fair booths. Like, so having that air attraction, but now bringing in keynotes and doing presentations. Right. And so now with Veertly, you've got the agenda thing, which I think is awesome. So I can list. So every employer can have in their room, their own presentation, and I can advertise that for them. So now our students can get that agenda out ahead of time and they can now look and say, okay, so it's more of that conference feel and they can dictate where they want to go. So I want to look at resumes. Okay. I'm going to show up at this time. We're doing a little bit longer. We're going to go for like 10. 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM so that our students have more time to engage. So we're going to try these things. So I think that's the thing is don't be afraid to make mistakes, but really get clear on what your priorities are and keep it simple and then add to it as you grow every year, the next event that  

Peter: these are really great tips. Thank you for sharing those. And yes, I agree that keep it simple for the first time. and don't overdo it, with time because people, for most people, what we also experienced that for most people, they want to stick to the, to just same or kind of same or similar routine that they had in offline events. I'll find conferences even maps agenda. Keynotes rooms. So actually it's like pretty much similar or, or I'm simulating online, the things that they are used to on the, on the offline world. So yeah, that's, that's really challenging for us as well as a tool or a service.  

Dawne: Yeah. And that's why, like, I love the idea, like of the lobby of making it free, making it look like. So then when you come in visually like, oh, I can relate to that as being in person. Right. So it softens it, which I didn't do that at first. And I think that caused more and with our students for the first time. It was just this flat screen, this a career's day. And so that's why working with the Veertly team now is how do we make it like that 3d model? So it's kind of like, you can. See yourself walking into either video game, like, so you can imagine yourself walking into the physical space because the psychology of it is it makes it easier to connect to a virtual platform. So that's probably, what am I big ahas as we probably should have invested that money in that at the beginning, just to make it a better bridge between the physical space and the virtual. 

Peter: Yeah. And this also, I literally love the video game analogy by the way. Because yeah, through the gamified experience, I think it's easier to collaborate and learn from each other skills and experiences because that's, that's the ultimate goal. I think not just for career fairs, but also for any other online event too, to learn from each other, through a collaboration. 

Dawne: Yeah. And I've been contacting different universities, colleges across Canada, and exactly the conversations like, you know, even though we might use different virtual event apps, it is like, what are you doing? What do you add in what works lessons learned, what didn't right. And so collaboration is huge. And I'm very blessed that I have a really good university network that I can reach out to. And I've also been attended just random career fairs. So their events, to kind of see, okay, how are they delivering it? Okay. I like that. I'll take that or, oh, that was horrible. So it's, it's a new world. It's getting playful. But it really is about that. Keep it simple. And like I said, I'm, I love being creative. I like putting that stuff out there, but I also have to remember them. Employers they're going to many career fairs, so I don't want to overwhelm them. And so with Veertly, you can customize so much. So I just say, make sure that you just baby separate be very clear because I know I overwhelmed some of my employers when I said, you know, you can build anything and then they're like, what is it? 

Peter: Right. Yeah. Anything is nothing. Right. So. Yeah, you have to go a little bit. Yeah, I understand. Yeah. Cool. So do, do we have any questions maybe from the audience? Or or we just wrap it I don't see any further questions. Cool. Do you want to add anything for today? Dawne. 

Dawne:  I just want to thank you. And if anyone does have any questions or wants to reach out to me you can definitely reach me on LinkedIn and you can check me at the university, if you Google the university of Saskatchewan website, I'll pop up there on the student page. So yeah. Any questions I'm more than happy to share. I love to collaborate. I would love to learn from others. If someone out there in the audience is like, Dawne, this is what we'll be doing. It's been fabulous. I want to hear this because I just really want to make this new hybrid virtual world success because I think there's a lot of good that comes from it. I think we just have to support each other, get comfortable with it so that we can all succeed. 

Peter:  Cool. Thank you for sharing all of this. You, by the way, you forgot to mention, I think the personal coaching page that you have  

Dawne: Yeah, you can go to my website as well. I guess It just does, my name is on the screen with the dotcom and you'll find me there as well. So yeah, I'm a better advocate for others than myself. I think. 

Peter: If anyone has any, any, any personal questions to Dawne or do you want to just chat with each other and the attendees that we do have here we have networking open during this event, so feel free to pop in there and talk to each other. That's the ultimate goal of not just this show and just this episode, but every, every online event that we attend that's to talk to each other. And learn from each other. Cool. Thank you for, thank you for joining the show. I hope you loved it. That was your first, podcast experience or like-show experience. That you said, how was it?  

Dawne: It was great. I probably did a different headset. I'm thinking this one is, but this is how I learned. But honestly, I've loved this. And like I said, I, without COVID Peter, we wouldn't have met. So, you know, I love looking at the blessings. This is a great opportunity and I definitely want to support others in whatever ways. So yeah, this is an exciting time. I think our world if we really try to focus on. The beauty and the gifts of this. There are so many wonderful, wonderful opportunities. And not that it's going to come easy. And like when you said networking, I know that word, isn't my favorite word, but it really is about finding ways to connect and build relationships and take advantage of it and show up. And my thing when I get nervous, even as an extrovert is I'm just going to enter this space, be open and curious. And a key thing just I'll share. If you're going to go over to the networking room or wherever you go or a career fair, and you don't know what to say, get, ask the people about their career stories. Say I'm looking at, you know, be new and fresh out of school, a little nervous about the future. Can you tell me about your career story? You will have a recruiter and a hiring manager talking for an hour because we invest so much time money into our career story. And I guarantee nobody's boyfriend, girlfriend, a child has said, Hey, tell me about your career story. And it's the one story that you find that we'd love to share because we can mentor, we get to reflect, right? So it's a beautiful way. And then you become a very active listener and you learn so much from that person. They think you're the best person in the room. And they will remember you for that. So that's an amazing trick for all introverts or anybody out there, but just tell me about your story. I'm curious about learning more and they'll just, they'll take the conversation around it.  

Peter: They're sharing stories to learn if they are, they have shared stories with each other. Right. So the commonalities and that's the point where I have to admit and, and talk to you that I'm also a sociology dropout, or actually I had attended sociology. Yeah. Five years. So yeah,  

Dawne: Of course, sociology, people are wonderful. We just don't know where we're going and what we're doing for a while, but we both have great skills, Peter. Right. But we didn't know how to transfer them and apply.  

Peter: Yeah, but you ended up in HR. I ended up in marketing, but it's also like a shared story.  

Dawne: It's all people it's really understanding. People.  

Peter: Love it. Cool. Let me wrap this professionally. I hope it could provide valuable insights for you on the event industry, we will cover more topics on our upcoming shows as always, we will follow up the show with more content on our site on Thank you for attending. Thank you for listening. Thank you, Dawne for joining the show. 

Outro: Thank you for listening to The Veertly Show, we will follow up this episode with more content on our site so make sure to check it out. Please subscribe to the show on your preferred podcast listening platform. So you won't miss out on our next episode until next time and stay tuned. 


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