7 reasons why companies should conduct virtual benefits fairs
Employers have mused on how to resolve this bind they find themselves in and it seems there has been a breakthrough
If there’s anything more difficult than hiring great talent, it’s retaining it. Although generative perks like funky office spaces and flexible work hours are interesting incentives, it is observed that healthcare, wellness, and insurance benefits tend to be vital differentiators against the competition. A compelling benefits program, along with the right pay structure, can serve as the “push” top candidates need to sign the offer letter. However, providing attractive benefits isn’t enough. Partnering with a top benefits provider is only half the job done. The real challenge employers face is to ensure employees make the most of these benefits. This can get tricky as employees aren’t equipped to comprehend the various options and navigate the fine print of packages on offer which leads to them selecting options that are a poor fit. This, in turn, generates a sub-par user experience and nullifies what the company was using as a retention tool. To counter this, benefits administrators focus a lot on educating their employees about benefits. A significant portion of their time is used to liaise with benefits providers to arrange on-site training and clinics for employees. However, such training sessions are not only time-consuming & costly to organize for employers, they are vastly repetitive and redundant. Employers have mused on how to resolve this bind they find themselves in and it seems there has been a breakthrough. Companies like 3M, AICPA and Mackenzie are saving costs and delivering a better user experience by preferring Virtual Benefits Fairs to educate their employee bases cost-effectively.
What is a virtual benefits fair?
A Virtual Benefits Fair is an online branded event that mimics physical benefits fair in structure. Employers invited benefits providers to set up a virtual booth on their platform and upload relevant educational material like brochures, videos, and presentations. Moreover, with interactive tools like chat rooms and webinars, companies can connect their employees with relevant representatives in real-time and have their queries answered instantly. Virtual Benefits Fair offers tremendous value for companies. Here are 7 reasons why companies are preferring them over physical events:
1) Global participation
Companies often have employees spread across various geographies and conducting physical fairs for each one of those markets is quite impractical. With Virtual Benefits Fairs, however, the online nature of the event enables companies to bring all their employees in one virtual space for their benefits learning. Of course, a jarring obstacle that benefits administrators face with a one-for-all solution is how to direct attendees to relevant providers.
For example, healthcare and insurance companies for employees in North America will likely be different from those situated in Europe. Luckily, top virtual event platforms address this issue by personalizing experiences of attendees and showing them only those providers that operate in their specific region.
2) Cost savings
Physical events are prohibitively expensive. Venue rentals, travel logistics and printing costs alone can prove to be an alarming expense, especially when such events are repeated across the year. A virtual setup, on the other hand, guarantees major cost savings. By allowing attendees to meet in a virtual space to learn about benefits, employers can eliminate typical costs associated with onsite events and also avoid the hassle and effort of arranging them.
3) Delightful user experience
Online Benefits Fairs deliver a better end-user experience for employees as well. Instead of sitting in long, boring training sessions, attendees are given the freedom to take control of the learning process. Virtual Benefits Fairs offer “on-demand” education where employees can choose which virtual booths to visit, what content to review and what webinars they would like to attend. There aren’t any time limits in the online fair so employees can learn at their own pace. The multimedia is available round the clock so they can consume content and make decisions at peace. A Virtual Benefits Fair, thus, allows for an experience tailored to each employee’s preferences and thus ramps up their interest and engagement a great deal.
Since the event is online, employees can log in through any device from the comfort of their office or home without having to commute to a physical destination. Moreover, they can still interface with representatives at these providers through chat tools and webinars making the process much more convenient.
5) Measurable results
The value of physical training sessions and clinics is often quite difficult to quantify. Organizers are so focused on coordinating the logistics of the event that measuring how much value was delivered to audiences and how the training material was perceived is often forgotten. Feedback is limited to perhaps a post-event survey that seldom offers actionable insights. Virtual Benefits Fairs change that by allowing companies to get insights on how engaging these events actually were. Detailed reports like attendee trends, webinar engagement numbers, booth visits, and content download frequency help employers understand what benefits are popular and what material needs attention.
6) Employees can involve families
The employee is not the only stakeholder of the benefits afforded by the company. The decision to opt for a benefits package is often discussed with spouses and key family members. Unfortunately, few companies, usually due to logistical challenges, have the policy to invite family members to training sessions which means employees have to act as information relays. With Online Benefits Fairs, there is a paradigm as it acknowledges that the choice of benefits is not an individual decision but a family decision. These events enable employees to invite their family members to login and understand the material first-hand. Family members can also participate in webinars and ask questions they have in mind. This promotes healthy and informed discussions within families leading to better choices.
7) It shows companies care
Virtual benefits fairs show employees how much their employers care about and that they are committed to not just ensuring fruitful careers, but also educating them about how they can balance it with a healthy, joyful life. This goes a long way in generating loyalty and even helps in employer branding as prospects consider such aspects when evaluating employers.
Virtual benefits fairs are an apt solution to dramatically reduce training costs, offer a better end-user experience and measure delivered value. While multinational companies are already preferring this option for cost-effectiveness, SMBs are moving to them because of the ease and engagement they tend to offer. As virtual event platforms become more sophisticated and include features like LMS integrations and artificial intelligence, it won’t be long before they will be the primary mode of imparting education on company benefits.