Boost Employee Engagement with Virtual Benefits Fairs: A Comprehensive Guide

6Connex
13 min readJun 23, 2023

One of the best ways to retain your employees is to offer comprehensive benefits. Workers often stay at a company because of the positive work culture and benefits package. In fact, up to 80 percent of employees would rather have better benefits than a pay raise. This means it’s essential to ensure your employees are aware of your benefits programs and take advantage of them.

But how do you do this?

If you’re putting together a plan to communicate employee benefits, there’s a better way to ensure that your employees truly understand what’s available to them. In traditional benefits fairs, less than half of the workforce actually comprehends the benefits they can access. When employees don’t understand their benefits, they can’t take advantage of the valuable perks offered to them. That’s why a new approach has emerged, focusing on presenting benefits online in a more user-friendly and efficient manner.

In this guide, we will go over what a virtual benefits fair is and exactly how you can host an employee virtual benefits fair for your company.

What is a Health and Benefits Fair?

The primary goal of planning an employee benefits fair is to showcase the various benefits and perks provided by the employer, ensuring that employees are aware of the valuable offerings available to them. These benefits typically encompass health insurance, retirement plans (such as 401k), pension packages, life insurance, vision care, and more. By organizing a benefits fair, employees are given the opportunity to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the benefits they can access.

To enhance the employee benefits fair experience, companies can also invite representatives from third-party providers, such as health or life insurance representatives, to participate and provide additional information. This facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the benefits and enables employees to receive direct answers to their inquiries.

Furthermore, hosting a benefits fair serves as a means to bring everyone together within the company. Apart from providing overviews of the benefits, astute HR teams can incorporate activities that make the fair celebratory and enjoyable, thereby increasing participation and engagement. Additionally, benefits fairs offer an excellent opportunity for new employees to meet and network with their co-workers, fostering stronger relationships within the organization.

Overall, organizing an employee benefits fair plays a vital role in introducing workers to the company’s array of extras and reinforcing the significance of these offerings in recruiting and retaining top talent. By ensuring that employees are aware of the available benefits and creating an engaging and informative fair, companies can enhance employee satisfaction, retention, and overall organizational success.

The Challenge of Communicating Benefits to Employees

Successfully educating your staff on their health benefits is no small feat, most notably when it comes to planning and setting up all of the logistics. Both employees and employers struggle with the effectiveness and outcome of a traditional benefits fair. We will explain the struggle from both sides when benefits fairs are not planned effectively.

Employees

If you want employees to make the most of the benefits you offer, you will find overwhelmed and disinterested staff skimming over the benefits plans available to them. Let me give you an example: The traditional approach involves handing out printed materials like brochures and packets about benefits to employees. These might be provided within the office or even at a benefits fair — in-person — with booths and representatives from different companies involved.

The downside to this method is that many employees feel they don’t have the time to educate themselves on the benefits when just handed material. They might not even know which benefits to choose from with all the information they need to sift through.

In-person, it is great to have a short discussion with a rep about benefits, but it is impossible to review and understand everything in the short amount of time allocated for a benefits fair during company time. In fact, employees admit they spend just 30 minutes on average thinking about their benefits choices when making decisions. The engagement is not there, so their attention isn’t either.

Employers

On the flip side, many employers may not have the resources or the know-how to educate employees on the benefits they’re offering. In fact, only 40% of employers help employees understand the benefits available to them. Yikes. In addition, employers may have to keep spending excessively on the printing and re-printing of outdated educational material, racking up the costs to keep staff up to date on their benefits.

Add venue or location drama, organizing sponsorships and partnerships to show up, and you’ve got yourself a big plate of stress on your table. Nothing that is impossible, of course… but there is an easier way.

The Virtual Benefits Solution to Solid Communication and Flexibility

What about presenting this information in a place your employees feel most at home and can review their information in one easy place? How about eliminating the constant printing and in-person coordination, all while adding more engaged and happy employees? This is where the virtual in virtual benefits fair kicks in. And data shows that it actually works.

Hosting a benefits fair pushed employees from spending 30 minutes revising their benefits package to up to an hour. Aside from the convenience that virtual benefits fairs offer, they also packed a punch in efficiency and effectiveness for employees when understanding their benefits. A win-win for employers and employees. Need we say more? Of course, we do. Here are 10 more reasons why you should choose to use a virtual venue when presenting benefits to employees this year.

10 Compelling Reasons to Host a Virtual Benefits Fair for Employees

Embracing the digital revolution isn’t just about efficiency — it’s about creating engaging, inclusive experiences that resonate with today’s workforce. Here are ten irresistible reasons why hosting a virtual benefits fair is the smart, forward-thinking move for your company:

  1. Global Reach, Local Touch: In our interconnected world, your virtual employees could be anywhere from New York to New Delhi. A virtual benefits fair brings everyone together, eliminating the logistical challenges and high costs of flying HR managers across the globe. Your company could save thousands while still giving every employee the personal touch they deserve when using virtual event products.
  2. Empower Your Employees: A virtual benefits fair puts employees in the driver’s seat. They can visit the booths they’re interested in, watch relevant presentations, and download the information they need. This personalized experience empowers employees to take full control of their benefits, leading to increased satisfaction and utilization.
  3. Comfort and Convenience: With a virtual benefits fair, your employees can access vital information from the comfort of their homes or wherever they choose to work. This convenience can lead to higher attendance and engagement. According to a study by Stanford University, remote workers are 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts.
  4. Experience New Levels of Engagement: A virtual benefits fair isn’t just another meeting — it’s an event that doubles as an engagement tool. The novelty and excitement of a virtual benefits showcase can drive engagement, giving employees a fresh perspective on their wellness. Engaged employees are more likely to understand and utilize their benefits, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention rates.
  5. Direct Access to Representatives: At virtual benefit fairs, employees can chat directly with insurance representatives, getting their questions answered straight from the source. This eliminates the confusion and miscommunication that can often occur with traditional benefits fairs.
  6. Eliminate Fixed Costs: Using a virtual benefit fair platform is cost-effective in many ways. They eliminate the need for travel, printing, venue rental, and time spent organizing an in-person benefits fair. According to a study by IBM, companies can save up to $10,000 per employee per year by hosting virtual events.
  7. Immediate Feedback for Employers: With a virtual benefits fair, employers can get immediate feedback on what booths employees visited the most or what presentation had the most attendance. This data can help guide future communications and improve the effectiveness of the benefits fair.
  8. Involvement of Partners and/or Family: A virtual benefits fair allows employees to involve their partners or family members who will likely be affected by the benefits. This can lead to more informed decision-making and higher satisfaction with benefits.
  9. Demonstrate the Importance of Health and Wellness: Hosting a virtual benefits fair shows employees that their health and wellness are important to their employer. This can boost morale and lead to a healthier, more productive workforce.
  10. Environmentally Friendly: By eliminating the need for travel and printed materials, virtual benefits fairs are also a more environmentally friendly option. According to a study by the Carbon Disclosure Project, companies that prioritize sustainability have 18% higher return on investment than companies that do not.

Work Smarter: Make Your Virtual Benefits Fair Simpler with the Following Tips

Choose the Right Virtual Event Platform

Select a platform like 6Connex that allows for easy customization, offers a user-friendly experience, and enables attendees to explore a virtual 2D or immersive environment for a better benefits experience.

Consider the User Experience

Over-communicate instructions to ensure all employees can access the platform and take full advantage of its activities. This can be achieved through pre-recorded tutorials or assigning a live host to interact with attendees and guide them through the event and technology.

Prioritize Security and Authentication

Select a solution provider with strong cybersecurity capabilities, ensuring attendee information and data collected during the virtual event are secured with end-to-end encryption and no local applications to install. Look for certifications such as ISO 27001 and robust security controls.

Plan Fun Activities

To keep employees engaged, incorporate gamification and various virtual games and activities. Examples include game shows with customized questions, scavenger hunts, and even playing music and karaoke during breaks.

Utilize Attendee Data and Follow-up

Take advantage of the data gathered during the virtual benefits fair to verify attendance, identify employees who missed critical presentations, and reach out to them afterward. Track employee engagement with specific seminars or booths and follow up with personalized communication to ensure enrollment in desired benefits.

Consider a Hybrid Event

Can’t seem to let go of the idea of in-person events? No worries. Embrace the best of both worlds by organizing a hybrid event. This approach combines the advantages of in-person interactions with the convenience and accessibility of virtual participation. It allows for greater flexibility, catering to various attendee preferences and ensuring a comprehensive benefits fair experience. By offering hybrid events, you can accommodate different attendee preferences while maximizing engagement and participation.

To take your hybrid event to the next level, leverage Eventory by 6Connex’s mobile apps. Eventory offers powerful mobile event apps that seamlessly connect in-person and virtual attendees. These apps provide a user-friendly experience, allowing attendees to access event information, schedules, interactive features, visit booths, and networking opportunities from their mobile devices.

How to Present Benefits to Employees Online in 5 Engaging Steps

So, you’re ready to educate employees about their benefits information online? Let’s dive into 5 quick and exciting steps that will serve as your ultimate benefits fair checklist for hosting a remarkable virtual event!

Step 1: Choose a Virtual Events Platform that Fits your Vision

Say goodbye to the hard work of organizing a virtual event, and let the platform do it for you. Find a virtual event platform that aligns with your vision and offers the tools you need to make your benefits fair and a resounding success. Keep in mind that not all platforms are created equal, so explore your options and seek one that provides flexibility and comprehensive features. Don’t forget to prioritize quality customer support, and if you need assistance, reach out to specialists like 6Connex, who has extensive experience in hosting virtual benefits fairs.

Step 2: Craft an Immersive Benefits Fair Experience

Now that you have your platform, it’s time to envision the elements that will make your virtual benefits fair extraordinary. Consider including 1:1 chats, interactive booths for benefits providers and representatives, captivating live webinars, informative pre-recorded videos, downloadable collateral, and an engaging auditorium. Customize the fair to deliver an experience that aligns with your employees’ needs and aspirations. Want to spice things up? Infuse your event with thrilling Employee Benefits Fair Themes that leave a lasting impact on attendees. If you need inspiration, our specialists are here to help!

Step 3: Set the Date and Time for Your Virtual Benefits Fair

Choosing the right date and time is crucial for the success of your event. Will you host the fair during open enrollment? Will it span the entire day to accommodate different time zones? How much time do you need to plan and prepare? Take company deadlines and holidays into account when scheduling. The beauty of a virtual event lies in its flexibility, so ensure employees have ample time to plan and attend by scheduling well in advance. This gives you the opportunity to market the fair internally and build excitement among employees.

Step 4: Spark Anticipation Through Internal Marketing

Once you’ve locked in the date and time, it’s time to spread the word and get employees pumped for the virtual benefits fair. Provide them with initial information, so they know what to expect and can prepare questions in advance. Engage in a captivating internal marketing campaign that reaches employees wherever they are. Leverage channels like email, internal networks (Slack or Teams), social media, and even physical flyers around the office to generate buzz and anticipation.

Step 5: Harness the power of data to evaluate success

Your virtual benefits fair may be over, but the insights you gather from the event data are invaluable. Dive into the numbers provided by your chosen platform to gain crucial insights. Which booths garnered the most visits? Were the chat rooms buzzing with questions? Which presentations attracted a large audience? Which downloads proved the most popular? Utilize this data to guide your year-long communications and improve future events. Let the information you gather shape your strategies and make next year’s virtual benefits fair even more exceptional.

With these engaging steps, you’ll deliver virtual benefits solutions that capture employees’ attention, enhance their understanding of their benefits, and set the stage for a successful employee experience. Get ready to inspire, educate, and empower your workforce like never before!

Revolutionizing Employee Benefits: A Case Study on Salesforce’s Virtual Benefits Fair

In the competitive world of talent retention, providing comprehensive employee benefits is essential, but it’s equally crucial to ensure employees are aware and engaged. Salesforce, a global CRM leader, faced this challenge with their 30,000 employees spread across the US, many of whom worked remotely. Traditional methods of benefits training and engagement were time-consuming and repetitive. To overcome these obstacles, Salesforce turned to a virtual benefits fair powered by 6Connex, to revolutionize their approach.

The Challenge

Salesforce understood that more than simply offering benefits was needed. They needed to effectively communicate the value of their benefits package to support employee well-being. However, reaching a dispersed workforce and coordinating on-site training and webinars proved challenging and costly. The majority of employees were already opting for online resources, even when other options were available.

The Solution: A 6Connex Hosted Virtual Benefits Fair

Salesforce recognized the need for a change and embarked on the journey to build a virtual benefits fair. By leveraging the employees’ high participation rates in digital events, Salesforce aimed to improve awareness and engagement in their benefits program. The virtual benefits fair had specific goals in mind:

  • Streamline training: By migrating to a virtual platform, Salesforce aimed to reduce time, costs, and manpower associated with benefits training.
  • Direct interaction with benefits providers: The virtual fair provided 30,000 employees with the opportunity to connect directly with benefits providers, obtain personalized answers, and make informed decisions.
  • Tailored employee experience: Personalization was key. Salesforce wanted to create a customized experience for each employee, increasing their interest and engagement in the benefits offered.
  • Convenient communication: The virtual benefits fair improved the convenience of communications, enabling employees to participate from anywhere, at any time.
  • Data-driven insights: Salesforce aimed to collect participation data to better understand employee needs and further enhance their benefits program.

Results and Benefits

Implementing the virtual benefits fair brought about significant advantages for Salesforce:

  • Efficiency and cost savings: By eliminating on-site training and reducing administrative burdens, Salesforce achieved time and cost savings, allowing their Benefits team to focus on strategic initiatives.
  • Enhanced engagement: The virtual fair empowered employees to directly connect with benefits providers, resulting in increased participation and informed decision-making.
  • Convenience and accessibility: The online format made it convenient for employees to access the fair, eliminating travel barriers and scheduling conflicts.
  • Data insights: The fair generated valuable data on participation and preferences, enabling Salesforce to refine and improve their benefits program based on employee needs.

Salesforce’s virtual benefits fair, developed in partnership with 6Connex, revolutionized the way they delivered benefits training and engaged their employees. By leveraging the power of a virtual platform, Salesforce streamlined training, personalized experiences, improved convenience, and gained valuable data insights. This case study demonstrates the transformative impact of virtual benefits fairs in addressing challenges faced by companies in effectively communicating and engaging employees in their benefits programs.

Read the case study here.

The Easy and Effective Answer: Host a Virtual Benefits Fair

A virtual employee benefits fair is global, engaging, informative, and cost-effective, and it boosts employee morale, among many other pros. They help employees feel connected and give them access to the information they need at any time.

At 6Connex, our virtual event solutions allow companies to host virtual benefits fairs that look a lot like an in-person benefit fair, complete with booths, presentations, and even an auditorium. Don’t worry, we’re not leaving it up to you to figure it all out — that’s what we’re here for. Request a virtual event platform demo with 6Connex for more information.

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6Connex

6Connex is transforming the events industry with an all-in-one event technology platform.