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  • Fees Charged to Employers for In-Person Career Fairs Dropped Sharply This Year

    May 17, 2021 | By Kevin Gray

    Trends & Predictions
    A bird eye view of a career fair.

    TAGS: operations, trends and predictions, surveys, benchmarks, spotlight, career development, coronavirus

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college recruiting, it’s not surprising that fees for in-person career fairs were down sharply in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20, but the charges for hybrid fairs jumped for some employers, according to NACE’s 2020-21 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report.

    Career centers adjusted the average fee they charge to private sector employers downward by nearly $130 for in-person career fairs during the 2020-21 academic year. Meanwhile, they charged nonprofit employers approximately $70 less and government agencies $86 less for in-person career fairs. (See Figure 1.)

    In addition, the raw data indicate that schools that had never held virtual career fairs in the past made the switch from in-person fairs to the virtual environment; as part of this, they charged a lower fee for their virtual fairs than they had for their in-person events.

    In comparing the average in-person fees from the 2019-20 academic year to the virtual fees in the 2020-21 academic year, the new virtual fees for private sector employers were approximately $100 less, and for nonprofit and government agency employers the fees were around $50 less.

    On the other hand, colleges and universities charged private sector and nonprofit employers approximately $50 more for hybrid career fairs in 2020-21 than they did in 2019-20.

    NACE collected data for its 2020-21 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report from September 28, 2020, to December 11, 2020. The responses were submitted in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and reflect many of the changes career services offices made to their operations. For its 2020-21 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report, NACE surveyed its member institutions, resulting in 538 respondents, which translates to a 27.4% response rate. The 2020-21 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report is available in MyNACE.

    Figure 1: Average fees for career fairs, 2019-20 and 2020-21

    Career Fair Format Average Fee for 2019-2020 Academic Year Average Fee for 2020-2021 Academic Year
    Private Sector Employers
    In Person $311.21 $182.92
    Virtual $200.87 $212.11
    Hybrid $187.00 $239.29
    Nonprofit Employers
    In person $170.29 $101.50
    Virtual $124.00 $120.19
    Hybrid $89.00 $137.50
    Government Agency Employers
    In person $185.84 $99.44
    Virtual $141.00 $132.12
    Hybrid $142.00 $141.67
    Source: 2020-21 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers
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