Campus for Finance is a student association at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, a top-rated business school based in Vallendar/Koblenz and Düsseldorf, Germany.
The Campus for Finance association organizes two international finance conferences annually attracting nearly 500 attendees including students, academics, executives, and young professionals.
In January 2022, the student members of Campus for Finance undertook the planning of WHU New Year’s Conference 2022. This ambitious team of 10 Bachelor's students had a clear vision for their career fair, and we at Brella were eager to make it happen.
Here's the full story!
WHU New Year’s Conference 2022 was a 2-day virtual event packed with engaging speaker sessions, workshops, and panels, but the jewel in the crown was their digital career fair.
The aim was to facilitate conversation between students and hiring companies bettering the chances for students to jump onto their desired career paths, and for companies to find the best fitting prospects from a wide pool of talents.
However, the organizing team had no intention of stopping there. The students were willing to go above and beyond, and this is the goal they set for the event:
- Connect students and companies effectively in a unique and engaging way.
The first significant challenge the organizing team had to face was related to the event format. The conference was originally planned as a hybrid event. However, due to the increasing social restrictions at the beginning of 2022, they switched to virtual.
Moreover, on top of the networking time, WHU New Year’s Conference 2022 was rich with content. The organizing team had a lot on their plate, but they had their priority straight.
From the start, they made the decision to delegate the streaming to a professional third party so that they could invest 100% of their time in their networking strategy.
They had a clear vision of the experience they wanted to give their attendees, and Brella’s Customer Success Manager was ready to help them achieve that with no compromises.
This is how we did it!
In times of uncertainty, event organizers need an event platform that can easily adapt to the circumstances. With Brella, the organizing team at WHU could switch from hybrid to fully virtual effortlessly.
Companies sent their representatives to WHU’s conference to scout for promising talents, and with nearly 450 students attending the event, the networking had to be smart and - most importantly - fast.
Was Brella's AI-powered networking up to the task?
Faithful to their vision of delivering a unique and engaging networking experience, the organizing team planned 10-minute long speed-networking sessions so that both students and company representatives could have as many meetings as possible, improving their chances of finding the perfect match.
On the other hand, the organizing team longed to give students plenty of opportunities to interact with each other. Here, the vision was of more laid-back coffee breaks where the students could match according to their career paths, studies, and home university.
“We were positively surprised at how well the speed-networking worked for our attendees.” - Florian Schlüter, Academic Program at Campus For Finance
That being said, with so many meeting opportunities, the team also wanted to guarantee no slot was wasted. This is why they invested a lot in building an effective matchmaking and pre-engagement strategy.
The matchmaking strategy
At Brella, we know one right meeting can completely turn the tide, and we were determined to see this happen.
Brella’s Customer Success Manager and the organizing team worked together on a winning networking strategy tailored to the participants.
They started with identifying and creating the best-performing matchmaking categories which revolved around career paths, companies, current career stage, and home university.
Plus, to guarantee only the best intent-based connections, for each matchmaking interest they set up intents like recruitment, networking, and mentoring. This way, students not only could select their career path of choice and the companies they were interested in, but also the type of relations they were trying to build.
The pre-engagement strategy
Of course, when it comes to connecting hundreds of attendees, a tailored matchmaking strategy isn’t enough without a strong pre-engagement plan in place.
Following Brella’s Customer Success Manager’s directions, companies attending the conference were invited to join the event platform before the students, so they had plenty of time to create their profiles and set up their virtual booths.
Next, the event team proceeded to open the event platform two weeks before the conference. This way, all participants could start setting up their profiles, choosing their matchmaking preferences, and finding their best matches.
Students had plenty of time to see what companies were available for networking and research them. On the other hand, companies could check the list of the hundred prospects available for meetings.
And once more, the organizing team went above and beyond to deliver the best experience possible. They invested time in creating a whole Help Guide so their attendees knew how to navigate the platform, make the most of matchmaking, and maximize their networking time.
Connect companies with students effectively and in a new engaging way - achieved ✅
WHU New Year’s Conference 2022 was a massive success, but we’ll let the numbers do the talking.
There were over 1,000 meetings requests with a stellar 54% meeting acceptance rate (well above the average 37% meeting acceptance rate). Additionally, 70% of all meetings were requested before the event together with almost 200 chat requests.
90% of all meetings were company-driven, and 59% of companies with meetings had more than 10.
Now, that’s a unique and engaging networking strategy!
"We weren’t expecting these results, and we are happy to see them in numbers!"
Moreover, Florian has found the event platform very intuitive and told us that despite the high number of attendees, the organizing team didn’t receive many questions on how to use Brella.
Are you planning your next virtual conference and dreaming of boosting your networking through the roof? Book your free consultation with our event experts and we will help you reach your goals!