Behind the scenes: Planning the ARENA Career Fair

What’s happening within the ARENA team before the Fair day? The planning of the next fair starts right after the previous fair and planning the fair is a yearlong process. You can take a sneak peek behind the scenes through my diary of planning the ARENA 2018:

9.11.2017

The whole team is anxious to read the feedback and go through the fair day. We gather up in the Main Building and happy chatter fills the entire floor. The day was so great!

There is a lot of cleaning to do, but first we have to open the feedback boxes, and read them together. A bit of laughing, annoyance, joy and excitement is in the air at the moment! From the first look at the feedback, we’re left with mixed feelings. We read that some think the fair was too crowded, others that it was too quiet. Some exhibitors feel that they didn’t have enough students visiting their stand, some students say that the exhibitors were not welcoming enough or would only refer them to the website. Some parts of the program get amazing reviews and some ask for stuff that we already have in the program. Many of the students and exhibitors still send special thanks and complements! One group that sends only great comments are the student contact persons, what a pleasure to read those reviews!

Now it’s time to do some serious cleaning and go see the firemen put back the chairs to the Assembly hall…

31.11.2017

We’ve collected all the feedback and analyzed them properly and actually we had very pleased customers and students this year! I have also carefully read the improvement suggestions and my head is already spinning with new ideas… Now it’s time to book a time for the karonkka for the whole ARENA team. At the karonkka we go through the ARENA 2017 carefully, I present the feedback and suggestions and we agree over the details of the ARENA 2018. That is going to be the best ARENA ever!

14.2.2018

First actual steps towards the ARENA 2018 are taken now when the bidding process of the fair constructor begins and we start to plan the visual identity with the graphic designer. I also plan to go through the entire website to make sure that the texts are up to date and in line with the new systems and plans. I also get to write out and design some new services as we are going to take new additional services into the program, based on actual feedback from the students and exhibitors of course!

Videos, videos, videos! This month involves some hardcore learning experiences through building a video from fair pictures and trying to find free-to-use music. However, the hours spent can’t be wasted as it’s always good to try something new and the videos are soooo cool!

9.3.2018

Benchmarking is such a good way to think beyond the normal standards. Annemari and I are attending a fair at the Messukeskus to check out the signposts, fair map layout, fair program and fair app! Moreover, I must say we are amazed about how few signposts they have. Yet people seem to manage to find the toilet and the venue for the lectures… Gives a lot to think about for us and I think you are about to see much emptier walls this year!

21.3.2018

We just got the first draft of the new visual identity of the fair and it is so good! I love it that it is so different from last year. It has many dimentions and is very 3D. Annemari absolutely loves it too! I was expecting a long discussion and many emails back and forth, but this suggestion got accepted straight away. That must mean that it is nothing but great, right?

10.4.2018

I am a master spy… We have an ambitious plan of sending out invitations to all the organizations who have ever attended the ARENA Career Fair. This means some spying and a lot of manic scrolling for me. But how cool it would be to attract some “old” clients back here for the last year in Töölö!

And next?

Now is almost the time to reveal the ARENA Career Fair 2018 to the potential employers and start the marketing. I hope to get all our beloved regular customers, even more startups and SME companies and some returning exhibitors at the fair!

Next, I will start to plan the student marketing and take care of the practicalities for organizing the actual fair. I have some new tools for the student marketing this year, so I am anxious to see how you respond.

We are aiming for offering the exhibitors and the students a grand finale at the Töölö premises! It is going to be the best ever, see you there!

 

Milja Koski
Event Coordinator, ARENA Career Fair
milja.koski@aalto.fi

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