5 musts for running a cracking careers day
For the past 6 years I have been involved with the organisation of a local consortium careers fair with six local secondary schools and an FE College taking part. Currently we have 70 exhibitors with over 1500 visitors each year. This is an opportunity for students aged 13-19 and their parents to meet with employers, colleges and universities and hear about their offer to support them with their careers decisions and choices.
Based on my experience, here are my tops tips for organising a successful careers day.
- Save the date with your Senior Team
Meet with your Senior Team to plan the date of the careers fair – this should tie in with the school curriculum and support key transitions, such as option choices in lower school and post 16 choices in upper school.
- Build up your exhibitor network
Exhibitors need to be contacted well in advance of the event. Attending local business breakfasts and other careers events nationally throughout the year helps you build a good database of employers. When you meet your exhibitors, make sure you brief them fully on how the event will work and its key aims. It’s also worth giving them the opportunity to send materials ahead of the day to ease travelling.
- Get marketing
The best way to ensure you have good attendance is by marketing the event to parents and students. This could be via posters, letters and information home to parents. It’s also really important to talk to all your students about how the careers fair will benefit them.
- Plan, assess, evaluate
Plan well in advance and thoroughly risk assess the event. On the day, make sure you hand out programmes to students detailing where they can find the exhibitors they want to speak to. You should also include some highlights on what sector the exhibitor is representing. It’s also a good idea to put up signs and posters with detailed information. Afterwards, thoroughly evaluate the day with feedback from the exhibitors and the students, as this will allow you to continually develop and improve elements of the event for years to come.
- Keep everyone fed, watered and happy
Make your attendees feel welcomed and comfortable. Ensure there’s a good provision of food and refreshments for all exhibitors involved as well as a friendly ‘thank you’, as this means they’ll be likely to attend the following year.
- Did you know that you can order printed careers fair leaflets from LifeSkills to be sent directly to your school? Simply log in and go to barclayslifeskills.com/teachers/resources. These have loads of hints and tips to help your students start their career journey
- You can also find more advice and guidance, as well as activities, resources and more in our careers guide – just log in and download it from the teacher homepage at barclayslifeskills.com/teachers