Foto Manuel Bostanci

Development of a virtual trade fair experience for HOKO: interview with a jambitee 

Why and how jambitee Manuel Bostanci is involved in the HOKO® - HOCHSCHULKONTAKTMESSE

Personal contact is still important in times of Covid-19 and Social Distancing. For employee recruiting, jambit has long used the HOKO annually as a platform to establish contact with students. The HOKO – as one of the largest contact fairs with 300 participating companies over three days and 15,000 visitors – was realized this year for the first time as online fair. Our jambitee Manuel Bostanci, Software Developer of the Business Division New Business and at the same time student at the University of Applied Sciences Munich (HM), will be present at the planning and realization from November 10 – 12, 2020. In this interview, we look at challenges and potentials and learn more about the realization and focus of HOKO online 2020.

Manuel, how come you are you involved in the organization of HOKO online?

After my apprenticeship and four years of full-time work as a software developer at jambit, I decided to study Business Informatics at HM on a part-time basis. As a student at the HM, I also belong to the organizing core team of HOKO online this year and in this function, I am planning the trade fair for companies like jambit.

Software Developer, student, and trade fair organizer – that sounds like a heavy workload. In what form does jambit support you in this "triple role"?

jambit gives me a lot of freedom and is super flexible. According to the S3 principle, you simply coordinate your presence and absence in the team. I have a part-time contract and can work two to three days a week and dedicate the rest of my time to university. During the exam period, I can even take several weeks off in a row. I can then work the hours back in during the semester break. In addition, jambit pays the travel costs, i.e. the local public transport ticket, for students. This is not a matter of course.

And why are your commitment to the HOKO in the first place?

The team and mindset are simply ingenious. The core team of 24 people is a cool community that puts together something great with passion and commitment. The core team changes every year to develop new impulses and ideas and to constantly improve the HOKO. I started as a helper at HOKO last year and was directly inspired by the team spirit. Everybody helps in the same way. When I got the opportunity to become part of the core team in 2020, the decision was easy for me.

  • It was above all the drive of the new team that was keen to create a complete trade fair experience, of course Corona-compliant, that had never before existed in virtual form.

    Manuel Bostanci, Software Developer at jambit and member of the 2020 core team of HOKO online

Surely, it was clear for quite some time that the contact fair cannot take place as usual this year because of Covid-19. Did you immediately realize that it must not be cancelled and that you wanted to find an online concept?

Yes, the team generally has its own high standards for handling things technically and logistically. We researched other platforms to find out what already exists and were a bit disappointed. It quickly became clear that we had to create something of our own. It was above all the drive of the new team that was keen to create a complete trade fair experience, of course Corona-compliant, that had never before existed in virtual form.

So how did you realize the virtual appearance?

First of all, we modeled a 3D trade fair booth that companies could customize themselves, with their CI-colors, banners, roll-ups and information, in other words, their company-specific assets. And all this was automated, so that each company could configure everything itself via our completely self-built platform our Firmenimporter. For each uploaded asset, the company can decide which action it wants to set for a click point displayed above the asset. For example, a video can be played when clicking on the TV aor you can be redirected to the company homepage when clicking on the company logo etc. My personal baby in this process was the stand customization, which I implemented using the latest cloud architectureserverless on AWS. We also built in the video conferencing tool Zoom. When you click on the counter, you enter a zoom meeting where a member of the recruiting team is waiting and happy to talk to the visitors. We are also currently developing a trade fair system to round off the experience. There will be an entrance hall with different areas such as the jobwall with job offers, a stage for the startup pitch and the exhibition hall with the 3D stands.

jambit 3D-Stand HOKO 2020
Self-configured 3D exhibition booth of jambit at the HOKO online

Where do you see the challenges, but also the chances and potentials of HOKO online?

Besides internal organizational and technical challenges, it is of course a challenge to get companies to participate. The transformation from an on-site to an online trade fair was very short-term. We also have to approach the visitors differently. Normally, the students automatically walk past the booths because of the presence classes that take place at the university. But how do we get them to actively visit the website and get in touch with the companies? On the one hand, we use cross-media marketing through many channels to promote the HOKO online. On the other hand, our concept and offer speaks for itself. We can create a complete virtual trade fair experience from which both the companies and the visitors can benefit. A big plus is that you don't have to register for HOKO online and can click in from anywhere at any time. And everything remains online for some time after the trade fair. So you can also use the offer beyond November 12, 2020 and call up all the information about the companies and their booths.

How can I get in touch with the companies during the trade fair and get to know the company?

By integrating Zoom as a video chat platform, company representatives and students can easily get in touch live. Either just by text chat or in a personal conversation with microphone and/or camera, in a group or in private in a virtual breakout room. And since no registration or passwords are required for zoom meetings, it is very easy and quick to participate. To make sure that you can meet the recruiting team online at the counter in the zoom meeting, there are classic opening hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., just like on-site. But beyond that, you can of course click through the booths at any time earlier or later than that.

Why should you not miss the HOKO online?

Because the HOKO online is in no way inferior to the regular presence fair and is definitely worth a visit. Contact and discussions with companies, exhibition booths, tips and tricks for job interviews, CV check, the job wall with versatile job advertisements, the startup pitch, and the seminars are exciting offers.

Foto Manuel Bostanci

Clearly, jambit does not miss the HOKO online – meet us virtually!

  • WHO? jambit with our self-configured 3D trade fair booth, lots of information and one exited recruiter
  • WHAT? University contact fair HOKO online
  • WHEN? November 10 to 12, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. live
  • WHERE? Online, available everywhere

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