A Look Inside Virtual Job Fairs With IMASTE

July 28, 2009

IMASTE Co-Founders: Miguel Fernandez Lapique, Aitor Zabala, Miguel Arias

IMASTE Co-Founders: Miguel Fernandez Lapique, Aitor Zabala, Miguel Arias

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Madrid, Spain, IMASTE has a mission statement that reads, “We create innovative contact platforms for our customers and their potential users”.  According to Miguel Arias, Director-Partner at IMASTE, “We founded IMASTE with the purpose of enabling a bridge between companies and university graduates. We first started organizing real events and after two years we became the Spanish leader in university recruitment events in Spain.”  As technologies began to emerge, IMASTE found it natural to leverage the web to complement their physical recruitment events with virtual job fairs.

Today, IMASTE has three primary product categories:

  1. Virtual Fairs – Virtual Job Fairs have been produced in Spain, France, UK, Brazil and Portugal – and IMASTE is working on a sustainability virtual fair in France.
  2. Virtual Environments Lab – based on Adobe Flex, IMASTE builds rich internet applications for clients.  Arias notes, “We have developed the virtual corporate office for Deloitte, the virtual campus for Everis, a virtual music festival for Universia and a virtual petrol station for CEPSA.”
  3. On-Campus (Physical) Job Fairs – IMASTE organizes more than ten Spanish university job fairs, a primary source for Spanish employers to tap into a pool of young graduates.
Monster Edays Event, Powered by IMASTE

Monster Edays Event, Powered by IMASTE

IMASTE worked with Monster to produce Monster Edays, a 2-week virtual job fair that leveraged instant messaging and video chat and enabled more than 90 online company presentations.  IMASTE leveraged Adobe Flex for 3D renderings and animations, as well as the Red5 video conferencing application.  With the event targeting the French market, IMASTE enabled French language support in their platform and coordinated video production activities from Paris.

According to a Case Study posted on the IMASTE web site:

With more than 35 participating companies, over 100,000 unique visitors and over 8,000 collected CVs, the project was a huge success. The media buzz generated more than 350 referring sites and great blogger reviews.  Thus increasing heavily the brand awareness among jobseekers.

Like many providers of virtual events and virtual event technology, IMASTE has a fairly healthy schedule of events.  In the Fall of 2009 alone, they have virtual fairs planned in Croatia, France, Spain, UK and Ireland – with a second edition of a Brazilian virtual job fair scheduled as well.

Speaking of the European market, Arias notes that Europe encompasses many countries, languages and cultures – for virtual event success, “one needs to take into account the cultural differences of each country and localize your platform to each specific need.”  Sprinkling in a bit of humor, Arias concludes, “Therefore, you need to be very flexible and code a lot.”

Arias believes that vast growth opportunities lie ahead, since the European market has not yet fully embraced virtual events – “corporate and marketing executives are not so keen of web innovations and there is a very strong culture of the importance of physical events to enable networking.”

Perhaps IMASTE should leverage their physical job fair business – and prove the ROI and benefits to the European market by turning them into hybrid (phyical+virtual) events.  This way, European exhibitors/sponsors still experience a comfort level (with the physical event sponsorship) and begin to experience the corresponding benefits of the virtual experience.

Related links

  1. A list of IMASTE’s products
  2. The IMASTE blog
  3. The IMASTE Team
  4. IMASTE blog posting on SEO and social networks
  5. Blog posting: For Virtual Events, Globalization Means Localization

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