All the fun of the Jobs Fair: branding a multi-agency event
Employable is the name of the jobs fair that came to the opulent surroundings of Birmingham’s Council House banqueting suite, in the city’s central Victoria Square, last month. And it had a twist – it aimed to put job seekers who were Deaf or had another form of disability in touch with employers looking to hire from these sectors of the community.
Understandably, this event was many months in the planning, and indeed initially had to be rearranged after the general election was called.
It involved working with many different organisations, including Birmingham City Council, the Department for Work and Pensions, APM, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, specialist Deaf employment service BID Services, and the Disability Resource Centre.
It attracted a range of employers, from Avon to the Arts Council of England, Ocado and Birmingham’s Queen Alexandra College. They had a chance to network and hear various speakers before the event proper got underway on the day.
Naturally, working with so many different partners threw up its share of challenges, which we enjoyed meeting. But we were highly proactive, to be as effective as possible.
As a key organiser of this important event, we wanted to focus on enhancing awareness of the issues surrounding disability and employment.
We discussed the naming with our copywriter and came up with the title Employable. The next step was to create options for the logo, each focusing on a different aspect of disabled employment, to present to the team.
Having the name with arrows symbolised progress and forward momentum, and was well received by the partners.
As the budget was low, social media would have a key role to play in this event, so we set up a Twitter account with the @employable 2017 handle, and a Facebook page, both of which quickly took off.
With the copywriter, we produced a press release and secured coverage in the leading Deaf blog Limping Chicken.
We were keen to be closely involved to help boost the employment chances of Deaf and disabled people across the West Midlands, but also for the PR benefits and to forge valuable working relationships, especially with those in government.
Dozens of different employers and job-seekers filled both rooms of the Banqueting Suite for the whole morning. We helped staff the cSeeker stall, chatting to visitors about the organisation, giving away leaflets and pencil cases, and signing up volunteers to work there.
This useful, successful day was a great example of branding and multi-agency working, and we made many useful contacts while raising the profile of both EduStart and cSeeker.