First decide on the date and time to host your fair. You'll need at least five to six months lead time to work out the logistics of the event. Job fairs are scheduled throughout the year, but most occur from November through June. Although evening career fairs will give people who have jobs the opportunity to attend after the work day, during an economic downturn, career fairs can be day-long events attracting those who are out of work. A day to evening schedule (for instance, noon to 8 p.m.) will allow you to capture both markets.
After you've decided on the date and time of your fair, compile a database of contact information for potential employers so you can get in touch with them easily. Coordinating speakers and employers to travel to the fair requires advanced preparation. In order to get the maximum number of attendees, publicize the event well in advance by advertising in newspapers and on Web sites geared towards job searchers and employers seeking new talent. Send out press releases to get free publicity in newspapers and on TV.
Be sure to keep your budget and profit margins in mind. Of course, your budget will vary depending on size and scope of event. To determine the cost of a booth, align its size and prominence with the price you will charge for it. For example, the National Career Fair Web site offered a rate of $746.25 for an 8 x 10 foot (2.4 x 3 meter) booth at its fairs but you could pay extra for larger booths with prime locations, as well as advertising on its Web site and email blast list.