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Freshening Up Freshers Fairs


Every year more graduate employers are booking stalls at Freshers fairs.

When you imagine a Freshers fair, you visualise a fantastic, manic event full of recently enrolled university students - each scrambling to get their share of the freebies and tasters, while eagerly awaiting to find out more about what their university has to offer... 

And you’re right! In recent years, however, Campus Media has seen a new trend emerging. The face of Freshers Week is changing. The numbers of graduate employers at Freshers fairs is gradually increasing, as companies are jumping on the bandwagon and getting in front of new student faces. 

Sheffield University revealed to us that they saw an impressive 50% jump in bookings from graduate employers at their Fresher Fair last year. When pressed about why this might be, they explained that graduate recruiters see the fairs as valuable in terms of making sure their students know about their brand and the career opportunities they offer. Thinking even further beyond this, Event Manager, Daniel Waddington also explained that “it is important to be heard early on as it can influence module choices available in all years.” 

While Freshers Week is predominantly occupied by first year students, Lancaster University added that often graduate employers who attend this affair will get more bang for their buck. It is not just Freshers that attend these fairs - second and third year students tag along too. This, if anything, demonstrates how popular these events can be and how much footfall they can have. In turn, this makes them a firm favourite among brands that are trying to compete for their share in the student market. 

King College London believes that agencies are perhaps a step ahead of graduate employers when it comes to attending Freshers Fairs. They commented: 

“Graduate-focused agencies look to build relationships with students as they arrive at Kings College London - so that connection is already made when said student starts investigating internships and entry level roles from their final year onwards.” 

Either way, our recent student survey results suggest that graduate recruiters are taking a step in the right direction when it comes to driving employer brand awareness. 62% of students stated that they start making career decisions in their first year of studying. 

See results in the infographic below: 

Clearly making an introduction at a Freshers fair can be very influential. Birmingham City University gave their perspective on the sudden influx: 

“Graduate employers have the perfect opportunity to talk to new students at Freshers Fairs and really plant the seed about why they should choose their company when they graduate.  Follow that up with clever marketing throughout their course and you’ve already got a whole host of talented graduates looking to work for you after 3 years.” 

If you’re looking to target Freshers Fairs this year, now is the time to get in touch! Speak to one of our specialists today by emailing or calling 020 7840 2960.