Promotion of talent recruitment schemes at international fairs

Using physical and online exhibit marketing can be powerful for higher education institutions to foster their visibility and attract new students and early-stage researchers through the promotion of national and institutional opportunities for study and research.

Higher education institutions can use this channel to communicate externally about their institution and possibilities to engage with it, including existing scholarships, grants and other forms of support to collaboration.


Improved visibility Improved access to information Better communication and cooperation

Basic information

Categories Promotion & Visibility
Mobility stages Pre-arrival phase
Delivery schedule Periodic
Importance Important to have
Scale of organizational change
Target groups PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Administrative staff Management staff
Types of contracts of researchers Full degree student Employee in training (interns, research fellows, postdocs) Exchange student
Career stages of researchers Less than 6 months 6-12-months of experience 1-3-years of experience
Lengths of stays of researchers 0-3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months More than 12 months

Practice setup

Effective participation in international fairs requires identifying goals of exhibition activity, selecting fairs which will permit achieving the goals, and setting the budget of the exhibition event. Aspects to consider include:

  • Identifying priority regions and destinations for international fairs;

  • Nominating staff members who will organise and attend exhibitions and represent the higher education institution externally;

  • Preparing promotion materials or pre-show communication; 

  • Marketing the exhibition on social media or via other channels (advertising in pre-show sources).

The focus can be placed on the following activities: 

  • Promoting national, institutiional and faculty-level opportunities for study and research;

  • Promoting institutional and faculty-level infrastructure (e.g. research and academic facilities) and environment or working conditions (e.g. health services, family support);  

  • Sharing information about the institution and specifying the key information sources available online (e.g. website, fora, brochures, newsletters).


Cost of practice setup
Time required for practice setup
Personnel effort required for practice setup
Actors involved in practice setup
  • Project management office
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • PR department
  • Research office
  • Doctoral school
  • Leisure activities centre (sport centre, museum, garden)
  • Science park
Partners involved in practice setup
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup
  • A visibility/promotion plan designed
Description of collaboration

Internal Actors

For the IRO, it would be important to approach all relevant actors in the higher education institution (e.g. Research Office, Doctoral School, Project Management Office) to collect comprehensive information about the existing opportunities and facilities for promotion and process this information from the marketing perspective together with the PR department.  


External Collaborations

Several higher education institutions or research organisations could join forces in representing their institutions or joint collaboration opportunities (e.g. joint programmes, joint use of infrastructure) at one or several fairs for greater visibility and participation efficiency. 

Practice delivery

During the delivery phase, attention has to be paid to the following aspects:

  • Engagement of staff attending the fair with emphasis on institutional knowledge, openness to interaction and communication skills;

  • Use of appealing promotion products and information materials in English-language or local languages;

  • The layout and design of the booth in line with university branding;   

  • Individualised consultations and support.




Cost of practice delivery
Time required for practice delivery
Personnel effort required for practice delivery
Actors involved in practice delivery
  • IRO/welcome centre
Partners involved in practice delivery
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery
  • Number of international fairs attended annually
  • Number of fairs with a booth annually
  • Number of fairs with a talk/presentation annually
  • Number of international PhDs/academics/researchers recruited annually
Description of collaboration

@ Other HEI/research organisations in city/region - partner organisations can take turns in representing their institutions at various fairs, provided they have sufficient knowledge of each others' opportunities and have sufficient degree of complementarity. In this case, it would be important to share information about the participating institutions on a more personalised basis to ensure fair exposure to the target audience. Partners could also share related marketing and promotion costs.