Virtual Manufacturing Day Events
Creative Alternatives to In-Person Activities
So, you’ve decided that 2020 might not be the best year for a traditional open house or large school group tour. What are some other ways you can showcase your company and career opportunities in manufacturing to students, the public, and community leaders?
As an innovative manufacturer, we know you’re up to an out-of-the-box challenge. Here are some ideas from others to get you started. Click the topic headings below to expand the information.
Once you decide on an activity (or multiple ones!), check out our Virtual Event Messaging Guide for sample text, downloadable graphics and other resources to build awareness and excitement before your event! Remember, an "event" doesn't have to happen one just one day - even if you just do a simple social media campaign or post a video on your website, register it on CreatorsWanted.org to share with your peers and others!
Drive-by events have been embraced by many for educational events (such as graduations) as well as personal celebrations. Businesses can coordinate with the local Chamber and schools to promote a drive-by tour showcasing banners at each business.
- Create a series of banners to introduce your business, showcase products, salute employees or highlight your positive impacts on the community.
- Encourage your employees to stand outside and wave to students and others driving by, to underscore your workforce opportunities.
- Host a banner creation contest before the tour to help students learn about your business in advance (and create more interest in the tour).
Think you need a big budget and lots of equipment to produce a virtual tour? Think again – here are some resources to explore:
- How to Create a Virtual Tour in 8 Steps
- The Guide to Panoramic Photography
- Create Virtual Tours on a Mobile Phone
- Virtual Tours Made Simple
- Instagram Highlights
- How to use Google My Business Videos to Create Engaging Listings
Contests are a great way to engage and excite students in activities that are both educational and memorable. In addition to the banner creation contest mentioned earlier, there are a number of virtual contests you can consider:
- Virtual Scavenger Hunt: create a scavenger hunt that encourages students to look throughout their school, house, neighborhood like an engineer, or to make a list of items in their household and figure out where and how they were manufactured.
- Zoom Party Trivia Contest: Have students tune into a Zoom party and present a trivia or short math/science question. Award points or prizes to the first person or team that submits the correct answer.
- Problem-solving Challenges: Work with a school or class to have students create and present potential solutions to a specific challenge your company faces (waste reduction, product design).
Put your new Zoom meeting skills to work! Host a virtual "career day" session for school classrooms:
- Utilize free platforms such as Google classroom or Webex
- Develop a “booth” that showcases your business
- Have as many job positions showcased as possible
- Partner with the chamber to see if they would be willing to host the event so you can focus on putting together a booth and presentations. The Chamber can work with schools to schedule time to get in front of schools, and perhaps serve as the virtual “host.” This could also be an opportunity for the chamber to reach out and see if there are others interested in presenting at the career day.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Linked-in are a quick and easy way to highlight individual employees, an innovative product, or a special accomplishment.
- Showcase your employees through pictures and/or video posted on social media. Have them describe what they do, why they like it, how they got there, etc. Encourage them to share the posts to their personal accounts so friends and family will see it and spread the posts further. Download an example of a "Position post" for inspiration
- Highlight new or adapted products you are making in response to the pandemic. Are you producing PPE for a local hospital or first responders? Show them in action!
- Want to try something eye-catching? Try taking and posting a 3D picture of a product or process.
- Create your social media posts in advance, and then use a social media scheduling program (such as Hootsuite) so they go out automatically at a regular time (for example, once a day during the week leading up to MFG Day, or every Monday during the month of October).
- Short on time, show off your company's branded content. Film each member of your staff say a single word from your mission/value statement or something about your company. Post your completed video to your social media channels.
We all have a new appreciation for snail mail and package delivery in the age of social distancing. Have you considered:
- Developing Creator Kits. If you have a model, you can cost effectively produce and
send to hundreds of students. Download an example of a Creator Kit post
- Think about ways to have them share images or videos of what they create.
- Have staff judge them and point out best design features and areas for improvement.
- Informational packets. Send out a mailing that highlights manufacturing opportunities and open positions/ internships at your company. Do you have trade show “swag” in your warehouse? Include them in the packets going to students or groups.
Activities and examples from Montana and Beyond
- Helena WINS will host a FREE virtual event through Edge Factor for students to learn more about careers in this field and the industry itself. Find out more and register on their website at https://www.helenawins.com/events.
- The Butte Economic Development Group will host a Community Call (open to the public) on October 7th, with manufacturers from around the area sharing what they do, where their products are used, and the workforce issues they're facing. They will also be posting on social media and blogging throughout the month about local manufacturers and the variety of manufacturing industries in the area. (Check out the BLDC's Facebook page for more info.)
- TowHaul in Manhattan will host a a virtual Manufacturing Day event October 2, 2020 via their social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and on their YouTube channel (see TowHaul's Facebook page for more info).
- Check out this great new tour of the West Paw facility and products
- Watch solar energy collection in progress during the Blackfeet Community College Energy Practicum, assisted by Satic Shield.
- Dean's Zesty Booch will be videoing their canning process while a representative describes what makes their product, company culture, and business unique.
Check out all the registered events in Montana and around the country!