Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pay for a job fair, stay for a game...

... That maybe you don't want to watch.

About 2 months ago, I received an email to pay between 30 and 50 dollars to attend a job fair and then stay for a sports game. I forget what it was, but it was for a Tampa team. I may have written about it. But since Tampa is more than 2 hours away from me, I didn't feel it was dire to waste a trip (in gas) to pay 50 bucks for a job fair. It was one thing when I paid 25 for the New England Revolution's fair, because I wanted to see the home opener as well. But when the meetings turned out to be lousy (not even tables / vendors, and every person in attendance was told to apply online - where the vendors did not accept paper applications right then), I felt this Tampa gig would not be worth it.

Now, I get an email two days ago from the same site that sent me the Tampa information. This new fair is at the Daytona International Speedway.  The fair is going to last an hour and a half (according to the information) and then the race starts.

I'm all for endorsing the Redneck side of sports, but not when I have to pay 55 dollars in support of the job fair. It's really 50 dollars for the race ticket and 5 for the fair, if you think of it like the way the Revs went down. $22 went to the Fort ticket (normal seating for diehards) and $3 for entrance of the fair. I wanted to go to the football match, so spending 25 dollars is not an issue. The issue for the Daytona gig is the fact it's 4 hours and 10 minutes (each way) from me, about $35 worth of gas, and the $55 to attend (AND $14 for ticket processing... total: $69). With the meeting starting at 6pm, I won't make it home until well after midnight. And that's having left my house around 1 in the afternoon (I don't know Florida or its roads too well yet, so give an extra hour to travel).  Plus, who knows if there will be tolls. It's honestly not worth it.

The thing I don't agree with, in regards to the emails, is the fact that these places are doing meet and greets for jobs, to "network" - which is all good, but it's a waste of resources and time. Especially when you're paying just to attend the venue (sport). I learned my lesson from going to a Fenway Park fair 5 years ago, as well as the New England Revolution fair - you can have PR/ HR people from local teams (Revs, Patriots, Celtics and Lowell Spinners had a table, amongst others), but when the line for each table is out the door and you spend 25 to 30 minutes in the line to talk to them, you waste energy for when they tell you they're looking for interns (for college credit... now we're telling this to the 50+ crowd... because...?) or they really are not accepting any type of application or resume, then you have to question why you are really there. It's not fair nor is it right. The three tables I talked to at Gillette, took my resume and paper application, but they said that they won't be looking at anything for at least 2 months afterwards. It was just to get people's information. !!!!!

So thanks, job fairs, for thinking you're doing a good deed for the unemployed or underemployed. You're really doing us all a disservice!

The email I received:

           Dear Amy,
You are invited to attend our next TeamWork Online sports careers professional networking event hosted by Daytona International Speedway.
When: Friday February 24th - 6:00pm
Where: Daytona International Speedway
Parking: Attendees can park free at lot 7 off Bill France Blvd. where free shuttle will be available
Race: Camping World Truck Series - 2012 DIS Nextera Energy 250 NCWTS
Presented by: TeamWork Online
How did I get this invitation? You applied for a job in sports with one of our 750+ clients or signed up for TeamWork Online's professional network. We thought it might be better if you were able to meet face-to-face with your local teammates rather than rely on just computer connections.
What's in it for me? We want to increase your local contacts in the industry. You will have the opportunity to network with senior staff from the Daytona International Speedway and other Daytona sports properties. As the adage goes, the more people you know, the better your chances are at securing your next job.
What's the format? The event will begin one and a half hours before race time. You will meet members of the Daytona International Speedway business staff and other professionals within your area and engage in group discussions about current sports business issues. And you'll enjoy a fun night at the track. (Bring plenty of business cards!)
Cost? starting at $55.00, discount of $30 off regular admission (includes a ticket to the race). Register here or visit this link for more details Purchasing a ticket will automatically register you to become a "teammate" on the TeamWork Online professional network.)
Want to be more engaged in the sports business? Here's your chance. Come join us!
All my best,