Today at Design Office our Marketing team has had the fabulous opportunity of attending a Careers Fair at one of our local high schools, Sandbach School, to talk to students of all ages about their future careers.

Feedback from the last Career Fair at the school included the request of a wider range of companies and businesses representing the creative industry, so when Steve Mills, Careers and Enterprise Education Manager, contacted Design Office and asked if anyone from our team could represent the company at the fair, of course we were happy to help!

Here at Design Office we don’t believe our skill set stops with the sectors we work in, i.e. print, web, design, etc.; we pride ourselves in being a dedicated team with unique USPs, including our passion and desire to work in and with our local community, nurture young individuals and support them on their career path and create new opportunities. We therefore thought that a Careers Fair would be the perfect opportunity for our company to show a wider audience what Design Office are all about.

Design Office believes that young people are a vital ingredient when it come to business – they are the future. We therefore primarily wanted to attend the Careers Fair to talk to students who have an interest in the Creative industry and may want to pursue a career in Design, Web Development or Marketing, as well as those students who may not have settled on a career yet but might decide in the future that our industry is the direction that they want to go in. After finding out a bit more about the students and their interests we hoped to talk about potential work experience opportunities or even job opportunities, including advice for the younger students on the best GCSE and A Level course to take to better their knowledge if their heart is set on pursuing a career in the Creative industry.

Alongside work experience and job opportunities, Design Office offer apprenticeships and support in securing various training programmes relevant to an employer’s role and we noticed on the list of exhibitors that other companies and businesses would be attending that run the relevant programmes. We therefore thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to network and develop a partnership for the benefit of the students and our future employers.

Furthermore, we saw this event as an opportunity to network with other companies in our area that beyond their job roles and business goals ultimately have the same interests as us – helping the future generation and developing a stronger business community.

In preparation for the event we needed to decide what print collateral we were going to take and how we were going to exhibit in order to promote our business and inform the students about what we do and what opportunities we can offer them. For us, the Careers Fair was a relatively last minute opportunity, and by the time we had sorted the schedules internally and informed the school of what representatives would be attending the event, we only had one 8-hour working day left to design and manufacture everything that we hoped to take with us!

Yesterday morning our team were having a discussion about the materials that we had in stock and the possible displays we could produce and transport to the event and in our storage came across a fabulous clean, white stand, with a surface ideal to display our printed promotional items, a front ideal for applying printed graphics to and a hidden shelf at the back, perfect for storage.

After making a decision on the stand we needed to design and print graphics in order to brand it and promote Design Office. The graphics were designed by one of our designers and the Career Fair representative, Stephanie, taking elements from our A-list marketing campaign to produce a striking red, silver and white design promoting our A-list and the many services that our team can offer. After approval of the graphics, our Sign Fitter, Josh, printed the graphics onto Coala 2D Vinyl using our Seiko Large Format Press, before adding lamination to the face of the graphics using our Easymount Laminator. Once complete, he then prepared and applied the graphics to the stand, ready for the event – all in around 4 hours!

At the same time, Stephanie also designed two different styles of branded note pads to promote the A-list marketing campaign. We thought that these pads would be the perfect promotional materials to take to the event as students are likely to want to pick up free gifts from the stands, meaning that they would also be picking up our contact details if they wanted to get in contact after the event, as well as giving the A-list more exposure to teachers, parents, friends and siblings – anyone else that may be interested in joining the A-list and benefitting from our offers! Again, using the red, silver and white colour palette, simple and clean, but vibrant, designs were created, strengthening the brand of the marketing campaign as well as providing a functional and practical note pad.

After approval of the design at 10am, one of our designers, Michael, then got to work arranging 9 designs to one sheet of SRA3 paper and plating the designs ready for Marian, our printer, to print 1000 sheets on our 5-Colour Litho Printing Press, ultimately creating 60 DL sized note pads and 120 square note pads.

Following the printing of the sheets, Michael then used our Morgana Guillotine to cut the individual pages and neatly created stacks of the finished pages ready to be glued and cut into small pads of around 50 leaves each. Once prepped, the glue was then applied to the top edge of the complete stacks and heated in order for it to dry. Once completely dry and firmly stuck, the stack was then carefully sliced into smaller pads, stacked and boxed by the time we closed at 5pm, ready for the event first thing this morning.

Alongside the stand and the box of note pads we also took some of our A-list calendars, larger A3 desk pads and copies of our two portfolio brochures for people to take away. In addition, we took an advert for a Front-End Web Developer job vacancy that we have at the moment, as well as samples of printed products that we have completed for Sandbach School in the past to demonstrate our ongoing partnership with the school themselves.

The results of the Careers Fair were quite surprising – we had assumed that our audience would be the Sixth Form students looking for job opportunities as an alternative to applying for university, but we were surprised to find a lot of interest from GCSE level. We found that the students were very engaged and pro-active and seemed to be genuinely interested in pursuing a career in Design, Web Development or Marketing and wanted to make a conscious effort to choose GCSE or A Level subjects that will strengthen their position when it comes to applying for jobs. In addition, lots of students enquired about work experience with us, which we are more than happy to accommodate and always look forward to in our office!

“Thank you for coming to the event today. I really appreciate you taking the time our and the contribution you made. You helped to promote more creative industries today and helped to broaden the range of industries represented. Overall the staff and students have been really positive about the event and have found it very worthwhile. The even allows us to do preparation work with students beforehand and then follow up sessions on employer expectations for example. The atmosphere and sense of purpose was great to see in the students and it has been the highlight of the term for many. It is great that so many businesses find the time to attend and help us promote work related learning and making links to potential careers that they may not have considered before. Students are entitled to impartial careers advice and guidance. By attending the careers fair today it has allowed students to hear information at first hand as they get to choose a wide variety of organisations to talk to. Thanks again and I will keep you in the loop about future events.” – Steve Mills

We thought that the Careers Fair was a great success and we are always looking for similar opportunities to attend that will allow us to connect with local businesses and strengthen our community. If you have any upcoming event and you think that we would be a good asset to your list of organisations then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Call 01270 252106 or alternatively send and email to marketing@designoffice.co.uk now!