The career fair has evolved, along with the campus recruiting landscape as a whole. Yet recruiting teams still struggle to ensure recruitment events are a worthwhile investment. Some college career center directors report record numbers at their fairs, while others lament a downward trend in student attendance. Either way, when your team shows up at a career fair, you want to be sure students show up, too. Here’s how:

1. Find your niche

Many university career services departments have moved away from a single, giant career fair to smaller, specialized fairs focused on specific majors or career opportunities. These events are beneficial because students are more likely to attend when they know each employer in attendance will have internship and full-time employment opportunities that match their skill set. When you’re deciding which upcoming career fairs to attend, work with hiring managers to decide which roles are most important for the upcoming year, and look for recruitment events that match. Looking for bright young STEM majors? Head to the engineering career fair. Seeking summer help? Add the internship fair to your list.

2. Let students pre-register

Connecting with students pre-career fair is always a good idea. Collecting RSVPs will give you a better sense of how many students will be attending, and sending pre-event emails or texts allows you to communicate your employer brand before you even step foot on campus.

Before each event, send registration to candidates so that you can identify top prospects. If you can advance talent through the hiring pipeline pre-event, you’ll be able to collect each student’s resume and extend offers by the end of the fair.

Knowing your company will be in attendance can help build pre-event buzz among students. And when the big day comes, pre-registration helps streamline check-in and facilitates interview scheduling.

3. Text candidates

Communicating with students prior to college career fairs is a great way to let them know what to expect and increase your chances of healthy attendance. But it’s important to speak their language and reach them where they already spend their time—which means text recruiting.

Ask for a list of students from the career center and send candidates automated emails to introduce your company. Follow up with a personalized text message inviting students to pre-register and self-schedule their career fair interviews. (Don’t use your personal cell phone!)

Go above and beyond by offering a few pointers for what to expect if it’s their first time attending a career fair, how to succeed at a networking event, and what kinds of professional attire to wear. Make it easy for them and show you’re invested in their career development. They’ll be excited to meet you in-person.

4. Get personal

Campus recruiting consultant Mary Scott coined an acronym for a career fair practice she hates: GTW (“go to website”). Employees staffing career fair tables routinely tell candidates to simply go to the company website for more information. If that’s the case, why should the students even bother showing up?

Assign engaged company representatives to attend the fair, and make sure students know exactly who will be there ahead of time. If you’re able to bring employees who are alumni of the university you’re attending, even better. Students will be excited to take a break from social media, see a friendly face when they arrive and shake some real-life hands that could land them a great opportunity.

5. Centralize your data

Even though students won’t necessarily know about it, creating a central event reporting system keeps your team organized, which can make a positive impression on candidates even before the fair. A central event hub allows every team member to access one, complete system where they manage event materials.

Give everyone a clear understanding of event expectations, and you will eliminate disorder at recruitment events. You’ll be prepared and your team will operate seamlessly. When that comes across to students prior to the event, they’ll be more willing to walk through that door and meet you.