5 Tip to Simplify Your Alumni Event Management
Successful events and programs leave a crowd with the impression that each detail magically floated into place after a flick of the wand and that a delightful team of characters danced and sang music throughout the process. Alumni Relations Professionals know that a successful event or program is the result of an intricate symphony bound together with timelines, project management, strict deadlines, organization, and planning.
With all of the intricacies of event and activity planning, how can we find time to meaningfully include events in an engagement strategy? Simplifying the management of your events and activities can allow you more time in your daily schedule to think strategically about things like; Should an event or activity no-show factor into my engagement score?
The following are five tips that will help simplify event and activity management.
- Do not give in to administrative overload.
Pulling data for invitations, coding data, exporting and importing data, cleaning data, spreadsheet management, formatting name tags, pre/post-event surveying, managing several event calendars, and managing social media can keep a large team of planners busy, but some shops are doing all of this with very few resources, while juggling a myriad of other duties. Taking a detailed look at your workflow and identifying ways to streamline the process will help keep your team’s head above water. Think of the time you could save if you could create an event in one platform and it would automatically populate to all of your department’s event calendars, then automatically update an advancement customer relations software.
2. Create attendee personas to personalize outreach and maximize your response rate.
In a recent webinar hosted by MeetingsNet, VP, Global Business Development & Strategy for American Express Meetings and Events, Milton Rivera suggests grouping attendees into different profiles and analyzing what motivates these guests to attend events and participate in activities. This is a spectacular strategy to generate a high return on engagement.
3. Now that you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Simplify your social media strategy by utilizing a system that not only integrates with top social media platforms, but also with an email marketing system, and generates socially optimized web registration links. Streamlining social media strategies allows your team the time to develop event or activity experiences with enhancements like live social streaming or interactive surveys.
4. Follow up with your attendees.
Keeping the momentum that you and your team spent tireless hours creating is just as important to event success as any other practice. Scheduling a series of automated thank you social posts and emails during the planning phase of the event process lets you set it and forget it. When the event or activity is completed, you won’t have to scramble to send messages, and you have an easy way to send a survey as well.
5. Always be testing.
Use the results from attendance data, attendee personas, and follow-up surveys to determine what is working and what is a flop. Gather a group of attendees from an event for a virtual focus group and offer them a reward for participating. Attendees can be an excellent source of testing and information, but do not forget to ask for feedback from colleagues and internal staff. Evaluating our strategies throughout a year can lead to enhancements in our workflow.
These are just a few ways you can begin to buy back your time and efficiently incorporate events and activities into engagement metrics. I hope that these tips have helped you think about how you and your team may be able to simplify your event and activity management. Stay on the lookout for my next blog post on how to create a lasting experience for guests. If you are interested in learning more about these tips, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.