Collect these metrics at your next Alumni event
Social Networks are effective because they give us visibility into the lives of those we are connected with. You can find out all about a person’s day-to-day activities because “posting” and “sharing” has become part of everyday life. It makes our elders cringe, but it is a part of our society as we know it.
People decide what events they will and won’t attend based on who is going because people nowadays are short on time and attention. It’s ugly, but FOMO seems to have more pull than the actual experience your event will provide.
We have all internalized this as the “new norm,” and that’s why even archaic event technology has started to incorporate public Attendee Lists to their event pages, in order to drive more attendance.
This is all great for getting people to your event, but real value can come AFTER your event if you’re willing to record a little extra information along the way…
Here is some of the information we would suggest you attempt to collect from your group members, and then we’ll share why: Graduation Year, Major/Minor, Industry You Work In, Current Employer.
Alumni from different graduating years are going to have different needs. If you have younger alumni, Happy Hours and Speed Networking events may be the way to go. Older alumni with families may appreciate a family-friendly tailgate or BBQ. You may be surprised to find that you have enough active alumni from a particular graduation year in order to host a mini-reunion!
Not every alum will end up on a career path that utilizes their chosen major/minor, however, there is a certain affinity that people share with their fields of study. If you have a lot of History students, they may be interested in an event at a local museum, for example. Having a grasp on the academic backgrounds of your alumni group members can help to drive the connection to your alumni group.
Industry You Work In
Similar to the Major/Minor comments above, you could provide more robust event programming if you know the professional background of your alumni. Have a lot of accountants in your alumni group? Maybe a mini-seminar on filing your taxes is an opportunity to provide extra value to your members while allowing your accountant alumni a chance to share their knowledge.
Company You Work For
We have found that cities tend to have a handful of major employers. If you find yourself in a restaurant in Newark, New Jersey, chances are you are in the company of at least one Prudential employee. If you have a handful of group members from the same company you could leverage that relationship for event sponsorships as companies nowadays are always looking for ways to better support their employee’s work life balance.
Adding these data points to your event sign up is easy and generally pain-free to your alumni group members. If you can show that you are using the data in order to host better events, your members will appreciate your consideration and you are on your way to a more engaged membership!