With all of these potential problems New York Event Planners face today with planning higher ed events, investing in affordable technology, like event management software, can be the key to making alumni events simpler to manage and more effective. Along with time saved through automated processes, with software, each event can be more engaging and memorable, thus getting alumni more involved and active in an intuition’s future.
Here are just some of the ways event management software can help New York Event Planners throughout the alumni event lifecycle:
- Finding the right venue: As higher ed planners know, important events don’t just happen on campus or in the town the school is in. Especially if your alumni network has chapters on a national (or even international level), finding the right venues in multiple cities can prove to be a time-consuming challenge. An event software with venue sourcing technology can help New York Event Planners eliminate and streamline the back-and-forth with eRFPs for hotels and other venues, while also reducing the time researching online and frequent phone calls.
- Create targeted email marketing campaigns: A common strategy that colleges and universities use to engage alumni, seek donations and tell them about important upcoming events is via dinner-time phone calls (you know the ones!). Yet events have traditionally found the most success via email marketing. Software that allows planners to create attractive emails efficiently through drag-and-drop tools, template creation and that are mobile-friendly can make this easy. Other features like attendee categories (like alumni in different graduation years or area chapters) can help target specific groups and track the results.
- Incorporating school branding: Nothing, I mean, nothing invokes more pride and nostalgia for alumni than their school symbols: logos, mascots, motto, and especially their colors. From marketing emails to event-specific websites, to surveys and mobile apps, taking the time to incorporate those oh-so important branding elements will help capture alumni attention. New York Event Planners should look for software that allows for complete look and feel customization when it comes to these event elements.
- Increasing networking opportunities: Software that works with other exciting new technology can help you create an engaging onsite experience for alumni. As you can imagine, a common goal of alumni events is networking, whether it’s reconnecting with old classmates, making business connections, or working with current or prospective students. Make it fun and high-tech with technology like digital badges, which can allow for the seamless exchange of contact information instead of old-fashioned business cards (among other things).
- Enhancing engagement via mobile: A common misconception is that event mobile apps only work at large-scale events. The truth is that mobile apps can be utilized at any size event, even the smallest of alumni meet ups. One option is to create a multi-event app just for alumni, where the information for all your events in found in one place. No matter the event, it can be the place to review all of their networking connections (that they got from the digital badges in the example above), message fellow alumni and where they can find all the latest updates. Not to mention, planners can send out push notifications pre-, during and post-event to increase awareness and engagement. It’s also especially crucial to consider a mobile presence for your events as the younger generations are incredibly mobile-centric.
- Tracking event success and ROI: After all is said in done, university stakeholders want to be able to track and see measurable results from these events. But unfortunately, 70% of alumni administrators do not track ROI to evaluate the success or failure of their programs. Prove alumni events’ worth with event management software that keeps all of your planning tools and the data it collects in one place. That way you can get truly get a full picture of what event features worked or didn’t work, or which resulted in the highest networking or fundraising opportunities, to create even more successful events in the future.
Event planning in the world of higher education has its own unique challenges, but like any industry, finding the right technology solution can help New York Event Planners with event success. In this case, it’s increasing engagement, getting more donations or funding, and, overall, building an even closer community of their respective intuition’s alumni, its greatest champions and loyalists. This all helps cultivate a culture of life-lasting support, consistent growth and increased positive association of a college or university, and it all starts with outstanding alumni events.