The alumni community of an institution is a large network of professionals in several fields of study. The advantage here is that all of them already share the same background. If they seek employment opportunities, or the employment is already looking likely, they can leverage the knowledge and connections of their alumni community. Every university should have its own alumni directory to help graduates connect with fellow alumni that can be of help by offering important information. This advantage can be a game-changer for their careers.
Students who have developed long-lasting friendships in school and lived a social life can enjoy this benefit. Also, students that were part of clubs, societies, and other professional groups in varsity will be looking to follow up by being a part of alumni events after graduation.
Here are some excellent ideas you can implement if you are on the planning committee for an alumni event.
Music festivals are not limited to campus years only. A well-organized live music show can prove to be an awesome way for the alumni to muse over their university years. Music festivals are usually outdoor events and it is safer to have the festival during the summer to run a lower risk of rain affecting the event. However, if you can access an excellent indoor venue then this event can hold any time during the year.
The alumni community can be invited to attend the next big college game. As an incentive to promote alumni participation, VIP tickets may be reserved for them and sold exclusively to the alumni. This will also offer a platform for the alumni body to mingle and bond more even before the game begins. Complimentary drinks can also be served in their VIP section.
A convention is a commonly used method for the alumni community of several universities to meet up. You can invite some famous alumni such as a sports star, motivational speaker, astronaut, famous author and so on. Tickets could be sold to fund the event and also fund the other plans the alumni community desires to effect.
A lot of work goes into the successful planning of an alumni convention especially if the speakers you want to invite to the conventions are very famous and successful people. You must give them advance notice, at least six months before the event. You must pick a date as soon as possible and communicate the date to the alumni body quickly. This will help everyone save the date on their calendars.
You can also have backup speakers in case something doesn’t work out with your first-choice speakers. This convention is also an excellent way for the alumni body to deliberate on other plans they may want to execute during the next year.
This is a suggestion that will gain more acceptance among posh alumni. Guests at the dinner are required to pay a handsome fee before they can attend and it allows them to meet with other alumni of the same social class and they get to support the school generously. An auction can be added to the dinner to help increase fundraising at the event.
These auction dinners work wonders with the wealthier group of the alumni association. You can provide rare school artifacts probably art items for the school arts faculty and you can get the attendees bidding for these items. The items are usually of sentimental value and not of much monetary value.
Another instance is auctioning off naming rights over a new school lecture theatre. This is something that can make wealthy alumni access their deep pockets and help the university financially and even offer scholarship opportunities to students in the institution.
An alumni boat cruise is a fun and unique option for an alumni get-together. Provide the attendees with drinks, good food, some form of entertainment, and an open bar. This will not only connect the alumni but will also help loosen their pockets in no time.
Golf is not limited to white-collar executives and their clients only. It can also be a great way for the alumni association to get together and support the institution. This sort of golf tournament is common amongst these types of gatherings because they offer a controlled amount of fun, they are perfect for networking and they are outdoors which makes it great for relaxation and a change of environment.
You can also provide invitations to current deans and selected teachers in the school to broaden the guest list. The guest list can also be exclusively for alumni members if the alumni body desires it so.
These suggested events require a lot of planning and event planning is difficult. It is not like a holiday affair that’s all rosy. As difficult as planning an alumni event can be, it can still be very exciting, worthwhile and the experience gained from all the planning will be very valuable when planning your next event.
Here are some infallible tips that if adhered to will guarantee the success of your event.
1. Begin the planning process as early as you can.
This is the number one rule of event planning. If the event is targeted for over 500 alumni members, then planning must begin at least six months in advance. Plans for a convention for instance must commence at least 6 months before the proposed date for the event.
For smaller alumni events, probably for a specific class in a department, the planning will be less demanding and as a result, planning can commence two months before the event.
2. Determine your budget as soon as possible.
This goes in line with the first tip mentioned. The budget of the event helps to put the planning of everything into perspective. By determining the budget, you already have an idea of the elements involved in planning. These include venue, decoration, publicity, catering, and other miscellaneous factors.
Once you establish your budget, you can start securing vendors that fit the budgetary plan
3. Reach out to the target audience
This is a very important factor in planning a university alumni event. They are most likely busy and preoccupied professionals and you intend to get all of them together under one roof to socialize and make donations to the university.
Endeavor to reach out to them as soon as possible so they can make time out for the event out of their busy schedules.
Finally, you should do extensive research before choosing an event for the university alumni. Find an event that will involve and excite as many people as possible and will also make them make generous donations to support the university.