In a previous article, we briefly looked at the various types of Alumni Events. This article will focus on the best practices for organizing successful alumni events.
Clearly define the goals of the event, it can be to foster networking, celebrate a milestone, raise funds, or provide professional development opportunities. Having a defined objective helps you plan the further process like filtering the right audience, and creating a well-rounded program. Running a poll asking for a suitable type (Physical, virtual, or hybrid), date, and demography for the event would help you select the right ones. It also makes Alumni feel involved and makes them not miss the event.
Once the event is planned out, start promoting the event well in advance to generate interest and maximize attendance. Leverage technology and make use of digital platforms for event promotion, communication, and timely updates. Utilize social media, email newsletters, and alumni networks to spread the word.
Tailor your invitations to resonate with different segments of your alumni community by highlighting how the event will benefit them and their interests. Spread the word on different channels to various Alumni depending on their persona, for example – Younger Alumni would be active on the Mobile app and Older ones would prefer an Email Invitation. Offer multiple mediums to make the registration seamless and circulate an RSVP form to get an idea of what kind of audience is showing interest and target others based on their interests.
Enlist notable Alumni from the community and ask them to volunteer to market the event. Resharing the event details from their social media accounts would maximize the reach and spread of the news. Also, engage volunteers to assist with various tasks such as event setup, registration, and guiding attendees. Their involvement enhances the sense of community.
Vote of Thanks and Feedback
After the event, send out gratitude emails to attendees and gather feedback to improve future events. Use the feedback received to improve future events. Incorporate lessons learned into your planning process to make the next one better than the last. Also, don’t miss to share event highlights on social media to attract more participants for the coming event.
Assess the success of the event based on your objectives. Analyze based on certain criteria like no. of invitations sent vs. attendance, engagement, feedback received, funds raised, and any impact on alumni relationships, if there is. This helps to come up with a data-driven strategy to plan out future events.
When planning Alumni events, it’s important to consider factors such as alumni interests, demographics, and geographical locations. Successful alumni events are built on meaningful engagement. Having a clear understanding of your alumni community’s needs and preferences would help in tailoring out customized events accordingly.