The second day of NACA was incredible! So much to do, so much to see! And so many t-shirts to give away!!
The first ed. session I attended this morning was called “Hit the Streets: Using Creative Publicity and a Street Team to Promote Campus Events”. I attended this with Nicole and Alex in hopes of the two of us PC members could bring back some tips for our own newly formed Street Team. The session gave us some really great marketing tips, but their street team was organized very differently from ours, making some of their presentation hard for us to relate to. Their general members were required to join the street team upon becoming a member of the organization. The presenters stressed the importance of recruitment, branding, and retention (most of which was reflected in the first ed. session I attended as well). They explained how they used promotion info through their websites and physical handouts (like popcorn – yum!) to catch students’ attention. They also discussed the importance of marketing the street team to creative, outgoing individuals. Just like PC, they used a point system to reward members. Overall, the ed. session was informative, but not exactly the direction we’re looking to go in.
The second ed. session I attended was called “Expanding Your Community Impact: Connecting Student Activities and Diversity Offices”. This session aimed to help students bridge the gap between groups like programming boards and multicultural clubs. This was especially interesting because I looked at it from both the point of view as PC’s Director of Campus Pride, but also as a SPA too! The three main questions that were asked and discussed had to do with keeping open communcation, sharing resources, and pushing oneself outside of comfort zones. Rather than asking questions, I found myself answering a lot of them! I think that BSU already does a great deal of co-sponsorship between groups, and we have various meetings between the heads of these organizations. Something that was discussed that I found interesting was the idea of doing workshops together to bond and learn new skills!
AND NOW FOR SCHOOL SWAP 🙂
School swap is one of my favorite things about NACA! I tend to think of school swap as divided into two sections – 1) setting up the display and 2) the trading of promotional materials from other schools. Schools are given 45 minutes to set up the display, but only two delegates are allowed in the room to set up at a time, which makes things pretty interesting! Once the displays are up, schools are judged on a variety of categories (best use of theme, best use of school spirit, best attire, and most creative booth display). Once the judging is over, students are invited back into the room to begin swapping their items – and the one hour of insanity begins!
Since the theme of NACA Northeast this year is “The Original Social Network”, the BSU delegates wanted our booth to demonstrate the idea of “original networking” as best as we could. The back of our table displayed a timeline of different types of networking through the years, beginning with a picture of our mascot Bristaco at the first NACA conference and following him along through the inventions of email, AOL Instant Messenger, Facebook and Twitter, etc. and ending at another year at NACA, bringing social networking full circle. These moments in time connected to the points on half of the NACA logo. Our table top displayed a plethora of promotional items from all of the four organizations. In addition, it held our iPad with an email from Bristaco to the BSU delegation and our organization mailbox stuffed with letters inside containing programming tips (and the mailbox even had a twitter bird on top encouraging students to tweet us). The front of the table contained the other half of the NACA logo, along with a picture of each organization represented by our delegation (PC, SWAT, RHA, and SGA – whoa, too many acronyms). These pictures were so fun because they had the members cupping their ears in a certain direction, and the pictures were connected to plastic cups as if the members were communicating through cups and strings – a classic, simple form of communication!
Swapping our gear with other schools was a crazy experience, but such a fun learning experience as well. Though it takes place so fast, it’s a great way to see what other schools have to offer. Sure, we trade a lot of t-shirts for a bunch of other t-shirts, but we also get to see some unique marketing ideas firsthand! Some of the awesome materials that really caught my eye included blankets, chairs, and even bobble-heads! Can you imagine a Bristaco bobblehead? I think that would be awesome! This is exactly why school swap is an incredibly aspect of the NACA experience – yes, it can be nervewracking and even a little intimidating at first, but it’s worth the feedback you can get from other schools with the same ultimate goals we have: putting on great events and marketing them! School swap trading helps us reach our marketing potential within our respective organizations and encourages us to come together as a whole unit representing BSU. And maybe I’m a little biased, but I definitely would have given Bridgewater all the school swap awards 🙂