Oops! ED session 2 and 3

Oops! Posted this in the wrong blog.

Hey again guys! The second ED session I went to was The “Taco Bell” Theory: Programming on a Budget, presented by Lonnie Scott, a speaker from Coleman Productions. We began by looking at different slogans and fast food chains and how these ideas can categorize and help us define our event community and types. The first was Burger King (“have it your way”) which is a way of programming that changes often, has tons of variety, and caters to the students wants. This includes programming includes a lot of surveying and feedback from students. The second was McDonalds (“I’m loving it”) programming, which has a go with the flow feel, students are generally apathetic, and there is not tons of variety, but the community seems happy with that. The last was Taco Bell (“think outside the bun”) and this was the idea that you can have the same “ingredients” in all your programs (just like Taco Bell has similar ingredients in all of their food items), but the marketing (packaging) can be manipulated. We focused on this kind of programming because it is great for small budgets. We finished with a group activity in which we split up into teams and were given a program with a small budget and asked to come up with the entire event description. The different groups did: lingerie auction, humans vs. zombies, medallion hunt, adopt a fish, and cash caps. If you have any questions, ask me about these events. If I describe them all here, this blog post will be ridiculously long.

The second ED session Jen and I attended was “Celebrating the Human Experience: Creating Successful Diversity and Cultural Events, presented by Erin Hodgson from Quinnipiac. She wanted us to think about cultural events as a way to celebrate uniqueness while remembering that we’re all human. Several questions and statements she urged us to consider when planning a cultural event were: What do we want people to learn from this event? How can I broaden people’s experience? define your target audience. How does this event relate to university goals? (the more it relates, the more on board the university is with getting involved) Align with academics and take advantage of the wide range of academic expertise. Balance your event! I think these are especially important considerations for Bridgewater. We talked a lot about cosponsorship in the ED session but we also talked about combining programming, so something fun (like a band, food, activity) with something educational (lecture panel [which, as one school taught me, could be made up of the cultural campus club presidents and professors], speaker). Next, we discussed issues with cultural programming, which were: attendance/apathy, avoiding “preaching” (don’t just tell people to come; what do you sincerely think they will get out of it?), creating effective events, cultural sensitivity, cliches, and group specific attendance (ex. having attendance for a Latino event be all Latino students, instead of branching out to other cultures and letting them now its okay for them to attend as well). Two ideas that stuck with me were the panel discussion with student leaders and professors, and a “challenge fair”, in which each cultural club on campus poses a different challenge related to their culture (ex. the Asian club had a chopstick challenge) and students go around completing them with some prize at the end (also goes along with a food fest, with tastes around the world). This ED session was fantastic, I learned so much, it really got me thinking about PC’s cultural programs, but also the campus’ cultural programming, so if you have any questions, just ask!

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