Bethany MacDonald’s NACA National Experience

I was so lucky to be chosen to go to both days of NACA Nationals on Sunday and Monday in Boston. In my two days, I was able to attend three educational sessions, visit CAMP, watch Showcase Performers, and listen to Speakers. NACA was an incredible experience and I learned so much for myself as well as taking ideas back to BSU that will benefit Program Committee.

The first ed session that I had attended was on Sunday and called the Pillars of Programming. At this session, our presenters discussed the importance of collaborating with committee members before contracting with co-sponsors, different ways of brainstorming, and different ways of marketing. During the session, we were allotted about twenty minutes to get into small groups with the people near us and around the room to share the different ways our schools brainstorm and market events. I met many people from across the country and it was interesting to hear new ways to market events that other schools had found to be successful.

Some ideas I took back from this session about new ways to market are:

  • Paid promotions on Facebook to target regions and age groups for large events like Homecoming or Spring Fest where a performer has been hired.
  • Printed stickers
  • Social Media Contests (first to answer question wins a prize)

The Pillars of Programming are:

  1. Audience: Who is your target audience?
  2. Brainstorm: What are your ideas?
  3. Agents: Who are you going to be working with?
  4. Marketing: What forms of marketing are you going to use?
  5. Supplies: What does your event need?

The second ed session I attended was on Monday. This session was called Change the Lyrics to Your Tradition. First, the presenters listed off the three different types of tradition. One student raised his hand and shared one of his schools traditions. During the holiday season, their school held an ornament decorating event and had everyone hang the ornaments around campus to promote their Winter Week that would be held the next week. An idea that I thought would be great to bring to Program Committee would be to go viral. Similar to the Comedian Reveal videos that are made; by changing the lyrics to a song, creating a music video, and using it to promote a campus event or by simply filming the BSU community doing a dance, like the wobble, at various places on campus, is a great way to go viral. Another idea that I had taken from this session would be to promote other clubs and organizations events. Advertising for sporting events was something someone mentioned in the session as well. If Program Committee goes to sporting events, like a foot ball game, we would be supporting the sport teams and they would support us in return.

The last educational session I attended was titled Lead From the Inside Out. This was my favorite session. Our presenter Troy Stende began the session with an icebreaker. His energy and enthusiasm during the icebreaker got everyone in the room excited for it as well. It wasn’t what I expected. I expected us to discuss what it means to be a leader in your community. I was pleasantly surprised with how the ed session was actually conducted. The session consisted of us learning how important it is for us all to take care of ourselves. How can we be effective leaders if we are not being the healthiest human beings we can possibly be? Drinking lots of water, eating the right foods, and getting enough sleep will make us be the best people and leaders that we can possibly be. Taking care of our bodies is the first step to being a leader. Being healthy starts from the inside and effects how we behave on the outside. This was my favorite session because of how excited the presenter was. His enthusiasm kept my attention the entire time.

I had learned so many new ideas to bring to PC from people who come from all over the country. I would love to consider having some of the speakers who we heard come to BSU as well as performers who performed during Showcase like Dakaboom and The Well Reds. I feel as though the ideas I took back from NACA can be used to enhance the work Program Committee.


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