The 4 Key Ingredients to an Awesome Regional Alumni Event: Part 2 of 2

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Is it time to reimagine your regional event strategy?

This week, we return with Part 2 of our series on the key ingredients to designing awesome regional events (and, perhaps more importantly, creating that intentional regional event strategy). If you haven’t already, read Part 1 here.

Ingredient 3: Intentional Follow-up

The event went off without a hitch and everyone breathes a sigh of relief—back to our day jobs, right? Wrong! You presumably gathered a great deal of information about your attendees and now is the time to find out how effective the event was from the alumni’s perspective. A short 4-5 question survey that can be completed online in a minute or less will tell you. Also, immediately update your CRM call reports. Debrief with the leadership team and volunteers. Measure your outcomes.

Implementation Idea: Integrate an immediate assessment.
Here are four great measurements of success to ask your alumni:
  • -How likely are you to tell another alumnus about this event or these types of events? (The ever-crucial Net Promoter Score!)

  • -How likely are you to attend a similar or other future alumni event?

  • -Did your pride in the institution increase significantly due to this event?

  • -Did you make one or more meaningful connections at this event?

If you can identify other questions that can tease out valuable information, this is the time to ask them. By the way, did you apply a fundraising lens in determining the success of the program? Did you ask yourself whether the participating alumni are more inclined to increase their philanthropic support of the university by attending? Were they (tastefully) made aware of the many opportunities to support students, faculty, and programs?

Ingredient 4: Capitalize on the sway of nostalgia and story

Through our previous blog profiles on Notre Dame and Kansas State, we’ve shown just how essential it is to know your institution’s story, show how alumni fit into it, and communicate it consistently and strategically. Alumni are drawn to events, especially those in their regions, that remind them of their time at the institution and why it is still dear to their hearts.

Implementation Idea: Let us help!

If you haven’t already, join the ALUMinate Research Consortium and get your complimentary copy of Esther Choy’s Let the Story Do the Work: The Art of Storytelling for Business Success. Another free benefit of the Research Consortium is digital discussions (Idea Labs) that we host on relevant topics. Our first digital Idea Lab discussion in October 2017 was on engaging alumni with storytelling. Here are some great insights on storytelling from participants (alumni and advancement professionals across the country) who joined that session:

  • “Storytelling is a way of sharing a compelling narrative that connects alumni back to their alma mater and reminds them that they are part of the institutional family, wherever they may be.”

  • “Story can be a way to ignite alumni and other supporters into action.”

  • “Storytelling can help alumni realize that in order to continue the legacy of the institution, they may consider contributing financially.”

  • “Story can be a way to re-engage alumni you’ve lost touch with.”

  • “For our institution, storytelling is a way of bringing the human element to the work that we do.”

Did you know that the ALUMinate team can provide individualized services to help you hone your institution’s story and capture and tell alumni stories? Contact us today to learn more!

In this two part post, we’ve laid out a comprehensive way to approach a purposeful engagement and advancement strategy. It is a lot of work, especially if you devise a strategy for each of the many regions where your alumni reside and work, but excellent data-driven and upfront planning will pay off.

We hope you found these ingredients and implementation ideas helpful. We’re excited to announce all the new changes coming to the ALUMinate Research Consortium. This summer, we’re launching a new, synergistic website and announcing our upcoming blog and research initiatives for 2018! All this is to continue to support you in the important outreach work that you do.

Be sure to check out our next post on Tuesday, February 13th, when we share top takeaways from our time at the 2018 AGB Foundation Leadership Forum!

Happy New Year from our team to yours!

 

The ALUMinate team, © ALUMinate US
The ALUMinate team, © ALUMinate US

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