Spring Forward 2016: Planning A communication Alumni Event

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amanda Bryson (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Janice Pope

Abstract: Spring Forward 2016 is the second annual Appalachian State Communication Department alumni networking event that took place on March 23, 2016. For my Honor’s thesis, I worked alongside Dr. Janice Pope to plan this event from August 2015 until the event’s occurrence in March 2016. We created and distributed surveys to students, faculty, and alumni asking for alumni references, event suggestions to improve upon last year’s Spring Forward 2015, and panel topic suggestions. We also asked teachers if they would like a guest-speaker to teach one of their classes on the day of the event. We then contacted the recommended alumni and invited them to return to the Communication Department for the day to speak on communication industry-related panels as well as to guest-speak in individual communication classes. From there, we dealt with logistical details of the event. This involved coordinating with staff at The Lost Province restaurant to book the upstairs section of the restaurant for the evening reception, assessing alumni’s skillsets and expertise to assign them to speak in individual classes and on communication industry-related question-and-answer panels, designing promotional materials such as flyers and invitations, and creating and maintaining a social media presence to advertise the upcoming event. Scheduling was the most time-consuming part of the planning process. This required reconciling alumni’s differing schedules with panel session times and individual class times as well as finding classrooms available during these times to host the panel sessions. On the day of the event, I was responsible for distributing parking passes to alumni, helping alumni navigate campus and find the appropriate classrooms for their panel session or individual class, and taking attendance so that professors could award extra credit for students who attended. I also ensured that the event ran smoothly as a whole and helped to stimulate conversation during lulls in the panel sessions. Overall, Spring Forward 2016 was a rewarding and educational experience that taught me practical event-planning and time-management skills. While both students, alumni, and faculty agreed that the event was a beneficial experience for all who participated, feedback shows that improvements can be made to next year’s event by having moderators facilitate the panel sessions and by making the alumni more recognizable and approachable at the evening reception.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Bryson, A (2016) "Spring Forward 2016: Planning A Communication Alumni Event" Unpublished Honor's Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Language: English
Date: 2016

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