Tuesday, March 29, 2011

UIB Launch Party

Friday was UIB's First Annual Cupcake Wars, put on by Emily Greagori, the Travel and Recreations coordinator. She did an amazing job orchestrating the whole event despite all of the hoops she had to jump through to make it happen. We ended up with 15 team applications and 8 participating teams for the competition. Round 1 took place on Friday in the lobby of the new Cuisinart Culinary Center for Excellence building. It was my very first time in the building. It's awesome. Round 1 required the teams to just decorate 12 cupcakes according to the theme of JWU Spirit. The finished cupcakes were presented to a panel of judges from Residential Life and Experiential Education and Career Services. The judges pick 2 teams to compete in round 2 where they actually bake their own original recipe cupcakes. Like the Food Network show, 2 two final teams bake 100 cupcakes as well as a structure to hold the cupcakes and the structures were presented at the UIB Launch Party the next day. The team who receives the most votes at the party wins $200 for the team and second place receives $100.

Chris Ayer
On Saturday UIB launched our new brand and announced the Wahoo performer at our launch party. The event was exactly how I had imagined it from the start. The event served 2 purposes: 1. to showcase the UIB brand and allow people to experience the brand and everything we do in one evening 2. to announce Snoop Dogg as our performer for the Wildcat Wahoo concert as well as promote Wahoo in general. Attendees arrived at Pepsi Forum at 6:45PM eagerly awaiting at the door. At 7 when doors opened, I walked into the hall and the stairwell was packed. Nathan and I welcomed everyone and encouraged them to pick up their free water bottle, go around and visit each committee's tables around the room, vote for their favorite cupcake team from Cupcake Wars, and most importantly stop by the UIB table to learn about the new features we would be adding to our advertisements. The night continued with comedian Ben Hague as the emcee and Chris Ayer as the music performer of the night. The two teams for Cupcake Wars each baked 100 cupcakes and their structure according to the theme of UIB. All night we had 2 UIB members walk around with nice cameras taking pictures of attendees and directing them to our Facebook page to see the pictures. We started a loyalty card system so for every UIB a person attends they get a whole punch in their card. When they attend 10 events they are entered into a raffle at the end of the year. Another addition we made to the UIB brand was adding QR codes to all of our posters that would direct people to our Facebook event page so they can RSVP on their smartphone. We had around 200 attendees by the end of the night. We collected all of their emails in order to send out UIB event reminders to all of the for the future.

UIB Table
Every E-board member had a role in the planning of this. Each committee had their own table promoting their events, Nathan was the main event coordinator, and I declared myself the social media director. I was live tweeting throughout the entire event. I understand why people get paid to be a social media person, it's exhausting, but really cool.

At the end of the night we played our original viral video that promoted the launch party and then we played pt 2 to announce the Snoop. I could explain the whole story to you but its better if you just watch it for yourself.

2010-2011 E-Board
It was by far my favorite event of the year. Mostly because the re-branding initiative was something Nathan and I had worked on all year and the concept of the launch party was my idea. I'm proud of how it turned out. It was the best because unlike our other events, where it is run by one committee chair and the rest of us are there for support, every committee had a piece in the one event.

We were all thrilled about how successful the event was, but I am so glad it's over. It has been a big weight lifted from my shoulders. That was only a piece of my weekend. More to come..


Friday, March 25, 2011

My life is Ad Team, no UIB, no I have no idea.

Where has the month of March gone? I cannot believe there is only 1 week left of March.

This past month has been insane. On top of my regularly busy schedule, Ad Team was added on top. Any spare moment of mine has been spent in the Ad Lab (or Idea Lab). A group of 20 or so of us have been working endlessly on the JCPenney case. It has been an awesome experience. It is one more thing that reminds me how much I love all my life decisions. It is astonishing how passionate my advertising professors are about their jobs. They work right along side us through those countless hours in the Ad lab. I really enjoy sitting back and just listening to the 3 of them discuss this competition like it is real life. They discuss JCPenney as if they were our real life client and we are a real life agency. So cool. It was fun to apply the knowledge I learned from my classes so far and use them towards the project. I worked mainly on the research and media team. I helped spend a hypothetical $100,000,000 on buying advertising space alone. I have become somewhat of an expert on current television shows and their ratings.

On top of that, UIB has been in full planning mode for our Spring events including our Launch Party. The day has finally come, the day we unveil our new logo. I must admit, I have let my fingers slip away from this project and I am disappointed in myself. I don't think I set unrealistic goals towards this re-branding initiative, but I may have assumed everyone working on it was able to read my mind. I have come to realize that I don't know how to express my ideas and thoughts to their full capacity. I don't enjoy being the dictator of ideas, but I also don't like when my ideas aren't carried out the way I wanted it to. So what do I do? Is it just my personal taste? Is it ever okay to tell someone they have bad taste?

After taking a step back from all of the craziness, it has made me realize that it may be time for me to chose. Activities that come along with my major seem to always conflict with the extra things I do that have to do with student affairs and/or events. I feel like I am always having to compromise myself and spread myself thin to be able to do both. I had to step down from heading the Wildcat Wahoo Carnival because of the Ad Team competition being held the same day. I can't be in my office for the full amount of hours because I spend it working on the JCPenney campaign. Don't event get me started on my opportunities I have to chose from for the summer or the other leadership roles I have taken on. I am never one to put all of my eggs in one basket, but that has caused me to officially spread myself out too thin. I am not performing up to my full capacity. I love what I do and I don't like feeling like I have to chose between the two. So do I cut some things out? Or do I learn to manage my time better? Is that even possible? If there were only more hours in the day.

Just venting a few thoughts, until next time...


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Growing closer to the rest of my life.

My entire life, I have always pretended and tried to act older than I really am. I've always been able to connect with adults better than people my own age and I have always been told that I am wise beyond my years. The thought of growing up has never been scary until just recently. The realization has come in slow bursts. I first caught a glimpse of being an adult when I flew into Providence from Christmas break and had no one there to meet me and no school transportation to call. I had to have a cab take me to where my car was parked. That was mainly bad planning on my part but it was a preview of my life when I move somewhere completely new and I do not know a soul. I am not afraid of moving somewhere completely new again, I did it for college, I can do it again for my career, but I had never really thought about how weird it is to not have anyone meet you at the airport or anyone who could meet you at the airport.

Remember back when I was stressing about when and where I was going to do an internship? Problem solved, I got an internship at a local ad/pr agency in Providence, Duffy and Shanley. I am officially staying in Providence for the summer. I will be working at school part time, taking a night class, and doing my internship. That should keep me busy, at least busier than I was last summer at home.

Since I hang around so many SEE (sports/entertainment/event management) majors, I forgot that unlike their degree plan, mine does not actually require a full internship. So strange enough, I only need to do this internship at Duffy, I don't have enough credits to do a full one. It's good because I am that much closer to being done with college, but bad because a lot of really cool internship opportunities require that it is for credit only. I only have 2 trimesters left of classes after this academic year. What do I do all spring trimester next year? Should I hang around since I have a year lease and graduate with all of my friends? Do I peace out early and hop on a 2012 campaign trail? Who knows! I'm flying through college faster than normal, but I guess it was the plan all along. 

Until next time...


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lessons Learned: SES Educational Excursion 2011

Unlike the stereotypical Spring Break activities that come to mind, I spent my spring break with 39 bright and ambitious students interested in pursuing a career in the sports/entertainment/and or event industry exploring he industry on the west coast. The Special Events Society strives to supplement our education outside of the classroom and give us true experience in the events industry. Last year we went to Orlando, FL and this year we went to the Los Angeles, CA area. This past week was filled with different tours and Q&A's with all different types of venues and event professionals.

The list below pretty much sums up what I got out of this trip:
  1. When flying coast to coast, always fly Virgin America
  2. Yes, it is Spring Break and we are going to CA, but it is still winter. Pack appropriately.
  3. When planning a race, always check to make sure you have enough sign-age, safety pins, and make sure the bibs are in numerical order before registration begins.
  4. The best place to watch celebrities on the red carpet is on TV, not from behind a fence across the street.
  5. Most professionals in the event industry, fell into it by accident
  6. Be willing to work for free and pay your dues
  7. Pay attention to the small details and fix things without being told to do so
  8. If you haven't been hearing enough "no's" you haven't been talking to enough people
  9. "No" just means "Not now". Be delightfully persistent.
  10. Be well versed in the industry before entering the industry.
  11. Send your resume to EVERYONE.
  12. The sports industry is a very small world, do not burn any bridges, they talk. 
The SES board members did an outstanding job planning this trip for us. I can't wait to get started on brainstorming ideas for next year's Educational Excursion. The new board has some big shoes to fill.

Until next time...

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