Brenda Mitchell—Executive Director of Institutional Advancement
Prince George’s Community College—Largo, Md.
United States
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Special Events

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How Event Planners Can Get More for Their Money
Article Special event planners can ultimately save money by purchasing equipment that they will use repeatedly for all of their events, says one experienced practitioner.

How to Put on Cost-Effective Events for Alumni, Donors and Other Constituencies
Podcast Richard Williams of Loyola University Chicago shares how planners can repurpose equipment they already have when putting on events. Also, learn what kind of new technologies can create efficiencies for event planners.

Celebration Central
CURRENTS Article From homecoming and family weekend to smaller gatherings such as presidential hospitality dinners, CSU Events is the creative force that oversees and implements the smooth execution of all social gatherings at Colorado State. CSU Events’ executive director explains why and how the institution created this unit and provides steps for setting up a similar system at your institution.

Event-Based Fundraising: What’s the Real ROI?
Article Community colleges should reconsider holding special events like galas and golf tournaments to raise money as they often have a poor return on investment, say two CASE faculty members.

Going for Broken
CURRENTS Article In recent years, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has made setting a world record part of its new student convocation event each August. This article looks at past record-setting efforts as well as the one it will attempt in August 2013.

Trading Places
CURRENTS Article This article highlights a contest that Canada's York University began in 2012. A York undergraduate student won the right to switch places with the institution's president for a day while the president took on the student's classes and schedule for the day.

Going for Gold
CURRENTS Article The story profiles eight of the 2012 CASE Circle of Excellence Award grand gold and gold award winners.

U.K. Institutions See Opportunity in Olympics
Article Colleges and universities in the United Kingdom are hoping to capture some of the attention being focused on London as it hosts the 2012 Summer Olympic Games later this month.

Return on Investment of Special Events
Podcast Hear why Kenneth M. Catandella from Columbia University believes event planners should use more data to drive their work. Also, listen to what he says institutions should consider before launching a big, gala-type annual event.

SCHOOLS-L Followers Weigh in on Attracting Attendees to Independent School Events
Article Participants in a recent conversation on SCHOOLS-L, a CASE listserve for independent schools, shared strategies, tips and case studies on how to raise event attendance.

Special Events for Advancement
Conference This conference splits focus between strategic planning with other advancement areas and tactical solutions to event challenges. Assumes basic understanding of advancement structure and event mechanics.

Icing on the Cake
CURRENTS Article The University of South Carolina offers a wedding giveaway contest each semester. Current students, alumni, and children of alumni are eligible to win a free wedding, and a USC wedding planning class handles all of the decisions and details. Local vendors provide the dress, rings, flowers, etc., and the university's president, alumni relations office, and other campus departments have all been involved in the giveaway.

Campus Traditions Can Build Alumni, Financial Support
Article From pumpkin tossing competitions to convocation ceremonies in Latin, campus traditions that create a lasting bond between students and their institutions can play a vital role in nurturing alumni support, according to University Affairs.

Evaluate Alumni Events in Multiple Ways, Speakers Say
Article A key component of event management is evaluation, according to two faculty members speaking at the 2010 CASE Summer Institute in Alumni Relations.

An Academic Costume Code and An Academic Ceremony Guide
Eugene Sullivan, American Council on Education
Article Reprinted with permission from American Universities and Colleges, 15th Edition, this article provides a brief history of academic dress, a detailed costume code, and a guide for academic ceremonies including commencement and inauguration.

AdvanceWork: Is the Price Right?
CURRENTS Article Do-it-yourself research can help you find the answer

Advance Work: Touchdown Tune-up
CURRENTS Article Lake Erie College needed a fight song for its new football team. It was the perfect excuse for a media-generating contest.

Advance Work: When Good Events Go Bad
CURRENTS Article This article offers a look at events gone awry on three campuses and how planners managed each situation.

AdvanceWork: If I Knew You Were Coming…
CURRENTS Article Event planners give advice on how to boost the percentage of invitees who RSVP to events. They recommend making the invitations more personal, giving people more avenues for responding, and offering incentives for early response, among other things.

Kicking the Habit
CURRENTS Article Many institutions are involving alumni in changing a campus's alcohol culture. In light of high rates of alcohol abuse among students, alumni magazines are covering the problem; campuses are devising diplomatic strategies to encourage change; and alumni associations are setting sober examples, including devising policies on alcohol sponsorships.

Special Event Production
CURRENTS Article A chart listing 15 special event management software programs, and providing information on vendors, contacts, price, servers, features, report templates, and clients, will be of interest to event planners and information technology staff.

AdvanceWork: The Sights, the Sounds, the Smells
CURRENTS Article An event production expert describes ways to engage constituents by appealing to the senses.

AdvanceWork: Ooze It or Lose It
CURRENTS Article A year-end tradition at the University at Buffalo is Oozfest, an annual mud volleyball tournament organized by the University Student Alumni Board. Competitors include more than 100 teams of students, alumni, university employees, and local residents. The event generates good will, national media coverage, and revenue to support the board’s programming and scholarship programs.

AdvanceWork: Names and Faces
CURRENTS Article It's homecoming weekend and you're a frantic alumni relations officer trying to round up graduates for a class photo.

Are You Covered?
CURRENTS Article Campus event planners need to know all they can about the risky business of special event insurance

Not Just for Alumni Anymore
CURRENTS Article Campus communicators can use special events to cultivate relationships with reporters, maintain campus relations, and raise the institution's visibility. PR officers from many institutions describe their success with: 1) nontraditional press conferences designed around themed receptions or hands-on demonstrations; 2) creative groundbreaking ceremonies; and 3) thank-you events for helpful journalists.

Proceed with Caution
CURRENTS Article An alumni relations executive offers event and programming tips that respond to and capitalize on societal trends.

New Tools for the Trade
CURRENTS Article Traditionally, special events planners have been slow to move toward using technology to support their work. Harris offers several high-tech tips to manage basic tasks: 1) use databases to maintain mailing and other lists; 2) consider that the purchase of specialized software, although seemingly cost-prohibitive, may pay for itself in a short period of time; 3) plan room arrangements with special software; 4) use e-mail, voicemail, faxes and other technologies to advertise events and communicate with participants; and 5) sign on to the special events listserv to share information and find solutions to problems. Several sources of special events and auction software are provided.

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