From the Nominator
Changing a tradition to create substantial growth means you cannot do the same thing over again. Between 2018 and 2019, the New York University Office of Alumni Relations took time to transform Alumni Day into a full weekend of activities, resulting in the most attended alumni program to date. The major changes included focusing on affinity reunions instead of class-year reunions, moving our Volunteer Recognition and Alumni Service Awards to the weekend, finding new venues off campus, and streamlining registration and pricing to improve the user experience. The result was a 103% increase in attendance and a 45% increase in Net Promoter Score year-over-year. Taking a mostly one-day academic-focused tradition and turning it into a full weekend of exciting programming and social connection was no easy task. We worked through our ideas with the help of an alumni volunteer committee to garner buy-in and support. The committee helped us to send a call for proposals to welcome alumni workshop presenters and take ownership over their weekend. In addition, we added a "call for performers" to kick-off our very first alumni talent show contest–NYU’s Got Talent. Twelve acts took to the stage of a historic NYC venue to compete for a cash prize. These opportunities garnered interest from first-time attendees, connecting us to new constituencies like entrepreneurs and performing artists. All of this new programming with the streamlining of our school-based lectures and open houses created a package that our alumni could not miss.
From the Judges
We loved how NYU breathed new life into a stale event, something many schools can find relatable. From the thoughtful efforts to improve their registration process to the three-story progressive event as part of a city-wide approach, NYU created an event that was interesting to their target audience, aesthetically pleasing and, most important, authentic to their institution. To do so in one of the world’s busiest cities took smart planning and sharp attention to detail.