Learn how to strategically increase engagement and giving with your advancement events.
Learn strategies for creating intentional events that increase engagement for your alumni and donors. Events lacking strategy, or performed solely out of tradition, can simply drain resources.
Join us to develop a cohesive strategy for your alumni and donor events, including a framework for vetting future events, performing proper follow-up with attendees, and ensuring that one of your largest budget items is working towards your goals. We will cover ideas and best practices for large-scale events, such as galas and homecomings, as well as smaller ones like salon events and career-oriented alumni programming.
Note: This conference will not cover event planning basics but will instead focus on higher-level strategy.
Leave with an Action Plan
After walking through critical development and execution strategy, you will have working time to tackle one of your own events. You will leave this working session with an action plan for improving this event and have the opportunity to receive feedback from our experts and your peers.
Post-Conference Workshop: Maximizing Your Event Communications
In this workshop, you will learn the strategies and best practices you need to elevate and revamp your event communications plan and pieces. We will cover possible avenues for event follow-up communication as well as non-email methods for effectively engaging alumni, such as social media and direct mail. You will leave this workshop with an event communications plan template and a portfolio of samples that you’ll be able to put to use once you’re back on campus.
Who Should Attend
Advancement, alumni relations, and institution-wide professionals who produce or help develop events for alumni relations and/or advancement shops will benefit from this conference. Sending a team? Check the registration row below to see details on teams discounts!
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
We will take a careful look at the current state of events in advancement and alumni relations. What is working well in the industry? What needs to change? We will examine how this conference will help you evaluate your current events and programming to understand how to adjust course as needed.
While understanding each event's purpose and developing a strategy to execute that purpose may seem straightforward, your institution likely has events that are hosted annually without taking a step back to understand how these events fit into your shop’s overall goals. We will introduce a framework that you will able to apply to each of your events to ensure they are leading you down a productive path.
How you follow-up with attendees after events can largely determine how productive an event was. What does this type of intentional follow-up look like? In addition, how do you know if an event was productive and successful? We will walk you through developing metrics to successfully debrief each event, as well as how to do so annually in a comprehensive way.
This session will talk through pre- and post-event work for cultivation and solicitation, as well as partnerships with gift officers and donor relations officers for your larger, and smaller, signature donor events.
We will explore the fundamentals of good storytelling, including understanding your audience and your institution’s message, as well as how to identify the “characters” of your story. We will also explore the various modes of storytelling that work best during live events, with a special emphasis on advancement-focused events in higher education.
This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch-up with attendees and speakers whom you may not have connected with yet.
8:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to assess current events and programming, the next few sessions will dive into examples and best practices. This discussion will include ongoing alumni programming (including alumni career programs), translating campus traditions to off-campus environments, homecoming, reunion, awards, etc.
With a sense of which events you would like to tackle once back on campus, this working session will help you translate the event framework for one of your upcoming events, noting action steps for developing partnerships, and transforming lackluster events. You will have the opportunity to work with faculty, present on your plans, and receive feedback from your peers.
12:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
In this workshop, you will learn the strategies and best practices you need to elevate and revamp your event communications plan and pieces. We will cover possible avenues for event follow-up communication as well as non-email methods for effectively engaging alumni, such as social media and direct mail. You will leave with an event communications plan template and a portfolio of samples that you’ll be able to put to use once you’re back on campus.
Matthew S. Helmer
Assistant Vice President, University Advancement
Colorado State University
Matthew is a higher education advancement professional with more than 20 years of experience in experience design, fundraising, purpose-driven events and constituent engagement. In his current role he provides leadership to the Engagement team in creating strategy and tactical implementation of communications, donor relations and events for CSU’s community of donors, alumni and friends.
Executive Director of the Wake Washington Center
Wake Forest University
In her current role, Jennifer partners with various areas of campus, from Advancement to academic departments, to develop programs for alumni, parent, friend, faculty, and student constituencies in the D.C. metro area, building a bridge from campus to one of the University's key cities. She leads the development of a study/intership program for undergraduates, opening in Fall 2017.
Senior Vice President, Client Engagement
With more than 15 years of experience in program development and institutional advancement for higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations, Mark leads August Jackson’s higher-education client engagement team.
Maximize your learning experience with a ticket to both the main conference and post-conference workshop.
Team Discounts Available
- 1-2 registrations: full price
- 3-4 registrations: 15% off each conference registration
- 5-7 registrations: 20% off each conference registration
- 8 + registrations: 25% off each conference registration
Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.
Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.
Questions About the Event?
Program Manager, Academic Impressions
*All-inclusive members receive $250 off of conference registrations (in addition to the early bird discount if applicable). Academic Affairs, Advancement/Alumni Relations, Business Office, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and Leadership members will continue to receive $100 off conference registrations. Upgrade your membership to qualify for a higher discount. Please note this discount is not applicable on pre- or post-conference workshops or conference binders.