Engaging Alumni Online: Strategies and Best Practices

Engaging Alumni Online: Strategies and Best Practices

April 25 - 26, 2019 | Orlando, FL


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Learn how to boost and maintain alumni engagement online.

In-person events have been the focus of alumni relations teams for decades, but the high cost, low attendance, and geographic limitations are leading alumni teams to rethink their events and resources and move more of their efforts online. By developing an online engagement strategy, a shop can reach even more alumni and engage them in more relevant ways; however, only a few institutions have developed a concerted approach.

Join us in Orlando to take a holistic look at your shop’s current digital efforts and learn how to improve alumni engagement through strategic online events and communications. Our expert faculty will cover:

  • Best practices in online networking events, webinars, online portals, etc.
  • How to find out what your alumni want
  • How to test and measure your online events and communications
  • A full examination of vendors and platforms

This practical and interactive learning experience will provide plenty of networking time to allow you to connect with your alumni engagement professionals from across higher ed.


Who Should Attend

If you are looking to increase alumni engagement through online events and communications and hoping to strategically integrate online efforts into your overall alumni engagement strategy, this conference is for you.


Bring your team and save!

Save over 15% when you register three or more colleagues.


Your registration for the event includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, breakfast, lunch, and the networking reception on Thursday, breakfast and lunch on Friday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.

Day 1 | April 25, 2019

8:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.


Conference Opening and Introductions



Creating a Culture of Innovation and Agility

With an online landscape that is constantly evolving, aligning our online efforts with an overall engagement strategy can be challenging. What was popular with alumni two years ago is no longer. To change alongside our alumni, we must develop a culture that encourages taking calculated risks, failing fast, and keeping our finger on the pulse of our alumni’s online behaviors.



Building Engagement Through Events


Building Your Strategy for Online Events

In what virtual spaces can you find your alumni? Where are they already gathering? Learn how to build on your strategy by meeting alumni where they are.



Best practices in Coordinating and Facilitating Online Events

Our faculty cover best practices in the following modes:

  • Webinars and online lectures
  • Streaming
  • Professional events networking virtual career fair



Measuring and Testing Events

How do we test the success of our online events in order to plan for our next move? Our faculty will discuss how to identify data points that matter, assign appropriate weights to your measurements, and track engagement.



Building Engagement through Communications


Social Media Platform Engagement

Too often, shops are crafting social media messages with an ad hoc approach. These communications can fail to build on the overall brand of the institution. You’ll learn how to build trust and brand recognition through your communications and encourage more engagement.



Best Practices in Other Emergent Spaces

Best practices are just beginning to form in spaces such as alumni apps, portals, and texting. In this session, our faculty will share effective tactics for each space.



Networking Reception



Day 2 | April 26, 2019

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Measuring and Testing Your Message

Our faculty will cover the processes, tools, and data points used to test the success of your online communications.



Budgeting for Online Engagement

We will begin this session by performing an audit of your shop’s resources. Our faculty will then share strategies for allocating time and resources.



Gallery of Successes

This conference gathers together great minds in online alumni engagement into one room. Let’s maximize this opportunity to see the good work our peers are doing in this space and celebrate our successes.



Solutions-Focused Workshop

To begin this session, faculty and attendees will share lessons learned. Together, we’ll problem solve for your current challenges in online engagement.



Vetting and Choosing Platforms and Vendors

After an overview from our faculty, we will collect attendee experiences and honest pros and cons for all vendors in this space to help you make an informed choice about who you should consider working with. The pros and cons will be documented and shared out to the group.



Final Q&A and Evaluations

April 25 - 26, 2019 | Orlando, FL

Conference Hotel Information

Marriott Orlando World Center
8701 World Center Drive
Orlando, FL 32821

Room Rate: $185, plus applicable tax.

Room Block Dates: nights of April 24 and 25, 2019.

Rate Available Until: March 28, 2019.

Reserve Your Room: Click here to book online or call 407.239.4200 to make your reservations and indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate. Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.


Joe L. McGonegal

Director, Alumni Education, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Joe McGonegal is an award-winning higher-education advancement and communications professional with two decades of experience in college and university roles. Trained as a journalist and teacher, Joe spent 15 years in high school and college classrooms before pursuing administrative roles in communications and advancement. At MIT, Joe leads a team of five that produces events, programs, and services in the areas of shared interest groups, lifelong learning, and career services for the more than 137,000 living MIT alumni. Recently, Joe has written about online/digital engagement for The New England Journal of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and the Academic Impressions blog. Joe holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and education from Marquette University and a master’s degree in journalism from Harvard University.

Dan Montoya

Assistant Vice President, SDSU Alumni, San Diego State University

Daniel J. Montoya, B.S., MBA, walked on the campus of San Diego State University as a non-traditional student after serving four years in the U.S. Navy. He completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration Management in 2004. Dan has been on the University Relations and Development team for over 13 years, raising support for Student Affairs, the College of Business Administration, and the College of Engineering. Dan has also helped to build our regional councils in Austin, Dallas, and the Bay Area. Dan serves as the Chair of the President's Latino Advisory Council, is a committee member for the Cesar E. Chavez Scholarship Luncheon Committee, and serves as a mentor to students and staff. His 20 years of non-profit, higher education, and development experience extend across many areas of campus and he brings a well-rounded knowledge of alumni, parents, corporate, foundation, and community partners.

Questions About the Event?


Whitney Egstad
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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