To close out this year’s conference circuit the EverCrew headed out to the Windy City for the CASE District 5 and 6 Conference. In a year that has included iPhone suits and SuperHero costumes the pressure was on for this finale but we felt confident as we strolled along the Sheraton Hotel and Towers with our festive Bonobos pants.The Holiday Pantsformation – Alumni Style
The conference kicked off on Sunday afternoon with a keynote from Rob Walker, and was followed by a lively time in the resource center, where our Founder Brent and Alumni Ambassador Mike enjoyed wine with other conference attendees and meet with other exhibitors, such as our Boston based neighbors at Eduventures and our new friends at Barrington Gifts.
While our booth was set up during the conference we also had the opportunity to catch a few of the amazing conversations surrounding us. At a morning roundtable entitled “Student Philanthropy: Rebranding Organizations,” Alan Goodno described how alumni associations can leverage real student insights into practical planning. The roundtable also lead to an interesting discussion regarding how students can be inspired to give by giving in more ways than money and through collaboration with other organizations on campus. In a later morning session called “Creating and Maintaining a Cohesive Social Media Strategy and Landscape,” Aaron Jaco of Drake University provided some very effective insights to how a social media evangelist can help rule an institutional “kingdom” by serving as the point person between departments and by helping to define an institution’s voice.
The presentation goodness continued after Brent’s roundtable on “InRaising” – Using LinkedIn for Fundraising, as we heard from Michael Stoner on “Ensuring Your Social Media Marketing Initiatives Can Survive End of Facebook.” Stoner explained how Facebook is a platform to be weary of since institutions have such little control over it and because of the audience it is aimed for. Yet, even more so, Stoner addressed how important it is for institutions to focus on their current platforms and figure out how to improve their content curation instead of running to each new shiny platform.John Hill of LinkedIn Explains How Institutions Can Leverage LinkedIn for Students and Alumni
On Monday evening were fortunate to attend the “Pride of CASE V/VI,” a wonderful awards ceremony celebrating the best initiatives of advancement professionals in the CASE V/VI region. And lastly, on the final day of the conference, we were grateful to catch up with our friends Kathleen Kavanagh of GG+A, and John Hill of LinkedIn, and to hear them both present.
A special thanks to Holly Johnson at Upper Iowa University for helping us get set up for this conference. We had a fantastic experience this year with CASE and are looking forward to a busy conference tour in 2013!