A couple months ago we had an idea: Let’s take our show (however you want to define that is fine by us) on the road.
Why? We were inspired by all the great conversations we had or heard about at our RAISE conferences over the last couple years. Seemed silly to wait a full year for that to happen again. Surely there was something we could do in the meantime.
So we decided to pack our suitcases and keep the momentum going. With that, EverTrue U was born.
Was our plan half-baked? No, definitely not. (But…yes, probably.) We sent out some emails, generated some interest, logistic-ed some logistics and next thing we knew, we were spending a full day in roomful of people at Texas Christian University.
And it was great!
We had an awesome time with a bunch of people in the advancement field. We shared some strategies, told some stories, met new people and had a few Lone Stars afterward. To be honest, we probably learned more from the attendees than they learned from us. More importantly, they were able to connect with other people in their field. We just provided an event that was really an excuse for them to do so.
When we got back to the office, we were pretty happy with how it all went. So we decided to do it all over again. More emails, more phone calls, more logistics and we found ourselves in another roomful of people, this time at Syracuse University.
And that great!
Skip ahead a little and here we are today, having just wrapped up our third installment of EverTrue U at the University of Virginia last week. Safe to say it was the best one yet.
Have we perfected this thing? Definitely not. We have got a document full of ideas you wouldn’t be able to read in one sitting. But we’ve learned an absolute ton from each and every EverTrue U we’ve put on, which has dramatically improved the one that followed.
Pulling one of these off requires a lot of work and often flying halfway across the country. It’s not exactly something we can just do on a whim. So how’d we do it? It’s actually simpler than you’d think.
We had an idea we thought might be pretty cool. We didn’t know how it would go and we definitely didn’t know the best way to pull it off. But we decided to go for it anyway. And while the results of every EverTrue U have been great, planning it hasn’t always been a picnic.
Idea. Blind(ish) faith. A bunch of hard work. Some crossed fingers. That’s pretty much it.
What’s next? Expect to see a lot more EverTrue U announcements in places all around the country later this year. They’ve proven to be a great place to share ideas and meet a bunch of people from the advancement community.
Other than that, we’re not sure what to expect.
But we have learned two things.
One, our 30th EverTrue U is definitely going to look a lot different than our third.
Two, if you have even an inkling of an idea you think could work, give it a shot. Even if it doesn’t quite pan out, you’ll learn something valuable from getting it off the ground.