Alumni events are friendly gatherings that bring new and past students and staff together, but for universities, they offer many more benefits. Engaging with alumni can provide financial support, brand ambassadorship and job and internship opportunities for existing students. Alumni can also help boost a school’s reputation and promote awareness.
Engaging alumni is key to garnering a high participation rate for your event. Below are some ways to market your event, generate interest and get alumni excited about their alma mater.
Research to deliver an ideal experience
Boosting attendance for your events starts with knowing what type of alumni event experience your potential attendees will value. Before planning the event, research your target audience and communicate with them directly to get specific feedback. One of the ways you can facilitate this feedback is by sending voice surveys via voice broadcast. With voice broadcast, send a custom voice survey to all of your alumni simultaneously. This process requires only minutes and saves you time manually dialing individual alumni. With voice broadcast, recipients can interact with your survey with a simple voice response or key press.
For best results, ask questions that will help you gain insight into your alumni’s wants and needs. For example, is there a speaker they would like to hear from? An organization they are interested in connecting with? What would stop them from coming to the event (travel, ticket cost, etc.)? The more relevant you make the event for them while answering their objections, the higher your attendance will be.
Create strategies based on performance goals
Once you know what your potential guests desire, set goals early on that define what you want to accomplish with your events. Here are some questions to answer:
How many alumni do you want to invite?
How many alumni do you want to attend the event?
What types of speakers and programs will be represented?
How many alumni do you want to see sign up for your programs as a result of the event?
How many alumni do you want to follow-up with you after the event?
How many social shares are you expecting?
Your goals will differ depending on which strategies you implement, but use the above as a guide. Based on these goals, create strategies and assign due dates to each one to keep yourself accountable. Assign post-event strategies as well such as follow-up emails, feedback gathering, and continued communication.
Marketing and engagement tips
Here are some other marketing tips to help you boost alumni attendance and encourage engagement:
- Are there any notable high-profile people who joined past events? List the names and profiles of these people in your marketing media to spark more interest.
- Post videos of past alumni events as part of your marketing campaign. Hosting an event for the first time? Interview the speakers and/or event coordinators discussing what the event will entail and how it will benefit attendees.
- Create videos of past alumni sharing their stories and their personal school journeys. Share these videos on the online event page and via email.
- Connect with past engaged alumni and encourage them to share the event details with their personal alumni connections.
- Create a Facebook event page. On these pages, people can mention whether or not they are attending, and alumni can find out if any familiar classmates are attending.
Boost Your Alumni Event Attendance
Following these strategies will help you build engagement and boost alumni attendance for your events. If you would like to try voice broadcast to send surveys or mass communication messages to your alumni, getting started is quick and easy. With CallFire’s voice broadcast solution, for pennies a call, you can connect with all of your alumni simultaneously. Sign up for a free account to see how voice broadcast can help you better engage with your alumni and promote awareness for your school.