5 innovative ways to boost engagement and giving at alumni events

Using social media and data analytics could make for better alumni relations.

alumni-event-engagementEngagement leads to giving, and one of the best ways to engage alumni is through in-person events. Whether your school’s events are large or small, frequent or rare, there are some great ways to ensure that you are engaging with your alumni base.

1. Go digital with invites and promotion

It’s likely that you are already sending out email invitations, but you may not be making the most of them. Look into tools that can automate the processes of sending out initial invites, re-sending invites to those who haven’t responded and sending reminders to those who have registered to increase responses. Beyond the invitations, make sure your online registration process is quick and easy. Your registration form should also be viewable on mobile devices, allowing alumni to register from anywhere. If attendees need to purchase tickets to your event, or if you are asking for donations with registration, allow registrants to pay or donate right on the form.

You will also want to promote your event across multiple social media channels. There was a time when social media outreach was only considered as a way to engage young alumni, but a recent study by Pew Research Center shows that 71 percent of adult internet users are now on Facebook. Social media is now a viable strategy to reach a broad range of alumni. Pick an event hashtag for Twitter to allow alumni to tag their tweets and easily find all event-related tweets in one place. This will help you promote your event and engage attendees before, during, and after the event.

2. Find the perfect venue

We have all attended events in boring locations. A stuffy conference room is not the best place to engage with your alumni and inspire them to give. If your event is local to your campus, using an on-campus venue is a great way to save on costs while emotionally engaging with alumni through your campus. When on-campus isn’t an option due to the size or location of your event, think outside the box for booking a venue. Consider interesting locations like museums, stadiums, roof decks, parks, or boats that will be fun and memorable for your attendees. With outdoor locations, remember that weather can be unpredictable and always have a backup plan. Using tents will allow attendees to enjoy your outdoor location even if it rains.

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