WOW! It was a bit like birthing a baby...months and months of preparation and hard work, concern and intention...a goal to put on a conference for SCC and the community.
The Spring Communication conference has become an annual event in my life. Five years ago I agreed to take it over to see if we could make it more professional and really highlight our department and bring in new students. I saw this event as a marketing opportunity extraordinare, if we stepped up to REALLY showcase what we give to students in our classes. It could also be a gift to our community because we could market it in Spokane as a free opportunity for education.
What continues to amaze me is that this event grows and grows, and we now have a class that puts this on as a communications internship for students in our communications program. This year we had three student managers and ran it as a business. While I was the CEO, the managers (who participated in the conference last year) learned management skills as they supervised key committees.
This may sound pretty "typical" for a business, yet we were putting on a conference for 1000 people, decorating the huge conference center, providing food, muffins, fruit trays, juice and coffee for a thousand, brochures, marketing postcards and more...on a BUDGET OF $00.00.
That's right NO MONEY!
This student-run conference had to get donations during a recession to function. And they DID IT BIG TIME!!
The marketing blitz was phenominal..complete with professional postcard invitations, readerboard signs, brochures put out, invitation speeches made in classes and churches, and signs everywhere!
This year we had 1100 total participants, gorgeous decorations and flowers, balloons everywhere, platters of fruit and food, Roberta Greene as the keynote speaker, eight other workshops following, and a celebration luncheon to boot.
My role on May 5th was to be the MC for the keynote session, introduce the keynote speaker,
and give two workshops, one at 9:30 with Scott Finnie and one at 10:30 on "How To Become An Optimist!"
Whew! It was an amazing experience with so many highlights...filled with hundreds of hours of work for me and not much sleep:) But seeing the students be self-empowered and do what seemed impossible with such hard work and professionalism made it WELL worth the hard work. Also, when we look at the FTE numbers for our department, we are up 30% since last year! That means more of our students at SCC are being exposed to how to be better communicators!! Another goal reached!
Thanks to all who asked about how it went and special KUDOS to Bert and Amy for coming to the conference to support me (and to Tim for taking care of Jenna so Amy could attend)!:)
As I always say...I have the best job in the world!