The AMA ICC: Return of the (UNCMA) Marketers

And boy, did we return!

A few months ago, I promised a follow-up to one of my favorite events/conferences of the year, the American Marketing Association’s International Collegiate Conference. The UNC Marketing Association not only had a fantastic time in New Orleans, but gained some awesome professional development experience at the conference. Here are the stats:

36th Annual International Collegiate Conference by the Numbers

1,234 Students (10 from UNC)
119 Advisors
170 different Universities
166 speakers, sponsors, and others joined us for a total of 1,408 attendees

That’s record student and total attendance! (And a record number of universities representing!) Check out the list of all of 2013-14 AMA Award Winners.

The AMA ICC is a pretty big deal for student marketers. We have tons of opportunities for growth at this conference:  we take on other schools in marketing competitions, attend sessions and speakers designed for our career interests, learn from top universities how to run the best AMA chapter possible, earn real-world marketing certifications on-site and, of course, Tweet and Instagram to our heart’s content.

Here’s what UNCMA participated in at the conference this year:

AMA Awards: Chapter Planning & Annual Reporting
SABRE Business Simulation Competition
Marketing Strategy Competition
T-Shirt Competition
Career Fair Luncheon

 We made sure to be (almost) first in line for the marketing strategy comp. #nbd

Signing up for mktg strategy!

Signing up for mktg strategy!

 

From an events perspective, and a returning AMA ICC attendee, this conference was AMAzing for several reasons:

  1. Emphasis on social media.

The AMA ICC has its own Twitter handle and hashtag of course but, this year, there were live tweet screens, hashtag competitions and calls to action using social media. This helps the 1,200+ rowdy marketers stay engaged throughout the entire conference – plus, we get to show all of our followers and friends all the cool stuff we’re doing!

Tweet power!

Tweet power!

And yes, that included epic AMA selfies!

Epic AMA selife!

Epic AMA selife!

  1. Event organization

This year, AMA rolled out a fully functional conference app! Partnered with social media platforms, this kept the conference running smoothly and attendees happy. What’s a conference without an excessive amount of smartphone usage?! (We all love it!)

  1. Content relevance

Finally, my most favorite thing about the conference this year was the relevance of all of the content, whether coming from speakers, breakout sessions or competitions. We had several wonderful keynotes:

Dave Delaney (@davedelaney) spoke about the importance of social media and blogging among the millennial generation as a way to set ourselves apart and find what we’re passionate about (and a job!). He pretty much summed up my entire social media marketing course in about an hour. #brilliant #smm

Luke Wyckoff (@LukeWyckoff) engaged our audience as both a keynote speaker and a breakout session leader, teaching us how to run naked as marketers (you had to be there), as well as the art of social storytelling in interview situations. Not only was Luke an infectiously fun speaker, but his content was so much more applicable to the real world than much of what we’re learning in the classroom. Plus, he hails from Denver, so he’s automatically in UNCMA’s good books. #marketingpower #socialmediaenergy

 

Back to conference tidbits…

 

After a year of perseverance and hard work, UNCMA is incredibly proud to announce that we are bringing home THREE awards from the AMA ICC, for:

Outstanding Fundraising
Outstanding Communications
Outstanding Planning

Our AMA ICC award!

Our AMA ICC award!

In short, the University of Northern Colorado Marketing Association took this year’s AMA ICC theme to heart.

We, the marketers, returned to New Orleans in a big way, and we were not disappointed. #gobears!

Check out the official conference video here!

Photo credit to: AMA.org & Kelley Robinson

 

By Kelley Robinson

Manage This!: the Bridal Edition

In celebration of some recent news – my best friend is engaged! – Manage This! is going bridal for the month of April.

Weddings and bridal events open a whole new realm of planning; these kinds of events are often dictated by one person, the bride, and can be incredibly difficult in setting off without a hitch.

Thus, I’m going to ask for a little help from my Pinterest friends in creating the
Top Tips for Bridal Event Planners.

One of the first things that many brides wonder after the excitement of engagement wears off is: how the heck am I going to pay for an entire wedding?!

This is right about the point we’re at in my best friend’s engagement as well, and it’s important to know that a great wedding event CAN be affordable.

Take some advice from our friends at Bridal Musings, for example, when initiating the budget conversation:

Bridal Musings
Do plenty of research.
Decide who’s paying.
Always create a contingency plan!

See the full article here.

Aside from budget woes and wonders, another huge part of a successful wedding event is a proper venue that is appropriate for the amount of guests being invited.

Oh Lovely Day gives some great advice for necessary questions to be asked when planning for venues, including everything from questions for the venue itself and tactics for using resources the bride already has to find the best venue location.

Oh, happy day!

Some venue questions:

  1.        Do you want your ceremony and reception to be in one location? (This is often more affordable and convenient!)
  2.       What time of year will you be getting married?

Some resource options:

  1.        Ask married friends who have gotten married in the same place.  They may have done a venue search and can recommend some places or tell you places to avoid.
  2.       If you’re in a larger area buy a wedding magazine specific to that area, like The Knot Southern California, which has ads and listings for local venues.

And, finally, some equally important questions that any event planner or bride needs to ask when in the pre-prep stage!

  1.        Can we use any vendors we want?  Do you have any vendor requirements or restrictions?
  2.        What are the extra fees or hidden costs?  Sometimes ceremonies cost extra.  There is a fee if you go over a certain number of people.
  3.         Do you have a minimum cost that we must meet?  Many venues do, and while they are usually easy to meet, if the minimum is $20,000 and that is more than your budget, that is not the venue for you.

There are many things a bride and her event planner must do in order to put on a truly great wedding event, aside from the few discussed here. For more great tips and tricks, visit Style Me Pretty’s blog on wonderful weddings.

In the meantime, my bride-to-be and I will pose a question to all of you:

In your wedding experience, what aspect has been a “maker” or “breaker” for nuptial success?

Stay tuned for another edition of Manage This!: the Bridal Edition.

Manage This!: the Bridal Edition

Photo credit to: Style Me Pretty, Bridal Musings & Oh Happy Day.

We wait all year, and it’s finally here! The AMA ICC

We wait all year and it's finally here!

We wait all year and it’s finally here! The AMA ICC

As a 2nd year executive board member of the University of Northern Colorado Marketing Association, I can attest to the fact that the American Marketing Association’s International Collegiate Conference is the most looked-forward to event of our academic year.

I can also say that, being the UNCMA Community Service & Events Coordinator and an aspiring event producer, this event is not only looked-forward to, but takes precedent over pretty much everything else going on in April. (#sorrynotsorry)

I’ll admit it: I’m a conference junkie. Ever since the good ol’ days in Colorado DECA (an association of marketing students), I’ve never turned down the opportunity to attend
a conference or big business-related event.
(That’s me – bottom row, middle right!)

CO DECA State Officer Team 09-10

CO DECA State Officer Team 09-10

Maybe it’s the excitement of a ballroom crammed with 500 people I’ve never met?

Maybe it’s the thrill of participating in on-site competitions and getting on stage in front of those 500 people?

Or maybe it’s seeing an overwhelming amount of hard work come together to form something spectacular.

Either way, all of the above are things I very much enjoy about conferences, and the AMA ICC is no different.

Picture this: 3 long days of college students networking and competing by day and exploring the beautiful city of New Orleans by night. It’s pretty great, and UNCMA gets VERY excited about our attendance.

As that self-proclaimed conference junkie, there are a few things I’ve not only come to expect out of any conference or event, but believe are essential to any event’s success, and the AMA ICC excels at them all.

  1. An excellent event production team that allows opening/closing ceremonies and everything in-between to go off without a hitch. (I’ve been behind the scenes of a train wreck of a conference and, trust me, it could’ve been prevented with a great events team!)
  2. An ideal location for a mix of work and play. (From what I’ve seen, conference attendees are way more engaged when there’s a good mix of free time and conference.)
  3. Content that’s a step ahead of the attendees. (Who wants to go to a conference that doesn’t make you think or give you something new to chew on? Conferences that give us a look into what’s coming or the newest technology are more relevant!)

Although UNCMA’s membership isn’t quite as dedicated as some of the other universities that attend, we still enjoy everything this event has to offer – our experience is possibly even better than those big chapters, because we get a more personalized experience as a small chapter.

The event this year is during the 2nd week of April which (WHAT?!) is right around the corner.

I cannot wait to sink my teeth into another AMAzing conference.

This year, I’ll be soaking in as much event info as I can to supplement my event and conference learnings.

And you can bet I’ll be live-tweeting the whole way through with the official hashtag and conference handle (@CollegiateConf).

Stay tuned for my post-conference tips on engagement, networking and general event biz!

 

Interested in learning more about the American Marketing Association? Check out their (newly revamped!) website at ama.org.

 

Photo credit to: AMA.org & Kelley Robinson