Of Chicago

Social Media, Student Affairs, Technology

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the ACUI Annual Conference in Chicago, held at the Marriott Downtown on Chicago’s famed “Magnificent Mile”. As I posted earler, ACUI, or Association of College Unions International, serves as the right-hand of college and student unions across the globe. It assists its members institutions and professionals through “education, advocacy and the delivery of services.”

Over 1200 undergraduates, graduates, professionals and vendors from across the globe attended the conference. The conference included sessions, demonstrations, community service opportunities, discussions, networking events, keynotes, an awards ceremony, round table, expo and more. Events covered a wide array of topics from marketing and social media to learning theory and best practices.

As a marketing undergraduate I naturally visited events centered around marketing, advertising, promotions, social media and design. Nearly all of the sessions opened my eyes to new technology, best practices, methods and advice. Below is a list of the events I attended and a few nuggets (most of them personal) I picked up along the way.

1. Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan – Strategy is important. Point blank. Period. Without a strategic marketing plan you are planning to fail.

2. The Current State of Pop Culture – Richard Roeper’s journey to becoming the, if not one of the most famous film critics in America was anything but straightforward and certain. It pays to be prepared, assiduous and ridiculously funny.

3. ACUI Tweetup or (#tweetacui) – Cyber relationships suck.  Within professional online communities, it pays to meet the people you follow. When followers gather fun, sharing and networking are sure to abound.

4. The Power of Social Networks- Social Networks are more than Facebook and Twitter.  According to Dr. James Fowler, renowned social scientist, our social networks shape our actions and the very fiber of our being.

5. Technology Demonstration: Advising a Student Design Firm – Designers and graphic artists are people too. To work well with them there are certain guidelines to follow.

6. Technology Demonstration: Podcasting- “Thou must not upload crappy videos all the time.” Podcasts are inexpensive and easy compared to other technology. Don’t be afraid to use podcasts with your blog or website.

7. Marketing for the Campus Community of Practice – There are other people out there just as excited about marketing as you are. Even better, there is a place where you can share ideas, lend advice and recount past experiences.

8. Technology Demonstration: Using SharePoint’s Team Page for More Effective Communication – Dropbox.com, meet whentowork.com, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. Play nicely.

9. Marketing 2.0- To be the very best you have to use the very best. Stay current with new social media platforms and clients. Also, be vigilant. Keep your eyes open. Marketing inspiration is all around you.

10. Digital Dirt: Cleaning Your Online Identity- You are what you tweet. You are what you post. Be wary of what you do online. Employers are lurking are behind computer screens.

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