(You may have seen the poster I shared for it)
Cathy, myself, and my classmates Lindsey, Stephanie, Rachael, and Kayla worked together to get a group of Ball State University writing faculty sit on a panel and tell students about their experiences with going to grad school, the different types of graduate programs offered, and the different jobs available to you with these degrees. Sounds interesting, right? It was. The amount of information that the attendees walked away with was borderline overwhelming, in a good way. So what’s the problem? The amount of attendees! (The turnout was a bit disappointing.)
What did we do wrong? Well, I’m not entirely sure so let me tell you what we did.
- Poster! We made a poster, then we plastered prints of it all over Robert Bell, which houses the English department, among other things. (We did this well in advance)
- Facebook! We made a Facebook event and shared it with everyone we could think of that would be interested in attending or would share it with people they thought might be interested. (Some tweeted it as well)
- Announcements! Several students visited writing classes and made announcements about the event. Personally, I went up to each student who expressed interest and reminded them either they day before or the day of the event.
- Finally, on the day of the event, we shared it on social media again as a reminder.
Here’s a photo of the panel
Perhaps you don’t know it, but this is a rather kickass panel. The students who were invited certainly knew it, so why weren’t they there? I can only think of two things.
#1: In the midst of a busy week on campus, they just forgot.
#2: They were stereotypical college students who were more concerned with partying than education.
Now, because I know a lot of these students, I can in good conscience say that it was probably number one. (If you’re skeptical, note that the event was on a Thursday evening, not a weekend day or early in the morning.) So, how do we combat HSF (Hectic Schedule Forgetfulness)? The only thing I can think of would be passing out individual mini-flyers. This idea came to me when another student handed me a mini-flyer for The Vagina Monologues in one of my English classes. I stashed it in my planner where I kept seeing it everyday. I did not forget about The Vagina Monologues. Sadly, this happened after our event, but I will remember it for next time.
Silver lining? When I was approached with the task of organizing a literary event, I was petrified. The very thought of it seemed impossible, but to be honest, it was rather simple. Granted, there were five of us plus our professor, but even so, I’m pretty sure that if I wanted to plan a literary event in the future, I’d have a few friends to help out and even though it wouldn’t be as simple, it would be entirely possible. That’s nice to know in addition to all of the information I got from the panelists.
(Do you have any suggestions on how to spread the message for future events? Please comment.)