How to Get the Most out of Corporate Alumni Events
Scheduling Corporate Alumni Program events throughout the year is foundational for engagement. The next step is to take the time to think through where and how the events will take place, how they will be communicated and to whom, and outlining what to do at the event.
Corporate Alumni Programs have many ways to engage the members of their communities, whether it’s through the online platform, social media, and of course – events. Recently we discussed why it’s important to hold events just for alumni and what kind. Now we want to dive a little deeper into what those events look like.
Events In-Person, Online, or Both?
During the pandemic everything had to switch quickly from being in-person to online, and post-pandemic will see a more hybrid approach. Some people will prefer to attend events in person if they’re able to, but others will still prefer to attend online in order to avoid a long commute, attend at a much more convenient time during the day, or because they don’t live in the immediate vicinity.
This is an excellent opportunity to diversify your offerings to meet the needs of all types of alumni. It’s also a chance to reach out to more people all at once for bigger topics, but keep in mind alumni engagement is best where there are chances for people to meet each other, even online. If you’re having a hard time deciding between online or offline, consider the costs of the event might be maximized online in order to not pay for venue space.
Who to Invite?
If you’re using alumni management software, it should be easy to sort your alumni list based on location, level of experience, or other pre-defined fields you set up ahead of time. You should select who to invite based on the goal of the event or corporate objectives. For example, if you’re hosting an expert speaker at your Dallas office in-person, invite alumni who reside in the Dallas – Ft. Worth Area or who had Dallas as their most recent office. Or, if you’re sponsoring an industry conference online, you’ll want to promote the event to alumni based on their industry or professional expertise.
Take the time to segment your audience early on in your program management by some of the areas that are most important – location, career level, professional expertise. Learn more about audience segmentation on this topic here.
Get the Most out of Corporate Alumni Events
Event logistics are the same for any professional networking event. Make sure you’ve got your communications set up and timed correctly in the weeks leading up to the big day. The platform will be able to do this well, but don’t forget that one on one outreach is really the most important aspect. Encourage current employees to connect with alumni they know and ask them to come. Work with your internal communications team to be creative. These communications are also an excellent opportunity for alumni to review their information and make any updates. Other things to consider during the event:
- Promote your alumni program with signage that feature alumni spotlights whether it’s in-person or in a PowerPoint online.
- Offer info about open positions and the benefits of returning your company. One of our clients provides a how-to guide for alumni who might want to return as a boomerang employee.
- Recruit Alumni Ambassadors who want to help with future events and activities.
- Interact with alumni and proactively ask for their feedback on the alumni program.
- Take lots of photos to use in upcoming newsletters or alumni profiles on your web page (don’t forget to get their written permission!).
- Create a hashtag that alumni can use when posting their photos on social media (check to make sure no one else is using it!).
- Don’t share anything with alumni that you wouldn’t share publicly. Keep in mind that while alumni are your former employees they may work for media or competitors now.
Events are a one of the best ways to interact with alumni and make them feel special, as well as provide them with an opportunity to meet and network with each other. In return, they will be great advocates for the company. In today’s highly competitive world where “word of mouth” is amplified many-fold on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Glassdoor, that’s worth a lot.