Social Media At NACA Northeast!

Hello! My name is Kyle Neary and I’m the Assistant Social Media Coordinator for this year’s NACA® Northeast Regional Conference!  At this year’s conference we’re challenging you to engage with other delegations, vendors and everyone else within your social media circle. This post will hopefully give you some new perspective, ideas, or motivation to take the next step!

  1. Get ready to network! – Plan on connecting at the conference, and know what platforms you want to use. Utilize #NACAne, @theNACAne, on Twitter, Instagram, or check out or Facebook page! Share your photos and ideas!
  2. Use your organization’s SoMe – Connecting with other boards will provide new content on your feed all year round. Additionally, posting while at the conference can help connect those on your campus to the potential events you may bring during the year!
  3. Time and Place ­– We think utilizing social media is great! However, the middle of an Ed Session or during a showcase may not be the best time or place. Make sure you’re providing your undivided attention, and post afterwards!
  4. Share your experiences – Social media is a great way to make a brief record about the things you see or do. Sending a quick “@performer was awesome!” is one way for you to remember all of the things you see once you’re back on campus!
  5. Ask Questions – Have you thought about how to do more with your (or your organization’s!) social media accounts? Have you set realistic goals and devised a plan of what you’re hoping to do?
  6. Representing your brand – Always keep in mind that you are representing yourself, your organizations, and your school – just because one thing may not be your cup of tea, doesn’t mean it isn’t someone else’s!

These are just a few tips and tricks to get the most out of your Social media experience at #NACAne. As always, feel free to tweet or post your own tips!

See you soon!
Kyle

Showcase Etiquette

Hello all! I’m Steve, the mysterious great Oz behind the curtain during showcases! In my role as the Showcase Production Coordinator, I try to make sure you have the best experience with the great acts selected to be on stage! However, for me to do my job, I need your help too. A member in the audience is just as important as being the performer on stage. Being engaged and attentive helps the performers to put on the best possible show–plus it ensures the act is the right fit for your school!

To be the best NACA® delegate during a showcase, I have some tips–based on several conferences I have attended where I was in the same seat:​​

  • Cell phones: Keep them silent, lower the brightness and keep them in your pockets! Ok, you want to take some video and pics for Instagram, awesome! Take them and upload later in the hall. Trust me, your followers can wait. Texting and blatant cell phone use is extremely distracting to the people on stage and to the people around you, so keep that phone away. If you have to make that super important call or text, step out to do it.
  • Restrooms: If possible, use them before the showcase starts. If you have to go during the showcase, there are big lit signs to your left–you’ll hear a joke or two about them.
  • Talking: “This act is super funny!” “She is so cute!” “Let’s go see him at CAMP!” All amazing things to talk about, but maybe you can wait until the lights go on to chat about these. Make notes in your program, so you can tell your whole delegation after! Remember, distracting conversations during showcases are also effecting the people in front and behind you.
  • Getting up to Dance:Do it. Do it all the time if you want! Feel free to come in front of the stage to show the acts that you appreciate them!
  • Program Books:Keep them handy so you can make all of your notes. They will also tell you the pricing and where to visit the agent at CAMP.
  • Stay Awake!: You’re tired; we get it. NACA is exhausting, but these acts and agencies are spending A LOT of money to perform for you. Have a “nudge me if I’m sleeping” policy with your delegation or bring some water to stay awake!
  • Clothing: Are you a person that gets cold easily? Warm quickly? Dress in layers! The showcases are basically in a big exhibit hall that may or may not get cold. Bring a sweatshirt as a backup!
  • Know Your Showcase: There are a few types of showcase types, such as Sampler, Lecture, Spotlight High/Low, Special Events, Roving and Emcee. Understand what each means and how you can use them at your institution, so you will be as educated as you can coming in!

Well, that should be it for now! Showcases are supposed to be fun, educational and entertaining! These tips will help you, your delegation and the people around you to make the most from this amazing experience! If you have any more suggestions, put them down in the comments below! Ok, back to the curtain…

“Top Ten Ingredients for Associate Members” to have a successful conference experience… according to Jason LeVasseur… who has attended lots of conferences… and still loves attending conferences.

Caveat: The “top ten” are truly not in any particular order, but are definitely important things to consider when “mixing it up” at NACA.  As an associate, there are so many things to think about when preparing and planning for the conference and this list could truly be a whole cookbook. But it’s a blog post, so let’s keep it concise like a PB&J sandwich. Throughout all of your experiences be sure to ask lots of questions and share your ideas with other associates. I guess that could be considered the first bit of advice… but I did not list it as one of the ten, although it’s still important and should really be in the top ten. By writing it here I was able to sneak 11 important things on my list. That was a daring move on my part. It was like adding an ingredient to my dish that was not in the recipe. It’s a tasty addition so let me sprinkle that idea back at ya, “ask lots of questions and share your ideas with other associates”.

Now to the 10. Here you go:

1. Attitude – The way you approach the whole weekend will have a huge impact on whether or not you have a successful conference experience. Believe this – The conference is going to be fun and productive. You are a nice person. You will make friends. Your business will grow. You will create a yummy networking cup cake filled with delicious and friendly ingredients. That might sound funny but I am trying to go with the “mixing it up” theme.

2. Stay Healthy – Rest up before you get to the conference. The weekend is a joyous marathon and you do not want to show up to the starting line already worn out. Drink lots of water. Eat good food. Take care of your body. Once the starting gun has gone off keep a healthy pace that is right for you. That was a running metaphor. Totally out of place here but still good advice.

3. Read The Program – Look at the whole weekend’s schedule and get an overall understanding of the event. A broad perspective of what everyone is doing and experiencing will help you understand the students and staff. Their conference is bigger than just the hours that we spend in the Campus Activities Market Place (CAMP). To the students and staff, this is more than just a “talent buying” conference. It’s a networking opportunity, an educational event, and professional development weekend as well. So, get to know what else is going on. You will gain some good perspective by reading the program.

4. Attend Everything – Your opportunities to build relationships do not start and end in CAMP. You can attend educational sessions, hang out in the lobby, go to lunch with a school group, and make yourself available to chat with whomever happens to walk by. You can even make new friends on an escalator. The thing to remember, so you don’t break the rules, is that you can only “sell” your products in CAMP. You can “mix it up” all day long, hanging out, chatting, and sharing recipes (as long as your recipe is the shape of a business card and you are only giving it away in a non-selling manner). Seriously, meet and chat with lots of folks. It will help broaden your perspective on what the schools really need. They want to create great events for their students and you can help.

5. Prepare Your Promo – This will lower your stress level. Make sure that you have everything “ready to go” before you arrive on site. Packaging, labeling, making copies, stuffing CD cases, and anything done ahead of time is smart planning. If you try to get it done while trying to set up your booth it can be stressful and prevent you from just hanging out and having fun. In addition, know your schedule ahead of time. Bring a prepared calendar, which includes the dates when you or your acts are available to perform. In short, show up at the picnic with your food basket well organized and prepared.

6. No Need to Give Your Promo To Everyone – Most school representatives are divided into committees. Some folks are there looking for lectures, some for comedy, some for novelty games, etc. It’s OK to ask a student if your material is relevant to their role on their campus. As an artist, if you are a “crooning Sinatra-singing stilt walker,” you do not need to give your DVD to the “movie chairperson.” They are not the ones who will bring you to campus. If you are a singing stilt walker… I would like to meet you. Your leg extensions are great tools when mixing up huge batches of cookie dough that we will then share with everyone at the conference. We should be friends.

7. Own Your Talent
– You are so amazingly talented. You (yes, you) will be the most talented and amazing person at the conference. The guy next to you thinks he is the most talented. But it’s actually you. It is definitely OK to talk big about who you are and what you have to offer. But find a humble way to do it. Use video, live recordings, or written recommendations to “show” what you can do instead of just “saying” what you can do. Definitely be honest and find a way to share your awesomeness while being humble all at the same time. Always remember that you are working together with the attending students to create great events on their campus. What can you do to help them? Why would your act be good for their campus?

8. Be Nice – Everyone likes nice. Make sure you ask questions and find out the needs of the schools. Even if they are not buying what you are selling you can still be nice. The students you are talking to will be talking to other people who will be talking about you if you are not nice. So be nice. You may get frustrated every once in a while because your dough is not rising as quickly as you had hoped. Save it. Vent to a friend when you are alone and far away from students and staff. I can be your friend. Complain to me. Remember what I said earlier about this being a marathon? Sometimes the delicious baked cake finish line can be 3, 6, or 12 months in the future. This is not a microwaveable hot pocket. It’s a slow cooker. You need to be nice to everyone so they will be willing to enjoy your cuisine in the comforts of their own campuses.

9. Accept Defeat Gracefully – When a student or staff member walks past your booth and turns the other way when you are trying to engage them, it’s not your fault. They probably have an allergy to the food you are making. Don’t take it personally. They will break out in a rash if they enter your booth. You would never give a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to someone who is allergic to peanuts. Would you? Be resilient and remember to focus on the folks who really love peanuts. Yeah, I know you are not actually making food but this works with the theme. The point here is to be resilient. Not everyone will love you and it has nothing to do with whether or not you are lovable. You know you are awesome. I know you are awesome. Why do they just walk by? Allergies.

10. Wear Comfy Shoes – You will be standing a whole lot over the weekend. Comfy shoes will make you more patient, happy, smarter, and open-minded. You will also be more considerate and respectful to those around you. If there is a whole lot of cushion in your shoes they will make you taller. Comfy shoes are good. When the “talented act” in the booth next to you has forgotten their comfy shoes you can cheer them up and say, “Hey, you should go change into your comfy shoes”, and then offer them a piece of candy. Wear comfy shoes. Comfy shoes help your attitude. Attitude is the first ingredient on the list. Comfy shoes moisten the cake. No one likes dry cake. Everyone loves comfy shoes. Have a great conference.

See you soon!

Jason

 

Jason LeVasseur lives in Nashville, TN, and is one of the most awarded music performers in campus entertainment. He is also a keynote speaker, workshop and big games facilitator, summer camp counselor, husband, father, and the creator of “The Rock Star Project.” Visit www.jasonlevasseur.com. He is represented in  NACA  by Bass-Schuler Entertainment in Chicago, IL.

NACA® Conference Etiquette & Resources: Tips & Tricks to Making the Most of Your NACA® Experience!

What to expect:

  • To learn a lot! You will have the opportunity to attend many different educational sessions throughout the weekend. This is a prime opportunity to LEARN from other people and connect with other students, staff and campuses. In order to get the most out of your NACA® experience, have your delegation SPLIT UP! If you each attend a different session, you can share the knowledge after. You never know what amazing ideas might come from one session!
  • To be productive! Whether you are looking to fill some end of the semester fall programming dates or thinking ahead to the spring semester, this conference will absolutely help spark lots of program ideas. Use the time to be strategic, use Block Booking to save money, and find out the latest and greatest events in the campus programming world to bring to your campus!
  • And of course, to HAVE FUN! NACA is a one-of-a-kind conference experience that will keep you entertained from the start of educational sessions in the morning to the Special Event Showcases each night.  Take in every opportunity to network, learn and grow! You won’t regret it!

Tips on being the best conference attendee you can be:

  • E.S.P.E.C.T- Respect the time and the effort of all associate members. Showcases and CAMP are the opportunities to interact with the best college acts around. Use the time in CAMP to interact with all companies and agencies. It is the perfect time to build new relationships!
  • Volunteer- The conference cannot happen without the help of all our volunteers!  Our volunteers all play crucial roles in the success of each year’s conference. And for you, there is more than a free t-shirt on the line. Volunteering allows you to meet new people, work closely with the Conference Committee and gain new experiences along the way!
  • Sessions-There are so many educational opportunities at this year’s conference. Take advantage of all of them!
  • Network-NACA is all about connecting. Learning will continue far beyond the educational sessions. Have conversations with other delegates, learn how programming happens on their campus, and learn from each other!

You won’t be alone with all the resources that we will have for you this year!

  • Orientation Sessions-whether it is your 1st NACA® Northeast Regional Conference or your 25th, there will be something in these sessions for you! Each year the Conference Committee works hard to make each conference unique so you never know what surprises we will have in store. Find it out at the orientation session!

Conference Concierge Table- Come to the conference concierge for all your hospitality needs. We will have the answers to all your questions from where to grab lunch or dinner with your delegation to understanding NACA® lingo to all the latest information about conference initiatives.

See you soon!

Jess Ruddy, Orientation & Hospitality Coordinator

Top Ten Ingredients for Student Delegates

  1. Choose Education Sessions Ahead of Time
    1. NACA is VERY fast paced! Before you attend the conference, download the app (Guidebook) on your phone or look at the education sessions online and choose which ones you want to attend. You won’t have a lot of time to pick out sessions unless you want to wake up earlier (which you won’t want to do, trust me!)
  2. DO NOT Leave Showcase Early
    1. Just because an act is going last does not mean that they are a lousy performance. That is just the order they happened to be in. Also, these performers pay money to be here so it is rude to not give them your attention! You could be missing out on a performer that would be great for your school.
  3. Campus Activities Marketplace (CAMP)
    1. This tip is similar to showcase in that you should stop by every booth. There’s a reason there are so many time slots for this. It is so you can take your time going through and talking to vendors as well as meeting awesome performers! These companies/agencies are paying to be here, definitely give them a shot.
  4. Not Interested in a Vendor/Act?
    1. If you are talking to someone at a booth and aren’t interested, while in CAMP, TELL THEM. Nicely. Tell them-“This is a great idea/performer but I don’t think it is for our school!” They will appreciate that no ones time is being wasted and that you gave them the time!
  5. Getting Agencies/Vendors Information
    1. You will be getting so many papers/flyers from the same companies. If you’re going up to all the booths together, I recommend that you just take one business card or flyer! You will be relieved when you return to your school that you don’t have so many papers!
  6. Having a Partner at an Educational Session
    1. First of all, you should try to divide up your delegation to attend as many different educational sessions as possible. This allows you get as much information as possible! However, there will be a time when two of you will want to go to the same one. When you do, do not sit together! Sit with different delegations! That’s the time when you really get to chat and swap ideas. I guarantee if you do this and talk to someone at a session, you will walk away with at least one new idea!
  7. Mingle at Meals
    1. Split up with your delegation and sit with other schools. This is your chance to break the ice and get to know who’s at the conference. Talk to professionals or students-it doesn’t matter! This is another chance to connect and share ideas.
  8. Take a Breather!
    1. Your first time at NACA can be quite overwhelming! It’s a long conference with a packed schedule! Make sure you rest up the week of NACA and get as much sleep in as possible. Also, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a time out and grab a coffee/snack!
  9. Pack Your Bag With Goodies!
    1. There aren’t many scheduled breaks at NACA. My recommendation is when you wake up in the morning, pack a few snacks in case you get hungry and some drinks, too! Staying hydrated and energized is key! Since the conference atmosphere is very “go-go-go,” you’ll get so caught up in the action that you’ll forget you’re hungry/thirsty so having those items in your bag will prove to be helpful.
  10. HAVE FUN!
    1. The best part about NACA is that it is an exciting conference. You’re obviously attending because you LOVE programming. Remember that everyone else there does too so, you’re surrounded with people that you have that in common with. Make sure to not stress and enjoy the conference. If there’s a performance you like at Showcase, dance! If there’s an educational session you enjoyed, go talk to the individual who presented! If you want to win the spirit stick, show your school spirit! This conference is unlike others, so have fun with it!

 

See you soon!

Michelle Zohlman, School Swap Coordinator