Woop! First Conference as a Pro: NACA Central!

As I am still learning and inquiring about all things involved with campus activities boards on campuses, I thought it would be good to start meeting others in my role. So, a few weeks ago I decided to reach out and email all the people who fill my role in some of the institutions that are in my surrounding area. I wanted to reach out to them to let them know that I we both share a similar role and that I would love to connect with them so that we could learn from one another and potentially book some of the same entertainers to save some money. Well through my emails, I learned that they were planning to attend the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA): Central conference and that it would be a great way to meet them. I looked it up and found out it was the same weekend as Family Weekend (this past weekend). I knew there wasn’t much hope for going to the whole conference, but I saw a lot of value in going. So, I went ahead and asked my boss if I could attend for one day and a week later got approved and sponsored!

It was rather exciting to go to a whole new conference. By that I mean, I have not ever been to a NACA conference and didn’t know what all to expect. It was so exciting to be there as the only representative, learning all the terms for how the conference ran and all the opportunities it involved! There were educational sessions in the morning that I attended and at lunch we got to go around and meet and inquire about other campus activities board organizations. It’s always great to know that we are not the only ones worried about budgets, maintaining our organization members, or making sure we are marketing properly! It was also good to hear all the exciting things other campuses have been doing as far as programs. Some of the really exciting ones I heard were: fishing on campus (they provide the portable pool and fish), mascot birthdays, hot air balloon rides, and many more! Then after we did some exchanging of information and names we headed over to our first “Showcase.” This was a demonstration of about 6 entertainers (musicians, poetry slam artists, comedians, magicians, etc.) that we watched to see if we wanted to book them! They each provided us with about a 15 minute sneak peek into their show and I enjoyed being able to do so… before bringing them to campus! Some of them were incredible (book now worthy), some were interesting…, but all of them were very entertaining!

After each of the two Showcases that day came a CAMP or Campus Activities Market Place. Here I wondered around and tried to meet with all the vendors and entertainers to see what they could offer Austin College! I truly enjoy meeting people so I was in my realm that day! I was meeting my fellow Assistant Directors/Campus Activities Board Advisor, many students, agents, and artists! Even though the conference started at 8:30 am (*cough: I got there at 7:30 am ‘cause I was so anxious) and ended at 11:45 pm, I had enough energy and excitement to absorb as much as I could in that one day! I cannot wait to share all that I have learned and gained from the conference with my Campus Activities Board members and I really can’t wait to bring some of these entertainers to our campus!

I truly love going to conferences and meeting people! I’ll be going to TACUSPA this coming weekend and presenting on advising on Monday so if ANY of you are going to be there by chance, please make sure you come say hi to Jenni with an “I” J Or… at any conference! I’d love to meet my readers! Hope you have an amazing day!

 Jenni with an “I” @JenniwithaniK

Student Affairs - the First Years

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