By Emma McClain
Last week, Temple PRSSA hosted their Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, Being a Full Service PRo. After months of preparation and anticipation, the event came to life and attracted students from 23 different universities all over the east coast. The event hosted a reception at the Hard Rock Cafe, three panelist sessions and a keynote #MeToo panel. I am extremely thankful to serve on Temple PRSSA’s E-board and witness as well as be a part of the planning process for this incredible event! I am excited to share my personal conference experience as well as event planning tips I learned from the experience!
In the days leading up to the conference, there was a lot of prep work which needed to be completed. I learned was no matter how prepared you think you may be there will always be last minute tasks popping up. For example, even though we did order swag bags for guests in advance, they printed the wrong logos on the bags and we had to wait for new ones to be delivered. As a result, we packed swag bags and printed out any last minute materials we need a few nights before the event. Even though the nights were long it gave our board a chance to spend quality time together we don’t normally get from our weekly meetings.
We had the reception at the Hard Rock Cafe the Friday before the all-day conference. I was humbled to give a toast with the current president of PRSSA in celebration of PRSSA’s 50th anniversary of our chapter, making us the longest standing chapter in the region. Afterward, I had the opportunity to network with students and faculty from Temple as well as from other universities. To top it all off, everyone enjoyed a buffet for dinner which comprised of unique entrees(including the cheesesteak egg rolls we had heard about since December!).
The day of the conference involved waking up early and preparing for everyone’s arrival. I personally went over to the Student Center. We blew up balloons, set up the PRSSA/PRowl backdrop and the welcome tables. Afterward, I went to the student center with a few other E- board members to make sure the panels were set up. It was fortunate we did go over and check the rooms because there was some miscommunication between us and the staff, however, we were able to fix the problem before the first session started. Our faculty advisor Gregg Feistman stated it doesn’t matter what happens behind the scenes as long as no one can tell!
The rest of my day consisted of running around helping with whatever I could. When lunch came around we had more great food while listening to the keynote #MeToo panel. We also recognized our faculty director, Gregg Feistman for being inducted into the Hall of Fame for PRSA. I had the opportunity to promote one of Klein’s Online Masters programs, Masters in Communication Management, during the networking session. Personally, tabling was my favorite part because it gave me the opportunity to connect with interested students and the rest of their PRSSA chapter members and faculty who came to the event!
- No matter how prepared you think you may be, there will almost always be last minute pop-up tasks which need to be completed.
- As long as no one sees it, it doesn’t matter what kind of mistakes happen behind the scenes.
- All the work really does pay off in the end!