Alumni engagement is defined as ‘the meaningful involvement of former students in the life of their alma mater’. Universities play a vital role not just in educating students, but also in fostering lifelong relationships with their alumni.
By staying connected with their alma mater through various events and initiatives, alumni can contribute to the growth and success of the university while also benefiting from their own networking opportunities and personal development.
In this article, we will explore the importance of alumni engagement, its impact on the university community, and some exciting ways to foster ongoing relationships with alumni. Whether you are a student, graduate, or university administrator, this guide hopes to provide a bit of insight into how to build stronger connections within the university ecosystem.
🎓Why Engage Alumni?
Before we get into details, it’s important to understand why you should be prioritizing alumni engagement.
Your alumni speak volumes when it comes to showcasing your university. By actively involving alumni, universities can create a vibrant and dynamic learning environment that goes beyond the classroom. Here are a few points as to why you should engage your alumni.
Mentorship and Guidance
Your alumni have walked the halls of your university and studied the courses that your current students are taking with the hopes of successfully gaining their degrees. Your alumni can share their knowledge and help future students pave their career paths. They’re the predecessors who have landed jobs off the back of the education you’ve provided them with. And they can help your budding students find a job in their chosen sector, through networking opportunities and educational programs.
When it comes to fundraising, alumni can help you no end. Through their vast knowledge of the university, they understand the importance of financial support. In turn, this can improve the quality of life as a student on campus. Whether it be through donations, sponsorship, or aiding in creating scholarship opportunities, if you have great alumni engagement, the more likely they are to support your financial endeavors.
When alumni stay engaged, they become ambassadors for the university, spreading the word about the quality of education and overall experience. Their involvement can attract prospective students as well as help to preserve traditions and the history of the university, which in turn contributes to the success of the university.
🚀How to engage alumni?
Now you understand why alumni engagement is crucial to the success of the university, and the future of the students. We’re going to give you a rundown of some innovative ways that you can boost alumni engagement.
When you’re planning out any university communications or content, always keep your alumni in mind. You could feature them within your newsletters or even have an alumni-specific newsletter. This way you can keep them involved in university developments and any upcoming events.
Celebrate Their Wins
It’s also incredibly important to highlight the achievements of notable alumni. You can even create a feature in the aforementioned newsletter specifically designed for celebrating alumni achievements. When your alumni see that you recognize their successes, they will want to play a part in the success of the university as well.
Webinars & Workshops
With the power of technology, you can easily connect alumni who may have never had the chance to meet in person. Imagine hosting a virtual networking event where alumni can share their experiences and connect with others in their industry. By hosting unique workshops you can invite along your alumni, or, even better, get them involved in the workshop itself!
Another exciting idea is to launch an alumni podcast. Invite successful alumni to share their stories, insights, and advice on various topics related to their careers and personal journeys. This can be done through interviews or panel discussions, which can be recorded and shared with the alumni community. This kind of digital content will not only engage the alumni but also provide valuable resources for current students and recent graduates who are looking for inspiration and guidance.
Hosting a university alumni award event is an incredible opportunity to celebrate the achievements and success of our esteemed alumni. It is a chance to reconnect with and engage your former students, who have gone on to make a significant impact in their respective fields. The alumni engagement that results from hosting such an event is immeasurable. It strengthens the bond between the university and its graduates, creating a lifelong connection that extends beyond graduation.
By organizing sports tournaments, universities can bring together alumni from different graduating classes. Tournaments will encourage alumni to interact, network, share their experiences, and relive the excitement of their college sports days. The camaraderie and memories created during these events can strengthen the bond between alumni and their university.
Alumni Game Nights
Create challenges, competitions, and interactive activities that encourage alumni participation. For example, you could have a trivia night where alumni can test their knowledge about their alma mater or organize a photo contest where they can share their favorite memories from their time at the institution. By gamifying alumni engagement, you make it fun and exciting, which will increase participation and create a sense of friendly competition among the alumni.
📲How to utilize an event app?
When it comes to planning your alumni-focused event, you’ll find that an event app can be a huge help in the start-to-finish preparations. Whilst planning any event can be stressful, Eventee aims to take the stress out of it. This way you can be on hand to help your attendees in other ways.
Here are just some of the many ways that Eventee can help uplevel your alumni event planning.
Everything in one place
With an event app, your alumni can keep up to date with all important university information and updates within the app itself. You can post alumni event details, schedules, and locations into the app so that no information gets lost in translation.
When your alumni enable push notifications within the Eventee app, they can receive instant notifications whenever you post an update. This way you can boost alumni engagement as well as attendance at your events. You can also post during the event itself so that you can communicate any last-minute alterations and avoid any delays.
The Eventee app enhances networking between all its users, and your alumni will be no different. They can browse through their fellow alumni’s profiles and make connections, as well as with current students, faculty, and staff attending the event. Whether attending in-person or virtually, you can reach your guests far and wide. We all know how difficult it can be to plan a date and time to suit everyone, in fact, it’s nigh on impossible. With Eventee, you needn’t worry, since through the app you can involve everyone. With live stream support, event managers can create a hybrid event and break the borders of the physical venue. This means attendees can consume the event content anywhere in the world while engaging and connecting at the same time.
With live polls, Q&A’s, and its social wall feature, your alumni can interact with you and each other throughout any event. By having these interactive features available, you are bound to boost alumni engagement. You can also showcase your speakers and provide helpful event information.
It is often seen that attendees will give more honest feedback when asked while the memories of the event are still fresh, giving you more accurate and valuable feedback from the event. There’s nothing worse than feeling forced to sit through dull seminar after dull seminar. That’s why Eventee created an app that can keep things fun and engaging.
Analytics and Data Insights
Eventee allows you to review important data from any event you host, helping you to see where you can improve for future events and also recognize the things that went really well.
Eventee gives you a simple way to view:
- Attendee profiles
- Individual attendee engagement during sessions
- Networking success (how many connections, users, messages)
- Partner views (how many attendees view their cards)
- And for hybrid events - viewer retention rates
Alumni engagement is vital for the success of any university. Engaging alumni is essential because they can, as we’ve seen, contribute in so many ways to the success of your campus. Beyond the classroom and financial support, they can help you create a community, inspire others, and show off the university.
A university must be invested in its students AND alumni to create lifelong connections and well-remembered experiences. Alumni engagement is a great way for universities to deepen their connections with their graduates, encourage alumni to help out and gain an extra perspective on the university. Be sure to engage your alumni through the use of various events and programs, whether you are planning a one-time event or an annual reunion.