I recently was asked, “What is the best event you have coordinated and why?” I paused and thought about this for a bit. As someone whose top two strengths are maximizer and competition, I am really goal oriented. I could say the most successful events are those where we have the largest amount of students and attendance is record-beating. Yes, those are amazing and it is something I strive for each event. I truly think with higher attendance, we can make our events and campuses more inclusive. I say this all the time, and I get that good feeling of accomplishment after those events.
However, after I was asked this question, I actually thought about an event I coordinated while I was an undergrad student intern in which I had the lowest attendance… five people. This event was a “get on the bus” event to our state’s professional lacrosse team’s game. I was really upset when only five people showed up and were riding that bus to the game. I was down on myself and trying to think of what else I could have done to maximize this event to make it the best. What other work could I have put into this? What other marketing strategies would have worked?
On the ride home, there was a student smiling from ear to ear. He was wearing a Minnesota Swarm lacrosse jersey, had a bucket of popcorn, and was reading the program he got at the game. I asked him how he liked it, and he said this was the best night he ever had. He went on, explaining to me how he has a disability that does not allow him to participate in any physical activity including contact sports like lacrosse. He loves lacrosse, and it is his favorite sport. He said he is the biggest Minnesota Swarm fan, but he can never afford to go to the games. This event gave him the opportunity to attend the game for free and see his favorite team play in front of him.
Every time I think about this student, I tear up. There was something about this student that motivated me to go into this field and reminds me why I love student affairs, especially providing events to students on a college campus. So even if attendance isn’t up, goals from planning were not met, or the event wasn’t maximized, you accomplished your job by making one student’s life. You succeeded and created the best event you have ever coordinated.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Brian Proffer on His Story & Thoughts on Current Events