Conference on the First Year Experience and the Genius of our Community

We often feel really dumb in our work when we repeat the same silly mistakes. This time we wasted four days of work thinking we could come up with the answer on our own instead of asking for advice from the rich pool of knowledge around us.

Last week we reached out to our community of academic professionals for help on what our booth banners for the upcoming FYE conference should say. We posted our current design on the Red Rover marketing wiki page and invited everyone to leave opinions. Their feedback was invaluable as they are in the same job roles as the conference attendees.

Musicians often get to say how they have the coolest and most supportive fans. Well, I’d like to say the same thing about our community of support. Your knowledge is deep, your passion is alive, and without you, we would still be swimming in the shallow end. Some of you we just meet, some were there in the beginning and some of you even before that. You are the coolest fans and we appreciate every bit of your advice. Just be patient with us as we’ll surely waste another four days before remembering that you probably already know the answer 🙂

The three main themes from the feedback were:

– Have a catchier center tag line
– Emphasize free
– Ditch the word ‘generation’ as it’s too limiting

With the feedback fresh in our minds and a printing deadline for the conference, we reworked the banners, and here’s the ‘final‘ (I use that word loosely) version of the banners.

We are actually at the conference right now and testing the banners in real-time. So far the response has been fairly positive. I suspect much more so than had we went with our original design.

We are annoyed with our use of every buzzword possible because everyone is using them and our message gets lost. Also, the center banner with the black text on red is too hard to read without the correct lighting.

So we want to start the brainstorming session for the next round now and figure out how to be the anti buzz word, the anti 40K solution, the anti-in-house portal that no one uses, etc. Thoughts?

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