For the past couple of months, the interns, with the help of advisors and parents, have been working hard on the Pathway Foundation Annual Conference 2019: Road to College and Beyond. Beyond marketing, we also discussed logistics and created an agenda for the event.
Leading the planning committee are Edwin Ong, our graduating internship head, and Kristin Yao, our internship head for the 2019-2020 year. Others include Melissa Lin and Megan Lu from the Blog and Media Project, as well as Erik Ma from the Digital Platform Team and Lara Yao from the PATH Awareness Project. Our internship advisors Conrad Lee, Steve Chen, Sam Lai, and John Spady have been guiding the planning of our event. Intern parents also assisted, helping design the banners and t-shirts.
Even after the internship’s meetings ended for the 2018-2019 year, the planning committee continued to meet every Sunday. Due to everyone’s hard work, we were able to meet our marketing goals, finalize the agenda and solve all logistic issues. Outlined below are methods used to reach a large target audience and measures taken to manage the costs.
Parents aided in our marketing efforts by sharing the event on their WeChat groups. Due to potential language barriers, we translated messages to other languages such as Chinese to communicate with a more diverse audience. Besides WeChat, the committee also contacted our partners and asked them to help support our event. Interns used their networks to reach out to organizations such as CIE, APAPA, Boeing, and Microsoft. Other marketing strategies included posting on Facebook and Instagram, and putting up posters at schools. For our social media posts, different aspects of the conference were emphasized each week to appeal to a variety of interests. This year, we tracked how many registrations came from each site and when people registered to see which marketing strategies were the most effective.
For logistics, interns had to decide on an event location and obtain the necessary A/V equipment. It was decided early on that the event should be held at the Bellevue City Hall, as our meetings also take place there so we were familiar with the equipment and setting. However, this created another problem, as the rooms aren’t free. Since the Bellevue Mayoral Internship is a non-profit organization and we decided to make the conference free, the internship needed to raise funds for the event. Ultimately, the committee determined that we would charge interns for the t-shirts and collect donations from attendees at the conference. A few interns volunteered to help hand out the t-shirts and man the registration booth.
For the agenda, interns created a PowerPoint and wrote slides for each of the internship projects. They also contacted our speakers to obtain their slide decks and basic information to display onscreen. The speakers were chosen with careful consideration of the conference theme and asked to speak through email or an in-person appointment. In fact, the date of the conference was primarily chosen based on speaker availability!
Sam Lai, one of our advisors, commented that “Our interns have shown exceptional teamwork, leadership, and coordination in planning our annual conference, and I’m thoroughly impressed with the outcome of their efforts.” Besides interns, advisors and parents have also contributed their time and efforts to make this event a reality.
The annual conference will be held on Friday, August 2nd and we hope to see you there!