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Shawn K. Sullivan's picture

How do I know if a convention was good? By the number of notes I record.

During this year’s National Association of Collegiate Marketer’s Association (NACMA) & National Association of Athletics Ticket Sales and Operation (NAATSO) convention a few weeks back, I typed in numerous notes into my Evernote app (unpaid plug - terrific app!). I didn’t always write down the exact concepts the presenters were explaining, opting to challenge myself, “How can we take that idea and mold it on our campus?”

Are any of these ideas magic bullets? Most likely, not. But there is no question that convention presentations - no matter how good or bad, how engaging or lethargic - can be a breeding ground for potential success stories.

Here are a few of the notes I recorded and how I see them weaving into our plans moving forward.

-Magnet Monday
The good people at Orlando City FC began a #MagnetMonday promotion. SB Nation has a good summary of it HERE. Ed Cahill, the club’s digital director provided terrific insight at NACMA.

We are looking at creating #ChirpChirpFriday and incorporating the magnet concept. In lieu of a #RedFriday where a property asks fans to sport their team’s colors and share on social, we will encourage fans to share photos while “chirping” - the Ball State traditional hand signal. We will add the opportunity for fans/students to snag a Ball State logo magnet at different locations around campus and the community as well.

-Group Sales Tips
Murray Cohn of the NBA spoke to the newly-formed NAATSO group and it was a well-timed presentation. Although I typed about 20 things into my iPad, one thing stood out: start with what and who you know. For a small staff like the one we have at Ball State, simple is good. Specifically, the idea of requesting group leads from your colleagues, coaches, season ticket holders, current group leaders, faculty and sponsors sounds simple. We will find out just how simple it is as we take that thought and find a way to incentivize those individuals and create a pseudo-commission structure for leads that result in sales.

-Foul Owl
This example is on the silly side, but we are all looking for content. Florida Atlantic’s Foul Owl effort was on point. ( We also deal with students on our campus wearing gear of in-state competitors. I can’t wait to work with our team to construct a fun, good-natured way to “call-out” some of our not-so-fanatical students while adding to our bucket of content. Perhaps there is a way to incorporate our student rewards program.

I hope these bullet points spark new thoughts for you and your organization.

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