Most of us are ready to put 2020 behind us. The pandemic cast a long shadow of the year, and people are ready to turn to a new chapter. However, while there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, COVID-19 is still expected to have a significant effect on our lives through most of the coming year, which means people will still need to find alternative ways to gather, communicate and socialize.
For alumni associations, this means a continued need to get creative, especially with virtual platforms, to ensure you’re able to keep your alumni engaged even when you can’t see each other in person.
With this in mind, here are a few alumni engagement ideas for you to try out in this new year.
- Let them tell their stories: Give your alumni a platform to share their stories from the last year. This could be in blog posts or articles you post on your website, videos you compile to share on social media platforms, or in audio formats, such as podcasts or short interviews. The last year brought many challenges, but also many opportunities, and you might be surprised at how many interesting stories your alumni might have to share with you and their fellow alumni.
- Virtual networking events: Though in-person events still likely will not be happening for some time, you can gather people together virtually for various types of networking events. Consider organizing them by class year, areas of interest or occupation to get groups of people together who have some things in common.
- Virtual reunions: Your virtual events don’t just have to be for networking purposes; they can also be for fun. You can help classes from your alma mater develop virtual reunions to allow people to still come together from all over the country and get caught up on what they’re doing now.
- Livestreamed events: Many schools are still hosting sporting events, performances and other activities, but with limited attendance opportunities. Your alumni association could sponsor livestreaming for some of these events to make sure alumni are able to stay plugged in and watch what’s happening at their alma mater.
While 2021 will have plenty of challenges coming our way, things will only get better throughout the year, and by keeping your alumni engaged through this difficult time you’ll be able to hit the ground running with activities for your alumni association in a post-pandemic world.