“My favorite thing about hosting a Conference was the opportunity to get students in the region together and let them experience a Conference,” said Wade Draper, Utah Valley University PRSSA Chapter President. “Many don’t get to go to National Conference, so it was great to give them that experience.”
Networking is the backbone of any public relations professional and their career. Many think the ‘r’ in PR stands for relationships. Networking with PRSSA members and alumni ensures that you have connections across the region, as well as across the country throughout your career.
While attending a Regional Conference is great, hosting one of your own is even better.
To host a Regional Conference, your Chapter must complete and submit a bid. This shows the National Committee that the planning and programming has been thought out and decided. Bids are due September 9 and winning schools will be announced at National Conference in Boston, MA in October. The bid requires a schedule of events, plan for promotion and sponsorship, a budget and outreach plan, among other elements of event planning.
Here are four great reasons to bid to host a Regional Conference:
Hosting a Conference allows you to connect with experienced leaders in the field; whether they are speakers, attendees or simple connections made through the planning process. This is when you glean their wisdom and experience through advice and suggestions. Often times, these connections will help you land future jobs.
Real world experience and portfolio building.
Events are common in the world of PR and having experience hosting, planning and executing an event, such as a conference, shows you have the dedication that many employers are looking for — setting you apart from much of the competition.
Relationship building in and out of your Chapter.
Each speaker or presenter you bring into the Conference to lead sessions or speak for keynote presentations is a connection you have to the world of professionals. A connection you will keep, that may help you in the future with advice, a healthy network or even a job prospect.
As a Chapter, your planning committee will be spending quite a bit of time together. Planning and executing the Conference offers a great opportunity for teambuilding, bringing each of you closer as you learn and grow together.
Recognition and Chapter building.
Hosting a Regional Conference is a great way to bring attention to your Chapter. Across your campus and community, people will become more aware of what PRSSA is and what you as a student organization can do. This is an organic way to create news about your organization and draw attention to the amazing talent within. In addition, it helps to promote your Chapter to future members, both college students and high school students. Outreach initiatives for high school inclusion help bring in members that will be a part of the organization for years to come. For more information on high school outreach, see the high school page of the PRSSA website.
Chapters interested in bidding to host or attending a Regional Conference should contact Bryar Keyes, Vice President of Events and Fundraising. Bidding ends September 9.
Bryar Keyes is a senior public relations student at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. He is currently serving as the PRSSA National Vice President of Events and Fundraising for PRSSA’s 50th anniversary year 2017-2018. Connect with him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.