by Juan Gutierrez
Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa, CA
Not even a four-hour delay in Chicago could dampen my enthusiasm for this wonderfully constructed conference. Though I will admit the gorgeous Graduate Providence Hotel’s art deco design takes a bit of an ominous turn for a tired traveler checking in at 3 a.m.
Hallucinations aside, the conference was a great success. District 1 Director Eve Markman welcomed everyone to Providence, fittingly known as the “Creative Capital.” Conference sponsors Interact Communications and ReachLocal took to heart the District1 motto of “Small but Mighty” with a very informative opening session on creating impactful, micro-digital moments.
From there, the conference kicked into high gear with sessions on podcast creation and how to pull off a brand refresh. Bucks County Community College of Pennsylvania presented on how to prove your digital marketing is effective, something that at one point or another we all have to do in order to justify our marketing plans and at times, our budget. Many sessions focused on creativity and ranged from keeping your marketing team excited and motivated with fresh ideas and brainstorming, to creating effective student messaging through video imagery and humor.
By the Medallion Awards reception, I made it a point to search out the many first-time conference attendees to get their take on what they enjoyed most. They mentioned the informative sessions and the many ideas they took away from them. They also mentioned how much they enjoyed being around their peers and sharing similar experiences, horror stories and a general feeling that you are not alone in the daily challenges faced at our respective colleges.
And that’s what fuels my enthusiasm for NCMPR – if any one word or sentiment can encompass what NCMPR truly is, it’s this feeling of comradery and support that was on full display in Providence.
Juan Gutierrez is the director of marketing and public relations at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, and president-elect of NCMPR.