At the beginning of the semester I was assigned to a group of about 25 students. Our task was to create a brand new event at Texas Tech to showcase the photography of Texas Tech's own students.
Prior to getting started I had the perception that this would be an unsuccessful event. My reasoning for thinking that, was that, I as a student would not be interested in an event like this during after school hours. Therefore I made the assumption that no Texas Tech students would be interested in attending an event like this.
After getting together as a group we soon realized that working as one large group would we too chaotic and unproductive. So we created committees within our large group. We created a logistics, construction, food and advertisement committee. I was on the ad team.
We then had to meet with Dr. Foster in order to get a better understanding of what he envisioned for this event. In addition to his vision for the event we had to run all designs intended for advertising by him and get approval before releasing them to the public. (Below is an example of the fliers we put up around campus and around town.)
After we talked to Foster we were able to establish goals and objectives for the event. Our goal was to create an event that would spark awareness and appreciation for Texas Tech photography students. Our objectives were to get a minimum of 30 photo entries and at least 150 people in attendance at the event.
In order to stay on track of the different activities and tasks that had to get done throughout the semester, it was important we used the work days in class to have large group meetings and keep everyone updated and informed. We also had to meet with Dr. Foster on occasion. Other things that had to get done were the making and distributing of ads, the ordering and purchasing of food and the event set up and tear down.
Leading up to the event we had an unforeseen obstacle in that our location got moved just days prior. Originally the event was scheduled to be held in the 3rd floor lounge of MCOM. Due to scheduling conflicts it got moved to the basement of MCOM. This created multiple problems for us. For one we had already begun advertising this event with the 3rd floor as the location, so we had to make sure to get the word out about the location change. Another concern was the space or lack there of. In addition attendees being able to find the spot in the basement where the expo was being held was of concern. To help with the confusion of where the event was being held we put signs up throughout the building. We also had multiple group members stationed throughout MCOM with cameras, posing as mannequins to assist in pointing people in the right direction of where to go.
Looking back and reflecting on the event now, I personally think the location change was for the best. As you can see from the picture above, we were able to create an art gallery feel at our event. I believe the narrow and unique shape that the basement has is what helped to create the gallery feel. Had the location not changed we would not have gotten that feeling from the space of the 3rd floor lounge.
We were able to far surpass our objectives. We had almost three hundred photo submissions and over 250 people in attendance. Not only was our event a success, but I was also proved wrong. My initial perception of the event and how successful it would be, was wrong. There were in fact many Texas Tech students who not only came out to the event but who were truly excited to be there.
The biggest take away from this event was that communication is key to any event no matter what the size. For us, working with so many group members as well as Dr. Foster it was important we all communicated in order to keep everyone informed and on the same page. Communication is also extremely important for times when unexpected obstacles appear. I believe it is because of the effective communication throughout our group that our location change was able to be handled so smoothly.