Selecting the Event Category
In the time of social distancing and beyond, virtual events play a key part in alumni engagement. Here is how you can create a virtual experience for your alumni group:
The Rice University Alumni Relations team is here to support our regional volunteers virtually and in-person. This Virtual Engagement Toolkit provides tools, resources and guidance on implementing virtual events and activities that will keep your alumni communities connected and engaged even when you can’t be together.
This section will include:
- A Virtual Event How-To Guide
- Social Media Guidelines and Tips
If you have a virtual event idea, please submit it HERE. Questions? Reach out to your regional alumni officer.
Virtual Event How-To Guide
So, you want to plan a virtual event? You’re in the right place! Virtual events are a way to engage your alumni groups. Use this guide as a tool to take you through the process to bring your virtual event to life.
Step 1: Choose Your Event
Below are a few examples of virtual programs:
- Regional/All-Alumni Happy Hour
- Trivia night
- Instructional, hands-on class (culinary, arts, etc.)
- Wellness sessions
- Dance parties
- Netflix party
- Book club
Questions to consider:
- Do you want this event to be available to just your region or to the full alumni base?
- Do you already have a host or facilitator in mind for this event?
- Will the proposed platform be available to all of your audience?
- How interactive do you want the event to be? (Lecture style vs. conversation)
*After reviewing these questions, please fill out this project form.
Step 2: Contact the Alumni Office
We love that you want to create or host your virtual event! The next step in this process would be to contact your regional alumni officer. Together we will:
- Finalize the type of event
- Identify the host
- Discuss technology and outreach
You can use the directory to find your alumni relations contact person.
Step 3: Choose Your Virtual Event Format
After submitting your new project form and corresponding with your regional alumni officer about your event idea, the event platform will need to be chosen. The alumni office will assist you with choosing the best platform for your type of event.
Below are a few (not all) different virtual tools you can use for your event.
- Facebook Live
- Instagram Live
Step 4: Publishing and Promoting an Event
The alumni office will take care of a lot of promotion for the event, but you can do your part as well! Here is a breakdown of outreach efforts:
The Alumni Office can/will:
- Create Zoom (or other platform) link
- Create registration page
- Include event in regional leader email, VirtuOWLConnections emails*
- Create Sallyportal event, Facebook event*
- Submit event information to be included in @RiceAlumni social media
*Note: Please see email communication section.
The Alumni Group Volunteer can:
- Provide information to be included in registration
- Create Facebook events and posts within alumni group pages
- Email their own regional/Rice contacts about event
Step 5: Follow-Up
The Alumni Relations office can send a follow-up email to all event registrants as soon as the event recording is available (if applicable).
The below marquee events historically happen each year across all regions and are planned by both the Alumni Office and the Regional Groups:
- New Student Celebrations- The Association of Rice Alumni welcomes incoming Owls and their families each summer at New Student Celebrations, held each summer across the U.S. and internationally. These fun and casual events provide new students and families with a personal welcome from alumni, other families and current students from their home area. New Student Celebrations are the perfect setting to ask questions about Rice, college life in general and living in Houston — and to make new friends before transitioning to college.
- Rice Day- Rice Day is a time when Owls in cities across the world gather to celebrate the anniversary of Rice’s formal opening in 1912. Taking place on and around Oct. 12, Rice Day events range from happy hours to sporting events to service projects — anything that brings Owls together to network and have fun. The Association of Rice Alumni partners with the Rice community to help create several of the events, while others are planned by volunteers.
- Holiday Parties- Rice alumni, parents and friends from multiple Regional Groups come together in the winter to celebrate the holiday season and the start of the new year. Parties are held in backyards, breweries, restaurants, museums and more, starting in December and wrapping up in late January.
Event Ideas and Advice
There are a wide variety of types of events and programs that can be hosted to engage and connect Rice alumni. Below are some suggestions, but we encourage you to be creative. Also, if you have done an event that was successful and it is not listed here, please share with our office so we can let other volunteers know. Your events could land in the following categories:
Click here for a list of event ideas and sample event calendar.