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Consider Hosting a NAADA Conference

Friday, February 21, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Have you ever considered hosting a NAADA Conference? It can seem quite daunting, but before you write off the idea, consider this — it was with some hesitation that the University of Minnesota submitted a proposal to host the 2009 conference. Would NAADA members want to come to Minnesota after a conference in Hawaii!? And the economic situation in the US was looking pretty grim (slashed travel budgets, etc.)

Fortunately, we could rely on fantastic support from the NAADA staff at Ewald Consulting as well as the wisdom and resources shared by previous hosts. Hosting the conference gave us the opportunity to shine at home (several representatives from central administration participated), show off our facilities (research facilities, the new TCF Bank Stadium, the Landscape Arboretum) and engage our students, alumni volunteers and donors in a unique way. Several professionals from other parts of the university presented sessions, including the director of the nationally recognized U of M Parent Program.

But the greatest benefit is that 5 years later, our advancement team in CFANS is stronger than ever. Before the conference, we were much more separated both by our professional silos and our physical locations. We didn’t realize the possibilities for connections and collaboration. Working together over two years to plan the conference brought us closer together. Recently we've established a monthly industry roundtable discussion that brings together admissions, alumni relations, development, communications, student services, career services, and international programs to discuss how we can better collaborate with our partners. It has been a fantastic way to share information, support each other and "build bridges”. So before you dismiss the idea, think about the benefits of bringing the NAADA conference to your institution, and know that there are colleagues at previous host institutions who are ready and willing to support you.

I hope that you will consider submitting a proposal – the RFP form is located here. If you have questions about what hosting a conference entails, please give me (Mary Buschette, 612-624-1745) a call or contact Jillian Stevenson at