By Sierra Smith

Over 100 attendees from both NIRSA and the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) came together November 5–7 at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida for the 2014 NIRSA/ACUI Collegiate Marketing Institute. This marked the first time that these two associations have collaborated on this event—and the partnership was a definite success!

The Institute kicked off with a keynote address by Dr. William A. Sutton, a professor in the Management Department at the University of South Florida and a founding member of Bill Sutton & Associates. Dr. Sutton’s address focused on career path and gaining work experience, and he also discussed life lessons that come from working in the collegiate marketing field as well as the evolution of marketing over the course of his own career. This inspiring address was very well received by attendees.

Over the next three days, attendees were able to participate in as many as eight of the fifteen offered educational sessions, in multiple roundtable discussions, an interactive professional panel, networking events, and a tour of ESPN: Wide World of Sports. Many attendees took to social media, tweeting and sharing ideas and photos from the Institute using the #campusmktg, #NIRSA, and #ACUI hashtags.

One of the things attendees liked best about the 2014 Collegiate Marketing Institute was the way it allowed them to foster relationships. Autumn Arthur, an Institute attendee from Texas Tech University, “thoroughly enjoyed meeting people who do the same as what I do: marketing and graphic design in the higher education field. The educational sessions and networking opportunities gave me many great ideas to implement at the

[Texas Tech University Student Union] that will improve my marketing work flow and enhance the experience of the students who visit the [Student Union].”

Another highlight of the Institute was the presence of Mind Shift. This ongoing NIRSA program was unveiled at the 2014 NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Expo and consists of elevated discussion and information sharing regarding corporate partnerships and business development. Two of the ed sessions at the Institute provided further insights into how numerous campuses are building win/win corporate relationships using Mind Shift concepts. Given the success of Mind Shift at the Marketing Institute, you can look forward to more Mind Shift programming at the 2015 NIRSA Annual Conference & Rec Sports Expo!

Kendra Bayne—Assistant Director Marketing & Promotions at University Rec, Louisiana State University and the Chair of the Institute—stated that “the Collegiate Marketing Institute proved to be a collaborative success of shared best practices amongst NIRSA and ACUI professionals.” It’s her hope that “the Institute served as a platform to carry forward ideation that will enable our institutions to continue being successful as we move forward in reaching students through a marketing world that’s ever-changing.”

Surveyed attendees gave the 2014 NIRSA/ACUI Collegiate Marketing Institute a satisfaction rating of 95%, and the vast majority said they would like to see ACUI and NIRSA partner on this event again in 2016. We can’t wait until then!

For more information about the 2014 NIRSA/ACUI Collegiate Marketing Institute, please contact NIRSA Assistant Director of Event Management Sierra Smith.