Saturday, February 14, 2009

Save the Last Dance For Me

Today I'm unbelievably happy to say that last night, my fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and our sister sorority, Sigma Alpha Iota celebrated our first conjoined spring formal, "Music From the Heart."

I'm also proud to say that by this event being such a phenomenal success, I've broken through my superstition barrier and fear of Friday the 13th.

That is not to say it was an easy success. As the coordinator for the formal, the entire event took a personal 10 months worth of creation, constant planning, time, gas and stress. Thankfully with a lot of support, help and imagination from other enthusiastic individuals, the bar was raised even further.

The formal itself started as an idea from another friend's formal that she had invited me to last April at Rhodes College in Memphis Tenn. After constant research for adequete venues in Oxford to host the formal at and two weeks worth of writing a proposal, I later passed the project before the fraternity in October. From there it was all about the planning. From the big stuff to even the smallest details.

Because the formal was within the beginning weeks of spring semester and most of us were gone for the full two months of winter break, I created a private facebook group to communicate ideas for the formal between members. The focus of the group was on issues concerning theme, dj, ticket sales and food. Using Facebook was very beneficial in the process. As soon as the semester began, I started holding Formal committee meetings to talk about and finalized issues and start organizing the details.

As the time came for selling tickets, I brought the focus on marketing strategy to include creating posters, making general announcements to the bands and choirs in the music department, and the creation of an event on facebook. All those factors helped to promote the event effectively enough that ticket sales covered most of our expenses.

The location for the formal was the Oxford Conference Center which provided a regal sense of environment to guests. When it came time for decorations and food, SAI took the bill on decorating and Sinfonia, the cost of food. Of course that pretty much meant I was the caterer for the event as well as coordinator. Turns out, I can do a much better job creating a full buffet with much less money in comparison to actual caters. Go me!
In the end the event was very successful and there were many outstanding reviews about the formal the next day on Facebook. Considering many PR jobs involve a considerable amount of event planning, the experience has been a positive and justifiable one for me.
Above photo: The poster for the formal designed by me. The logo for the event was a design by Amanda Frazier.
Below photo: The Oxford Conference Center in Oxford, MS.

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