RFL Training Plan: Northwestern University Event Launch

Guest Blog: Northwestern University

In November, our training plan focus is all about "Bring the People" and event launches are a big part of getting your campus excited about Relay! Recently, the Relay For Life of Northwestern University had their event launch and it was a big hit with the campus. Read about the event below and take some ideas back to your event!

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Q. What did the experience look like? What entertainment was there? How did you incorporate mission and get people excited about Relay?

This year, Northwestern Relay For Life wanted to do a huge Launch Week to kick off the Relay Season. But we all know how plans like this go. We ended up only having events on a few days. When this plan was first set in motion, our intent was to have an Exercise Week, partnering with local studios and fitness centers to offer students free to reduced priced classes. We were only able to set up classes with Soul Cycle. We had 3 classes and they reserved 15 spots per class for us. We were able to charge whatever we wanted and it was purely a profit for us.  Logistically, we had to collect names and money (which reserved their spot) and then sent the names to SC a few days before. The bikes we did not reserve were then opened to their clients. 

It just so happened that the date World of Beer was able to host us fell during this week. Admittedly, we could have done A LOT more with Soul Cycle, and will look to do so in the future. We were not able to put out a donation bucket, but the manager was really willing to work with us on other things. If we do something with them again, we might encourage people to wear purple, about physical activity and prevention information or have them do some announcements before or after class about healthy living and how that fits into the mission of ACS.

We hosted the actual Launch Party at a local restaurant/bar off campus! We worked with this restaurant to reserve a party space exclusively for Relay For Life supporters and students. Throughout our 2 hour launch event, attendees were able to purchase food and drink, get to know Relay For Life Exec and Committee members, and play board games and watch sports on the bar's big screen TV's. We were also able to coordinate a profit share with the restaurant, which earned over $50 for Relay For Life of Northwestern! We handed out flyers about Relay and talked to attendees about Relay and our mission and goals for the year. Our event was mostly used to bring together past participants and get people excited about kicking off the 2017-18 Relay season!

Q. How did you market your Event Launch?

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We marketed our event launch primarily on social media and Facebook! We also personally reached out to all team captains and Relay participants from last year, inviting them to the kickoff of Relay 2018. Finally, we had all of Relay Exec and Committee bring 2+ friends to the event launch!

Q. Did you encourage people to register for Relay at your Event Launch? What did that process look like?

We provided a laptop and instructions for registering for Relay at the event launch. We encouraged people to register as they came in, but if they were not interested in registering on the spot, we provided flyers with more info and our registration link so that people could register later! Our event was primarily focused on spreading the word about Relay and encouraging past and future Relay participants to get to know each other and our Exec board for this year!