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Iowa State Daily

The Conference for students seeking their “Passion”

Iowa State Memorial Union

According to Iowa State courses and programs, the six-credit EVENT 486 class provides advanced application event management skills for seniors majoring in event management. The class nourishes leadership skills and direction for the production of an event, including:

  • Vendors 
  • Stakeholder relations
  • Publicity
  • Advertising 
  • Choreography 
  • Lighting
  • Food
  • Staging
  • Budget management

“The preparation began in a previous course the students took, EVENT 485, where they explored ISU students’ needs, interests, stressors, joys and so much more about what they experience while in college,” said Jamie Beyer, EVENT 486 professor and supervisor for the Conference. “They used the information they gathered and the elements and principles of event production to develop a conference proposal. This semester in EVENT 486, the students are producing all of the elements from that proposal to bring the Conference ‘Passion’ to life.” 

Beyer said EVENT 486 students have been sourcing vendors, contracting presenters/speakers, developing a registration platform, sourcing a venue, managing a budget, creating marketing, securing sponsorships, hosting pop-up events, planning food and beverage, recruiting and training volunteers and more this semester.

In EVENT 486, students get the hands-on experience to plan their own conference for the ISU community from start to finish. EVENT 486 students develop a theme and activities to include in their annual conference every year. This fall, students chose “Passion” as the Conference theme.

“This event is for any and all types of people who are looking to try new things, step out of their comfort zone or even learn something new,” Lydia Broadhead, a senior in event management and EVENT 486 student, said. “So the theme is ‘Passion,’ which is all about helping college students feel like they’re more than just a college student taking classes.”

The Conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m Oct. 26 in the Great Hall in the Memorial Union. Pre-registrations began Thursday and end Oct. 25. Students can sign up through a Google Form or the QR code on their flyer. Although this is a register-only event, attendees can come and go as they please, and the first 100 people to register will receive a “Passion” tote bag and sticker. According to Broadhead, registration is open until the day of the event and walk-ins are accepted for anyone wanting to register the day of. 

(Courtesy of The Conference)

“Students can discover more things to get involved in and learn more about yourself and your passions,” Broadhead said. “I have a passion for food and nutrition. That doesn’t mean I’m limited to learning about that. This event also encourages students to get more involved in how they can apply their passions to places on campus.”

The “Passion” Conference will include four guest speakers and two workshops: 

Speaker 1: “The Power of Passion” 

Iowa State Alumna Summer McVicker graduated with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in diet and exercise. 

Speaker 2: “Find your Purpose Through Passion”

Jean Walsh, a program specialist at the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.

Speaker 3: “Passion Is…” 

Chad Reis, an academic advisor for the department of apparel, events and hospitality management (AESHM).

Speaker 4: “The Impact of Getting Involved”

The final speaker will be brought to students by the Dance Marathon Panel.

Workshop 1: “Finding Your Why”

Rylie Knudtson, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship, will present a mood board workshop.

Workshop 2: “Fueling your Passions”’

Rebecca Harken, ISU Dining’s registered dietician, will host a workshop that includes building your own overnight oats.

“Passion was selected to encourage Iowa State students to learn and explore their passions,” Kathryn Saluk, the Conference vice president, said. “College can be hectic and overwhelming at times, so it is important to take a step back and truly reflect on what we are passionate about.”

EVENT 486 students will also host two raffles throughout the Conference and many others beforehand on their Instagram. Broadhead suggests following the Conference’s Instagram @isu_theconference for updates and upcoming giveaways. 

“I am really excited just to see what we [EVENT 486 students] have been working so hard on,” Broadhead said. “For events, it is so much behind-the-scenes work, and actually seeing your work be put out, watching people enjoy your event is really what makes it worth it.”

Students and professors of EVENT 486 are eager about their work and excited to share what they have been working on with Iowa State. 

“We are really excited about our interactive workshops, dynamic speakers, and since this is structured as a come-and-go event in the middle of the day, students can check it out as their busy schedules will allow,” Beyer said. “We have fun new swag and giveaways, great raffle prizes, amazing speakers… The student conference managers have developed an event that will have a long-lasting impact on our attendees.”

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