Sororities are equipped with a so many tools to help nurture successful young women from college into their professional lives. Sorority members have their fellow sisters, successful and knowledgeable alumnae, their Greek life office, and their national advisors to ask for a helping hand when it’s most needed.
One way to coordinate, funnel knowledge and drop truth bombs is to attend or hold a conference. There are already some wonderful, huge conferences out there for sorority sisters to attend. For instance, The Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values holds its annual Central Fraternal Leadership Conference as one of the biggest undergraduate Greek leadership conferences out there. If you’re looking to plan a conference, this is a great model to aspire to; AFLV Central is held in February, brings in over 3,000 participants and is comprised of “joint workshops and presentations as well as a curriculum that will address specific issues facing the many councils within our fraternal communities,” according to the AFLV website.
Further, there are many conferences designed to help sorority women gain the tools they need to succeed and become confident future leaders at a national, state and local campus level. These are all great to participate in, and your office of Greek Life or national advisors may have a handle on which ones would benefit the chapter most. Keep in mind, planning a conference versus attending one are two very different things. That’s why OmegaFi would like to give you all the details on the Best Sorority Communication Tools for Planning a Conference.
First and foremost, we’re a big proponent of fostering communication among sisters through the use of sorority software.
So Let’s Talk about How Sorority Software Can Help.
Software is central to our lives, academically, professionally and as collegiate Greeks. Software is a tool with which sorority women are likely already familiar. But are you using that tool to its fullest potential?
It’s hard to use every function of your sorority communication software when planning a conference, and it’s pretty much impossible to use every piece of software available. For one thing, that wouldn’t be an efficient use of your time. But a lot of sororities have already started using software as a communication tool. Sorority chapters are also using software for everything from recruitment, to event planning, to managing their finances through expert-backed programs like OmegaFi’s Vault, to using online presence to bolster alumni giving for through the help of fundraising professionals like Pennington & Company.
So why should planning a conference be any different?
The simple answer is that it’s not.
Consider what software might be useful for different aspects of planning, promoting and executing your sorority’s conference.
For instance, any information that’s chapter-specific surrounding the general planning of the conference--such as deadlines, shared files and ideas up for a vote or survey or just a quick message for a group of sisters to meet up--can be handled through an all-in-one communication software tool for sororities, like OmegaOne. The good thing about this software is that it can go directly on sisters’ phones, so you take it everywhere you go.
Slack and Trello are other good software platforms for a professional conference planning session. The great thing about Slack is that it is geared specifically toward “businesses,” or in other words, professionals. This perfectly suits the needs of planning a conference, since you can personalize groups for task-oriented chats, share files and budgets and photos of potential sites, and it can be integrated with various other apps and software as well, all while indexing your information for later reference. Trello is also a great tool for organizing tasks and sharing necessary pictures, documents and so forth. You can also bring on national advisors and alumnae, or whoever is appropriate based on the conversation at hand.
Software is only one of the tools sorority sisters have at their disposal for conference planning communication. Another crucial communication tool is alumnae.
Conference Planning and Presenting 101: Alumnae Are Your Resident Experts
Did you know you had this tool at your disposal? Of course you love your alumnae and think of them often.
You laugh together!
You cry together!
You share memories and experiences and ask them for help when necessary. But they’re so omnipresent in the sorority experience that their usefulness in areas such as planning a conference may go overlooked.
Well, take a gander, sisters.
Your alumnae have planned conferences before, or they’ve been to conferences. Chances are, as workers in the professional world, they’ve honed a sense of detail-oriented planning that undergraduates just haven’t gained yet. Bring them in on the discussion! Their advice may prove invaluable in accenting the advice of national advisors.
Once you’ve got a theme in place and some of the details solidified for your conference--say, a business leadership summit for Greek women held in the ballroom of a fancy hotel downtown--turn to your alumnae as potential presenters. Who among them works in the business world? Beg them to present, if necessary.
What makes them unique from other presenters is that each has the experience of a businesswoman, a sorority sister and a member of your organization, with shared values and goals.
And if they aren’t interested in presenting, alumnae may consider donating to the costs associated with the conference. Be sure to thank and recognize any alumnae willing to give to your cause.
And last but definitely not least:
Your Campus and Greek Life Office Are Always in Your Toolbox
Your Greek Life Office likely offers its own list of conferences for gaining leadership and other valuable skills as a sorority woman. Those might be of interest as well as planning your own. There’s a chance they might also be able to help promote your conference, to accent the reach of your social media posts and Tweets, if you are interested in opening the conference to other Greek women in the area.
You might also coordinate with Greek Life offices on other campuses and invite other chapters of your organization to attend, if they would like. They might also have some pointers on how to put together a conference.
In addition, your campus likely has lots of spaces to host your event, potentially for free, since you’re students. If you’re on a budget with your conference, consider campus as a viable venue. The only potential issues might be parking for non-students, making sure you reserve a room early enough and not getting your wires crossed with another campus event.
These are a few of what we consider the Best Sorority Communication Tools for Planning a Conference. Sorority sisters are a wily bunch, ready to take on a conference like they would anything else: with grit and determination. You’ll craft tools from whatever necessary to lead you through your journey.
And that’s why you’re awesome!
Let us know your thoughts on planning a conference in the comments below.