A couple of months ago,when I signed up for this blog post,I thought surely by April I will think of something to write about. But I have to admit, when I am in the company of other CUCCOA members, whether it is at one of our meetings or through reading the previous blog posts, I feel somewhat inexperienced. Inexperienced, yes but,don’t get me wrong, I also feel very welcome. From my first regional conference last January to the recent ACCED-I/CUCCOA conference in Toronto, I discovered that our association is a valuable resource for professional development and networking. Our members are friendly and knowledgeable and they are very willing to share their experience.
Now, while this is all very true, it doesn’t quite help me with the task of writing a blog post for our members’ site. Like some of you, I have never written a blog before. In a way, I’m glad that CUCCOA has challenged us all to take part in this initiative. Because whether you are a veteran of the industry, or perhaps a relative rookie like me, I think we all have something we can contribute to our association.
Yesterday was New Student Leaders’ Day at Victoria University. It was a day of training and information sessions for students who have been hired or elected to leadership positions on campus. I was invited to give a session on planning and booking campus events. Oh – and I was only given 5 minutes for this presentation.Now, of course, 5 minutes isn’t enough time to go through a very detailed step by step event planning tutorial. So in order to make the best use of my presentation time I showed the students our recently updated Victoria University Hospitality website (www.vicu.utoronto.ca/hospitality/eventandspace)
Last year, at the CUCCOA central region meeting, we learned from a panel of professional meeting planners that it is critical for our websites to provide all of the necessary information about our campuses. With that in mind, I went through the exercise of adding more information to Victoria University Hospitality website. This provided me with a great tool for the New Student Leaders’ Day presentation. And more importantly, a great tool for potential clients.
I know that it is hardly “breaking news” for me to write about the importance of an informative website but updating a university website is often easier said than done. I was limited to the design and content management software that the rest of the VIC campus uses – a challenge that I’m sure many of us face – not to mention the long and tedious approval process for all of the changes.So it’s important to set aside plenty of time for this very necessary work.But once we’ve all put the hard work into improving our websites, we need to get the message out and attract visitors to the sites.
This, of course, is another way CUCCOA can help. And that brings us to another website: the connectoncampus.ca site. I think all of our member institutions would benefit from avisit to the website to make sure that all of our information is up-to-date, pictures are relevant, and the links are still active. We are the experts on our own institutions so it’s up to all of us to make sure the CUCCOA website is an effective representative of our campuses and services.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing you all in Calgary this September!