NACA BLOG - Equipped to Conduct Your Best Business at NACA Live - 12/19/2022

Dec. 19, 2022NACA_D2_0350.jpg

Equipped to Conduct Your Best Business at NACA Live

Anthony Maly, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Jackie Weber, Saint Louis University (MO)
Thomas Patterson, Saint Louis University (MO)

Whether you are a seasoned NACA veteran, a new professional, or a student leader, you are perhaps familiar with the evolution of business practices at live events. If not, here is a quick history lesson: 

When the National Association for Campus Activities began in 1960, it was done with a focus on the business process of buying entertainment. The concept was simply called “the cooperative booking process.” NACA was literally founded to create cost-effective booking for colleges and universities. While the Association we know and love today wasn’t officially identified as NACA until 1982, and has evolved with a more comprehensive educational plan, the emphasis on block booking has been a constant. Of course, during our 60-plus year history many business terms have come and gone, but cooperative buying, block booking, and business connections have all been used to define the process of conducting business with Associate Members.

As the National Business Connections Team, we recognize that school members join the Association and attend in-person events for a variety of reasons. Some institutions use these events to plan an entire semester or year of activities for their campus.  Others come exclusively for educational opportunities and development. Each of us have our own institutional policies and processes to navigate the talent buying process. As a result, how we define business has evolved beyond “cooperative buying” and “block booking.”  

However, “Business Connections” encompasses all of these things and much, much more. 

Networking with associate members in the Marketplace is conducting business. Attending showcases to preview talent and assessing their fit for your campus, is conducting business.  Attentively engaging with make-and-take vendors throughout the event is conducting business. Nearly every connection you make through NACA is a business connection. 

As we learned with our brief history lesson, business was the cornerstone of how and why NACA was founded. What we have become over time is a comprehensive educational experience for students and professionals; a pillar in the world of associations supporting higher education. We have come a long way in 60 years, and our new strategic plan has us well positioned to continue to create communities where everyone belongs. 

As we approach NACA Live in Louisville, we want you to be equipped to conduct your best business onsite. We offer some suggestions to help you remain true to our business roots as you enjoy our Live event:

  • Talk with your delegation about how you will conduct business in Louisville. What does business mean to you and your institution? What are your expectations at Live? Do you intend to seek out specific talent or partner with certain schools? Is there a campus tradition or program you need to secure while onsite?

  • Prepare a campus calendar to support your delegation’s business efforts. Be sure to include breaks, holidays and/or other days off, special campus events already planned, etc. This will support your students' networking with other school and associate members.

  • Become comfortable with NACA 24/7, the place where year-round business occurs! Preview Live showcasing artists and review the current bookings and routing for your favorite talent. Don’t wait until you are onsite to recall your 24/7 login (although, if you do, the National Business Connections Team can help!).

  • Maximize your Live experience by attending business sessions, visiting us in Business Central (the business hub in the Marketplace), and networking throughout. You don’t have to submit forms or create a block to be part of the business process in Louisville.

  • NACA Live pricing is good for 45 days post-event, so make sure you wrap up loose business ends when you return to campus. You can, and should, extend the business process beyond your time Louisville. 

  • While you may not need to rely on block pricing to secure talent, remember that many of your fellow school members do. If you can support block booking, please do it to uplift your peers with smaller budgets and fewer resources.

As you polish up your business practices, know that the National Business Connections Team is here to support you along the way.  Please make sure to visit Business Central to say hello, or reach out to us in advance to help you prepare.

Anthony Maly, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Jackie Weber and Thomas Patterson, Saint Louis University (MO), serve on the Association's National Business Connections Team. This volunteer team facilitates business connections at live events and promotes effective business practices among school and associate members year round.

Will we see you at NACA Live? Early registration ends Jan. 19, 2023. 

Register today!

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