Incoming Club Presidents Talk Leadership and Team Strategies
On November 3, the undergraduate student clubs of Apex College conducted the oath-taking ceremony for the clubs’ new presidents. The new presidents are Biyanka Neupane (Apex Performing Arts Club), Sudikcha Poudel (Apex Media & Marketing Club), Nibbana Dungana (Apex Information Technology Club), Milan Khatri (Apex Travel and Tourism Club), Asmita Poudel (Apex Sports and Leadership Club), and Merina Joshi (Apex HEAT). The new presidents are responsible for overseeing the overall management of their club–which can make for quite a challenge. In this writeup, they explain their strategies for ensuring that their clubs perform to peak perfection.
Strategies for ensuring better team performance
Enhancing their team’s performance has to be one of the key concerns of all the leaders out there (including myself). My first strategy to do with optimal performance would be to ensure that my team members are comfortable communicating with me regarding any issues they face. Sometimes people are intimidated about sharing their thoughts with their leaders, but I strongly urge my team members to be transparent with me and with the other BODs. The second important strategy is that I ask my club members to be invested in planning and decision making–doing so also increases their confidence. The third strategy for ensuring team performance is that I allocate each and every task to my fellow club members as per their interests. As this is a learning process for all of us, it is important for us all to acquire skills and grow in accordance with our interests–and this, in my opinion, automatically helps bring out the best in us and eventually enhances the club’s overall performance.
Strategies for enhancing overall student engagement
Student engagement is actually the core area I focus on in my capacity as club president. For the larger student body to be attuned to all club-related activities, a few solid audience-engagement strategies have to be put in place. For example, publishing blogs about everything related to our events–from the venue to the food and everything else– helps improve student buy-in. I would also encourage our audiences to contribute via their creating user-generated content, prior to the event, and I would rope them in to promote the event on various platforms and to sell tickets. We can also reach out to them by having them participate in social media giveaways and contests. That said, we do need to understand that this form of offering incentives has suffered the same fate as banner blindness. People are no longer excited by shiny gifts or fancy gadgets. The best prizes, therefore, need to be relevant to the event or our value proposition.
Strategies for garnering sponsorships
A pivotal aspect of hosting any event has to do with the budget–and that is directly tied to sponsorships. But before we shortlist potential sponsors, we have to ensure that the brands we approach have values that align with our event’s and college’s vision. For a club to get sponsors on board, an exceedingly important factor is the club’s ability to properly explain to a potential sponsor the purpose of the event and how it will be executed–no sponsor wants to be associated with an ill-designed, low-quality event. The club will have to prove to the sponsors what mileage their brands will get and why the audience makes for their preferred target groups.
Today, almost all sponsors we reach out to will want to know what mileage we can provide them via our social media accounts, so a social-media strategy that ensures quality engagement is something that all clubs need to include in their sponsorship proposal.
Sponsorship deals are primarily of two kinds: monetary or in-kind. Monetary contributions help fund the event, whereas in-kind resources are usually used to enhance the quality of competitions and increase audience engagement. Snagging sponsorships is all about great communication, explaining to them how we will deliver on our promise to the brands, and how we will go the extra mile to ensure that all stakeholders–sponsors, club members, and the student body–are happy at the end of the day.
Strategies for managing the club’s budget
The first and foremost action we must take to ensure proper budget management is to have a budget plan. Then, we need to score sponsorships by aligning our sponsorship pitch with the sponsors’ expectations–by explaining what they will get from our pre-event, day-of-event, and post-event activations. Through the overall planning and execution cycle, the team must stay on top of all the expenses incurred. The team has to portion out expenses on the basis of predetermined priorities: It must be said here, though, the projections made initially must be continually reviewed and updated so that adjustments can be made when needed. If we get stuck, we can always refer to historical data about similar past events and get the help of mentors too. Finally, to save on costs, we should always remain open to implementing some ‘creative’ interventions.
Strategies for ensuring proper logistics
As the president of the Apex Travel and Tourism Club, I’ve realized that logistics is not just about planning and organizing. It’s also about understanding people and their propensities and about knowing how to precisely communicate with all types of people. It’s about strengthening the positive traits of all individuals. An easy way to understand the basics of people management is to learn from mentors, and I’m lucky to have been mentored by my seniors. Moreover, to get logistics right, you must be absolutely focused on the play of the many interlinked processes that ultimately converge to create the outcome you want. You need to stay on the ball and invest quite a bit of energy to ensure that all loose ends get tied. Also, one must learn how to handle stress–and learn how to conduct oneself with dignity, no matter the crisis, and make decisions from a place of clarity and calm.
Strategies for ensuring seamless, productive communication
Good communication is the main determiner of whether we are confused or clear about what we are doing. The main communication strategy for our club is to use a decentralized communication model, without a strict chain of command structure. Naysayers might argue that is a recipe for chaos. But fulfilling a simple prerequisite will ensure that every one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-one act of communication keeps us moving towards our goals: it all starts with respecting one another. And that means actually listening to one another with an empathetic and sympathetic ear. Once you have that in place, every discussion should revolve around problem-solving, instead of posturing, and so on. And that’s how we go about accomplishing our goals together.