The Conference is Back and Bringing Passion

Student News

Discover your inner passion at this year’s The Conference: Passion, located in the Memorial Union on October 26th from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Complete with guest speakers, interactive activities, raffles and more; The Conference is a perfect opportunity for students to take a break from classes and focus on doing something for themselves. 

Event management students have been working hard in preparation for the upcoming event. Last semester, students in EVENT 485, Event Production, created proposals for the fall event and facilitated pre-conference planning. 

Now, those students are in EVENT 486, Advanced Event Production, where they select one proposal and produce the event. From sourcing vendors, hiring speakers to managing the budgets, students get a glimpse into the entire event planning process from start to finish.

Jamie Beyer, teaching professor in apparel, events and hospitality management, has taught EVENT 485 and 486 for several years now. Beyer described The Conference as the students’ “baby.” 

“I love seeing them take this and make it come to life. I sit back and let them produce something special, it always exceeds my expectations,” Beyer said.

Conference Directors, Lily Couchman and Christian Grensteiner’s initial vision for this year’s conference was to help students find their passions and carry them through the rest of their lives. Their hope is to increase attendance and engagement with the event while continuing to represent the Event Management program well. Kathryn Saluk and Kenna Smith also serve as Directors for The Conference: Passion.

The directors oversee groups of managers, which include: promotions, registrations, marketing and PR, operations, logistics, entertainment and education. The directors serve as the first point of contact before class members go to the department supervisor when it comes to approvals. Directors also answer questions and make sure each manager group is on track for success while assisting if needed.

“We are wanting to reach more than just event students with this year’s conference, which is why we chose ‘Passion,’ a topic inclusive of people with all different backgrounds. It’s also being held at a different venue than it has before, the Memorial Union, which is a more centralized location,” said Grensteiner.

Results of a survey conducted in EVENT 485 indicated that many students don’t know what they are passionate about or what makes them happy. 

“We came up with this topic because of that survey,” Couchman said.

There will be six separate workshops. Students are invited to come and go as they please and see what The Conference is all about while connecting with others.

“We want attendees to take away something they can use for years to come–learning more about themselves and who they are.” said Couchman.

Registration is now open.