Every year, the American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference (AMAICC) has an exhibit and t-shirt competition with a central theme. For the 2016 competition, the theme was, “Mint Your Future.” Participating teams are tasked with creating a booth that is creative and shows off their chapter’s accomplishments throughout the academic year.
Our original idea was to do something with minting coins – but that was the obvious connection and we assumed other teams would interpret the theme the same. We wanted to stand out, be unique, and find something that students would be interested in. Our answer: Harry Potter.
As you begin your journey through our booth, you start by receiving your SJFC School of Witchcraft and Wizardry acceptance letter and Hogwarts Express ticket for platform 9 3/4. After successfully making it through the platform and onto campus grounds, you are sorted into a house. We had a real Sorting Hat that would talk and spit out the house name you were best suited for. To relate this activity back to marketing, we created careers based on personality traits for each house. Gryffindor was a Brand Manager, Hufflepuff was Sales, Ravenclaw was Advertising/IMC, and Slytherin was a Marketing Research Analyst.
After a couple flying classes at SJFC, your skills were starting to get noticed and professors wanted you to test your skills at the Quidditch team tryouts. For this game, we made three Quidditch rings and four cups representing the different houses. The objective of the game was to get the quaffle (ping pong ball) through the hoops and into one of the cups. Each player had three tries to make it through the hoop for points and receive a Starbucks gift card if they reached a certain level. Even if they didn’t make the team, every player got to take a golden snitch (Lindt truffle) home with them.
All 16 SJFC marketing wizards that attended the conference were part of the Quidditch team. We had matching shirts, printed and designed by Crazy Dog T-shirts, that resembled the Gryffindor jerseys from the Harry Potter movies. We had some fun with the t-shirts and decided to display our “team photos” in the booth.
A main feature of every exhibit is the Chapter Communication wall that showcases the chapter’s biggest accomplishments. To go with our theme, we decided to create customized Daily Prophets (wizard newspapers) to highlight our big events for each month and since Harry Potter attended Hogwarts for seven years, it was only appropriate for us to split up our seven months (September – March) into years 1-7.
Here’s the breakdown:
Year 1: Car Wash, Walk to Defeat ALS, Involvement Fest
Year 2: Marketing Week, 4th place in TEKsystems Outbound Sales Competition, Camp Good Days & Special Times Halloween Bowling
Year 3: New website & blog launch, Filming for recruitment video, Mason Marketing agency tour
Year 4: Off-campus bonding bowling trip, Roberts Communications agency tour, Cancer Mission 2020 initiative for Camp Good Days & Special Times
Year 5: AMA Alumni Event, SJFC AMA consulting projects, Teddi Dance for Love, Harry Potter Week
Year 6: Business Ball, ROC|AMA Super Bowl Ad Review, ROC|AMA Case Competition winners for Garber Automotive Group
Year 7: SGA Club of the Month, AMAICC
At the competitions ceremony, we took 1st place in the Chapter Communications category – an award that was decided after completing three rounds of judging.
We also had a couple different photo opportunities to engage with students coming into our booth. One member dressed up like Harry Potter and posed for pictures while he paraded around the exhibits, students were encouraged to take pictures with the sorting hat and tweet about the house they were put into, and we also had an Azkaban cutout so students could pose for their marketing mugshot. Everyone coming in and out of our booth received a social media card with all of our accounts listed, images to represent our booth, and our booth number so they could remember us when they were voting.
The overall theme of the booth connected our involvement in AMA over the years and allowed us to express our dedication for our future. By actively participating in professional development events and networking with professionals, we are minting our own futures. The magic behind our success is not just the marketing skills we have learned over the years, it’s how we have applied them to succeed in the future.
And of course, a huge thank you to our magical sponsors: Crazy Dog T-Shirts, Garber Automotive Group, Partners + Napier, Medent, Dixon Schwabl, Lakeside Beverage, Upstate Printing, Camp Good Days & Special Times, and SJFC’s own Student Government Association (SGA) and Student Activities Board (SAB).