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Event Categories

Constituent Journey Events for Tier System Incentive Structure

Below is the comprehensive list of event categories that will help provide a structure for your Illini club to achieve your desired tier level for the fiscal year.  To “meet our alumni where they are”, these event categories are designed to help your club engage Illini of all ages and interests. 

Please note that for your club’s event to receive credit for hosting a constituent journey event, your club will need to promote the event to all alumni in your region at least two weeks in advance of the event and submit an attendee list within 30 days after the event takes place.  Please note that if your club accepted online registration through your Alumni Magnet node or a third-party registration system, your club will need to include any “no-shows” in your post-event attendance report.

If you have an event idea for one of the categories below that isn’t specifically listed, please reach out to Tyler Gagai at to discuss your idea before moving forward with event planning.

This event category encourages alumni clubs to demonstrate the core values of our beloved university through direct impact in their community.  Encouraged community service initiatives include: adopt-a-highway; volunteering at local food, furniture, and clothing banks; coordinating a blood drive; beautification projects; and organizing a food drive.  Please note that financial contributions to charitable organizations do not count towards fulfilling a community service event requirement.

This event category embodies our beloved university’s motto and encourages alumni clubs to continue their education after graduation.  Encouraged learning and labor events include but are not limited to: hosting a guest speaker to discuss civic engagement or university-focused issues; book clubs; events highlighting diversity and inclusion efforts; and brewery and winery education tours.  Book clubs and events with a featured speaker can be hosted both in-person and virtually.

Professional networking events provide our alumni with the opportunity to connect in meaningful ways with other Illini in their career fields and their community.  In order for a club networking event to receive credit, a formal networking activity must be facilitated at the event. 

Here is a list of suggestions for formal networking activities.  In your post-event attendee report, please describe the networking activity that took place at your event. If you club wishes to host a networking event in tandem with a gamewatch event, you may do so, but the networking event should take place prior to the start of the game.  

For example, if a game is at 12:00 PM, your networking event should take place from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM to ensure that your audience is engaged and not distracted by the game.

This event category is designed to allow alumni and friends to both actively and passively participate artistically.  Encouraged arts events include: group outing to art museum; group outing to musical or theatrical performance; paint and pour events; sculpting/ceramics workshop; and local gallery hop group outing.

This event category is designed to support the overall wellness of our alumni and broadly-defined to encompass all aspects of wellness.  Encouraged wellness event ideas include: group fitness classes, group yoga classes, group bike rides, meditation classes, financial workshops, professional development opportunities, and mental health promotion.

This event category provides alumni clubs with the opportunity to host events that may not conform to specific interest areas and have broad appeal.  Encouraged special interest events include: banquet dinners, club traditions (such as corn roasts), scholarship fundraisers, galas, group outings to local attractions, and group picnics

This event category provides alumni clubs with the opportunity to host a variety of events centered around athletics, including: gamewatches, outings to professional/collegiate sporting events, sports bus trips, etc.

This event category provides alumni clubs with the opportunity to host a variety of events centered focused on personal and professional development, including: DEI training, professional webinars, workshops, career coaching, work/life balance, communication strategies, and skill development. Please note that networking happy hours and business card exchanges do not qualify as a PPD event. For those events, please utilize the Networking event category.

Success Stories & Ideas

Has your club recently hosted an event that was a massive success?  Did your club try a new idea for an event that helped you reach a new audience?  

If so, the UIAA not only wants to hear about it, but we also want to share it with the rest of our alumni clubs. The UIAA will maintain a list of club success stories on this page so that our club leaders can borrow successful ideas to help grow their audience. Please complete the form below to share your idea with the UIAA and our network of Illini Clubs.

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    Event Planning Timeline

    Events are the primary engagement opportunity for alumni clubs.  To maximize the potential for robust attendance and smooth operations during the event, the UIAA strongly recommends that your alumni club plan your events well in advance of the date. While the UIAA understands that some event opportunities present themselves in a less than timely fashion, we encourage your club to adhere to a disciplined event timeline for events that your club has a targeted event date.  

    The suggested event timeline below allows your club to mobilize your volunteers, communicate with your alumni audience, and provides breathing room to made adjustments when necessary, fully and effectively.

    • Club Leadership Board makes decisions on event, including desired goal/purpose of event, budget for event (venue and catering) location of event, and date of event.
    • Club volunteer reaches out to venue to reserve the space for the desired date and time and make any necessary deposits with venue.  If you have audio-visual needs for your event, please confirm that the venue is capable of accommodating your needs prior to formalizing the agreement with the venue.
    • Club volunteer reaches out to caterer to receive quote for food and beverage service and commitment for event
    • Club president reaches out to UIAA Director of Clubs to request UIAA staff to attend the event (when applicable)
    • Club submits request for university speaker (must be made at least 90 days in advance of the event)
    • Club schedules Save the Date communications support through their Alumni Magnet node
    • Club creates event registration page (if applicable) through their Alumni Magnet node
    • If interested, club reaches out to Director of Alumni Clubs to request any additional marketing support from the UIAA, including inclusion of event in alumni digest e-mail and social media support
    • Club assesses any audio-visual needs for event (such as PA system, projector, laptop) and makes necessary arrangements
    • Club begins to promote event through their social media platforms (UIAA recommends scheduling social media posts up through event date/end of registration to continuously promote event)
    • Club leadership requests volunteer commitments and roles for the event date, such as registration table check-in, a/v responsibility, etc.
    • Schedule any further e-mail communications through your club’s Alumni Magnet node
    • Club volunteer commitments are formalized and volunteer roles for events are assigned
    • Follow-up with event venue to confirm details or any additional action needed by volunteers for event
    • Follow-up with event caterer to confirm details or any additional action needed by volunteers for event
    • Submit your Illini Swag Request Form to the UIAA in order to receive your items prior to the day of the event
    • Provide final or projected headcount to your caterer and venue
    • Confirm any final details with event venue
    • Print or purchase nametags for event
    • Make agreement with volunteers on the time that they will show up early to help set-up for the event
    • Arrive 60-90 minutes to set-up for event; including registration table, table decorations, giveaways, a/v equipment, and any other event items.
    • Ensure that your volunteers are following through on their roles and commitments for the event.  
    • Reconcile any outstanding expenses with your event venue and caterer
    • Consider assigning a volunteer(s) to the exit(s) to thank your Illlini and guests for attending
    • Submit your event attendance information to the UIAA
    • Send thank you notes to venue, caterer, speakers (if applicable), and university staff who attended (if applicable)
    • Send a thank you e-mail to your volunteers who made the event possible
    • Make note of both successes and areas of opportunity for your club’s future events to discuss at the next club board meeting