Since its inception, VCU School of Business students have worked on a myriad of different projects with the ICA, and in spring 2017, Associate Professor Jodie Ferguson, Ph.D. gave her Experiential Marketing (MKTG 430) class the opportunity to participate in some experiential learning with us.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have a great relationship with the School of Business,” said ICA Marketing and Communications Specialist Maura Scanlon. “It’s been very rewarding doing these projects. The students have an opportunity to conduct research for us, research I wouldn’t typically have time to do, and they always come back with feedback that is really valuable.”
For this project, students were broken into four teams and tasked with planning and producing pop-up events to raise the ICA’s visibility on campus and to capture email addresses. The MKTG 430 students received $500 in EPIC project funding to purchase supplies for their events. The activities ranged from throwing darts at paint-filled balloons, to interactive 3D puzzles, and taking photos with green screen technology. “In the final weeks as things were coming together, I went back to the class to deliver the swag, recap message points, and answer questions,” added Scanlon. “The students were great, always very engaged and eager to understand the ICA brand. During their final presentations at the end of the semester, I was pleased to hear one of the students say that they felt like they were part of the ICA. I told them they were, they had been brand ambassadors.”
Together, the students ended up capturing almost 400 email addresses and distributing several hundred pieces of ICA branded swag. “It was exciting to have four different events on campus where there were students representing us and raising awareness for the ICA,” said Scanlon. “As we prepare to open, getting those VCU email addresses is especially important in helping to get our messages out and clarifying who we are and what we are doing. In fall 2015, a graduate business class conducted a survey about the ICA. It confirmed what we had suspected. If you say ‘ICA’ in the School of the Arts almost everyone knows what it is. If you say ‘ICA’ on the medical campus they are less likely to know the acronym. Collaborative projects like this one help address this challenge.”
Image: Members of Team Monday representing the ICA. Photo: J. Ferguson