How to Bring 900 People to Campus in One Social Media Post [Podcast]

Risa Engel

Risa Engel

Risa Engel is Director of Communications at Stuart Country Day School, a PS-12 girls' independent private day school in Princeton, NJ and part of the Sacred Heart Network of Schools. Risa joined Stuart in the fall of 2010 with over 15 years of marketing communications experience in both non-profit organizations and corporate business.

On April 8, 2017, Stuart hosted its first #LEADLIKEAGIRL: A Conference for Risk-Takers and Changemakers.  It was designed to showcase and inspire girls’ confidence, creativity, and leadership in STEM and entrepreneurship.

The conference featured two notable speakers: Dr. Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA and Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox.  $8,000 in cash prizes were awarded to young women in high school for outstanding performance in the Business Fair and STEM Talks.

This event was a roaring success for Stuart and brought hundreds of new faces to the Stuart campus, extending and boosting the Stuart brand.

Risa Quoted

“We had 85 speakers and 50 sessions. Most of the work was done by three of us.”

“The first things we did were to find standout keynote speakers and develop the visual branding. The visual branding was really important to us.”

"We weren't able to come up with a sponsor to fund the whole prize money. But I don't think that will be a problem next year."

“We looked outside our normal community of donors for funding. We were floored by the number of companies who wanted to take part.”

“Our goals were to create brand awareness and to fulfill a grant from E.E. Ford for STEM outreach. Stuart students were involved in the planning.”

After one social media post on a snow day that went viral, we had to close down registration. We were getting 50-75 per day.

“By the time the billboard and magazine ads went up, registration was closed.”

“This was not an open house. We were doing what we do best — leadership for girls — and bringing that to the public.”


What You’ll Learn

Who attended, where they came from, and how many.

How a student-driven postcard campaign got a keynote speaker to say yes.

How it was publicized.

How it was funded and who organized it.

Why Stuart made the event free.

How you can listen to the sessions online for free.

How it achieved Stuart's goals.

How it was received by students and faculty.

How the Fearless Girl on Wall Street ended up wearing a #Leadlikeagirl t-shirt.


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