What do you get when you take awesome sponsors, put about a dozen crafty interns in charge, and feature a guest speaker who knows a thing or two about playing the money game?
One unforgettable “See Yourself in Ames” event! Last Tuesday, the second of four SYIA events was held at the ISU Economic Development Core Facility in the ISU Research Park.
Over 150 talented interns joined us for the networking experience, which we pulled off by partnering with the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, the ISU Research Park and the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
In preparation, we brainstormed memorable gift ideas for attendees. Everything from reusable grocery bags to pop sockets was thrown around.
Eventually, we purchased stainless-steel straws engraved with the signature Cultivation Corridor logo. Plastic straws can take up to 200 years to decompose, and Americans throw away 500 million in a single day. Sustainability, people.
Two weeks out, interns and event organizers from ACC, AEDC, ISU Research Park and Cultivation Corridor began meeting for updates. We discussed the food, live music, yard games, guest speaker Adam Carroll and prizes.
The interns had complete freedom and creativity on everything listed above with only the budget keeping us in check. The head event organizers truly let us take charge and decide how it’d play out.
We purchased pork burgers for the event. Drew Mogler, producer outreach for the Iowa Pork Association (one of our investors), kindly volunteered to bring a grill and cook them for us.
To cut costs, we headed to campus and asked all the colleges for swag to create prize baskets for five lucky interns. The colleges were generous and quickly handed over t-shirts, pens, bags, socks, battery packs and much more.
Tia Snyder, the sales and communications intern, said: “My favorite part was the creative freedom Billi, our executive director, gave us. I thought of the stainless-steel straw idea for interns and going to the colleges for a fun but frugal ISU prize basket. I loved seeing my ideas in action and the attendees’ excitement when they received the prizes.”
Communications Intern Alex Ivanisevic said, “What I enjoyed most about the event was the little details that went into ensuring everything went smoothly during the event, particularly during Carroll’s presentation. The audience got to see him speak alongside his slideshow presentation. What they didn’t see was me on the other side of the staircase controlling one of the monitors with a laptop even though I couldn’t see a single thing and had to receive a “go ahead” signal from one of the other interns! Gotta do whatchya gotta do, right? I was happy when everything worked out and people had a great time.”
We thoroughly enjoyed organizing and managing the intern event, but we eagerly await the next See Yourself in Ames event at Prairie Moon Winery on July 10, when we can kick back and relax while networking.