I had the opportunity to lead a session with Melissa Beattie Moss from Penn state on expanding outreach programs during the International Public Science Events Conference. I figure that I might as well share my slides and notes here 😀 I do warn you that the presentation is a bit dry only because I tried to cover a lot of the logistics and management stuff that one needs to think about when expanding a science outreach program. If you see anything interesting and would like me to elaborate, feel free to let me know. You can find my personal notes below the slides (only for those that are not self-explanatory). Enjoy!
First few slides: bragging about Vancouver, UBC, and our outreach program.
Slide 10 : First thing I did was to start a e-mail newsletter list. I used MailChimp to manage subscribers, make pretty newsletters, and track what our subscribers are interested in. It will send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free. Impact: now have 450+ subscribers, camps get fully registered really quickly, we stop buying ads for paid events, which usually cost us about $1200. There are a few other similar services out there – I just decided that MailChimp fits our needs. Another option I often hear is Emma Inc., although they do charge a fee to start.
Slide 11 : I use survey monkey to collect feedback from activity participants. It is a good way to get qualitative feedback for funding or promotion purposes. Also good to let them know you are listening and looking for ways to improve. If you run your own server or have IT people to help you, you can consider LimeSurvey, which is free and open source.
Slide 12: I actually put together a list of all public event listings in Vancouver. You only need to do it once – can use the list over and over again for different events.
Slide 13: Social media. Won’t elaborate much here because it is another talk perhaps. If you want to tap into social media power, only use the relevant ones that will allow you to connect to your audience. This is only general. There are of course exceptions – ask me if you have questions about this.
Slide 14: Having an event that you can all work on together is a good way to start a collaborative relationship.