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Higher Ed Demand Gen Podcast

Accessibility Mini Serieis Episode 2 : Creating Inclusive Environments, Online and In Person – Jordan Prewitt

Jordan Prewitt’ LinkedIn

Shiro Hatori
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the higher ed demand gen podcast hosted by concept 3d. My name is Shiro and I will be your host. Today I’m talking from my lovely Mountain Home in Silverthorne, Colorado. Today, I’m really excited to talk about how to increase alumni engagement to reach up to 13,000 webinar attendees over the year. And today, our guest is Jordan Pruitt. He is the associate director of special events at University of Tennessee Knoxville, and he also has a strong passion for TI work and athletics programs. Welcome to the podcast, Jordan.

Jordan Prewitt
Thanks so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here. And I can’t start without saying Go Vols.

Shiro Hatori
Let’s go. Okay. And you know, I love asking this icebreaker. So, to start. So what do you love about higher ed Jordan?

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, I It’s a great question. And I think I think the first thing that I think about is the opportunities that it affords individuals. I’m a first generation college graduate. And so when I came to UT, that was always the dream for me to come to school here. And just immediately the opportunities that were afforded to me, and through a lot of relationship building and connection and organizations that I was a part of just I look back on my time as a student at Tennessee, and I truly feel that it is the gateway to whatever anybody wants it to be. And the self discovery that comes along with that is something that I think is just the cherry on top. So those are two things that I think are just really special about higher ed and really what has kept me motivated to keep going even now as a career.

Shiro Hatori
That’s amazing. And can you tell us a little bit about your journey to where you are today, which is the associate director of special events?

Jordan Prewitt
UT Yeah, absolutely. It’s a little abnormal, to be honest. I started my work in higher ed really as an undergraduate student and I worked with the Lady Vols basketball team at the University of Tennessee. It was one of my first jobs at UT and I had the privilege of working with the late Pat Summitt, when she was the head coach of the Lady Vols and really just found my passion for athletics, then I loved sports, but getting to work. And it was a whole different a whole different ballgame. So I took that to graduate school. So I actually have a diploma behind me right now from the University of Florida, which is a little contradicting to graduating from Tennessee and working at Tennessee. But I had a great experience at the University of Florida and did my Master’s there in sport management and really thought that that’s what I was going to do is work in a collegiate athletic program. And I spent some time after I graduated from Florida, with the Chick fil A Peach Bowl in the college football playoff in Atlanta, Georgia for about a year. And at that point, I realized I wanted to get back on a college campus, the corporate side of athletics wasn’t really for me, I wanted to be in more of the relationship building side working with students and working with faculty and staff. So I came back to UT in the capacity actually on the Student Affairs side. And I worked in university housing for about three years. And to all of my housing professionals out there, you know, the gauntlet, that that can be working in Residence Life. And so after about three years in housing, I transitioned over to use some transferable skills and really, really loved event management in all the jobs that I had done. And I had kind of identified that as the one common denominator. And there was an opportunity to transition into the event management space in the alumni side and being an alum of UT and very passionate about the Vols was just kind of the perfect fit at the perfect time. And I’ve been here for going on three and a half years now in this role and just kind of working my way working my way through it. So learning new things every day and adding new events every year. So it’s been a continuous learning process for me that I’m very thankful for.

Shiro Hatori
Appreciate thanks for sharing that storage word. And I know on our previous call on our intro call, you’ve done a lot of great work. Like I think we need a few calls to really map out everything that we’ve we discussed on the first call and how you got there. But you know, one of the one of the key things I listened to was that your goal? What are your goals right now is to drive alumni engagement. And so I know you’ve developed many successful programs to help you accomplish that goal. That is one of your roles right now. Right? And can you tell us a little bit more about what you’ve implemented, you know, in your in your time there in the three years and some of the success you’ve seen?

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, absolutely. Well, first, I start by saying that it’s been a complete team effort from from our events team to really, really work on meeting our alumni where they are and that and that’s kind of what we realized that we needed to do. And so when I started this role, I started in October and the pandemic hit in the spring of the following year. And so, very quickly, pivoting was As the name of the game, and so we went completely virtual, like many people, I’m sure. And so what we realized is that we were kind of thrust into something that we were probably going to work towards anyways, we just had to do it a lot quicker. So we started with what I would call good ideas, and we’ve turned them into great, I really do feel like we have, we have continually assessed what we do. And we figured out how to make it better. And so, when the pandemic started, we were hosting three different types of virtual events. We had Facebook Live series, we had a webinar series, and we had athletics pregame event series that we started called Countdown to kickoff. And all of those three things still exist, but they’ve kind of morphed into different things now. So those three things have really become a staple of our virtual event side of the house. And those are those are really, they’ve become staples of part of my job. And part of my role has been to accelerate those and expand on them to make them better and continue to let them grow and flourish. And so we’ve seen a lot of that we’ve kind of shifted, most recently to speak to the athletic side of things for this year, we do a count on a kickoff series, which we host is kind of like a kickoff call in show before every away football game. And then we do that for two women’s basketball games and two men’s basketball games. And we call that countdown to tip off. And then we host that before one softball and one baseball series called first pitch Friday. And the great thing is that when we used to do that, we used to just take a lot of videos from our athletics team, and we would put them into this virtual production and there wasn’t really engagement, it was more so just like get on and watch this show and get ready to tear on the walls. So this year, we had kind of seen our engagement dip off last year, we kind of dropped into like the 50 to 60,000 range for engagements for each show. And for context, the first year, we were closer to 90 to 100,000. And so we had seen a pretty steep drop off. So I kind of stepped back this year. And I was like what can we do to make this better. And we realized that like we were very fortunate to have a lot of great former athletes that really loved the University of Tennessee. So if we could start to build relationships with those people, and some of them that already existed and utilize those relationships to have those people come on to the show on a live format, where you and I could get on there and ask questions in real time to these people. And they could see their name on the screen and be like, Wow, this is a question from Jordan for Peyton Manning or for Tamika Catchings, or whoever it is, people would think that’s so cool. And so that’s what we did. So we started pulling in these vols that would come back and they’d get on the show with us in real time. And we would basically have a live q&a session with our alumni and fans around the world. And I was really happy to see that our engagement increased back to about 80 to 85,000 people for each show this year. So we’ve, we’ve really seen a big uptick again. But I think it’s because we were able to adapt and shift that show to be something new, but something that people wanted to see.

Shiro Hatori
And that was just to kind of, you know, reiterate, what I’m hearing back is to bring these key alumni in, and key speakers to the show, and invite them on that that your audience, your your alumni audience want to engage with?

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and so, especially with athletics, you’re using people that are a little bit more high profile. So, you know, you would advertise those events far in advance. So people would know, like, oh, my gosh, you know, Al Wilson is going to be on this, this countdown to kickoff against Alabama, and obviously doesn’t help that our football team had a good year this year. So that that helped things too. But I mean, that was that was the name of the game is we can promote it far in advance, we can let people know who’s going to be on this show. And it also allows us an opportunity to again, build that relationship with that alum, and hopefully utilize that relationship to our benefit in the future, whether that be through other event opportunities. For an example, we have a tailgate this weekend for the Women’s Basketball Tournament we’re hosting this weekend and a female who was on our account on a tip off show I’ve now cultivated a relationship with and she’s coming back to speak in person at our tailgate this weekend. So it’s utilizing people like that and then realizing like, I’m going to steward this person, I’m gonna build this relationship and then re engage them when it’s appropriate. It’s amazing

Shiro Hatori
and you know, I take it one of the core values and or, you know, branding images of UT Knox is is athletics, right? And so when you’re at the drawing board, you know, when you first really kicked off these virtual events, you’re probably catering trying to cater to your audience, right? Yeah, yeah. And I know and this the athletics events are the only thing you do right you you also host some webinars. As, as well as on the side that relate to the general population of your alumni as well. Right. Can you tell us a little bit more about those?

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, absolutely. So to your point, yeah, I mean, athletics obviously, is a huge driving force of, of what we do at UT. But we’d like to say that we’re a university on the rise. And that’s not just related to athletics, it’s, you know, it’s because it really takes a volunteer to do anything. And we truly believe that. And so it’s great to have those big names for athletic events. And those are always great, but what I have found is that we’ve built this virtual presence. And we were able to use that to our advantage, again, to engage with alums who we’d normally would not get the opportunity to engage with. And so when the pandemic first started, we were hosting a Facebook Live, and, or a webinar every week. And that was a lot. So, we were very advantageous when we first started and we realized that that was not sustainable. So we again, we pivoted, and we were like, Okay, we need to decrease this, because we also saw our viewership start to go down, we had oversaturated ourselves, right? But we started to see our viewership go down. And so we decided that we would step back and we would take that to one a month, and we kind of merged the two Facebook Live and and our webinars, were starting to turn into something similar. So we merged it into one. It’s called checkerboard chats. And now our goal is to host one checkerboard chat a month. And we’ve done a myriad of things with those that have been really successful. We’ve engaged with people who were honey worked in the honey making industry. And so they taught us about beekeeping and what the sustainability of bees in our environment looked like we’ve had alums that have come on who have written comics that have been turned into movies, and they touched, we engaged with a former student athlete who was in the WNBA bubble during the pandemic. So we were on a live webinar with her where she was inside the bubble telling us what life was like in the bubble. And so it was it’s been cool to get to really touched alumni in a lot of different ways. Whereas I don’t necessarily have an interest in beekeeping. That was one of our most successful webinars because it kind of went viral. And people were like, Oh my gosh, there’s this person who works at UT in agriculture, talking about beekeeping. Now I’m going to share it with all of these other people who are in the beekeeping network. And that doesn’t seem like a big network, but you know, I guess it is. So it’s been cool to get to really engage with a lot of unique alumni who have very cool skills and very unique qualities about them. And then for us to just basically get to say, hey, like, look at what amazing things our alumni are doing, that people probably don’t know about. And so it’s been a really cool opportunity and a privilege to be a part of.

Shiro Hatori
Absolutely. And, you know, putting my business hat on real quick and asking the more business question like, you know, what is what is talking about beekeeping? I know it went viral, are talking about beekeeping, talking about being a comic, like how does that help support? You know, the overall mission you’re trying to drive? And then solution is trying to drive as a whole?

Jordan Prewitt
Well, I think I think it does two things. One, alumni engagement, like you mentioned from the beginning is important, right? We’re trying to engage our alumni in a multitude of ways. And if we’re able to reach alumni, who maybe wouldn’t engage with our office, if they hadn’t come across this beekeeping webinar, then that checks that box for us. And it’s doing that once a month and a different topic. You know, it’s we did one on retirement and early retirement goals. And we’ve done one on Black History Month and engaged with different people in our community in in in underrepresented populations, you know, so there’s been ways in which we’re, we’re engaging with those people, and that increases our alumni engagement. So that’s, that’s one side of it. I think the other thing too, is that as a university, we are one of our pillars is to be more inclusive and more representative of the entire community as a whole. And whether you know, whether it’s seen as like maybe the when you think of dei work, I don’t think beekeeping is what comes to mind, right? But when you’re thinking about inclusivity, and you’re thinking about access, and you’re thinking about representation, if we are only representing the same alumni over and over and over and over again, that people know about, like Peyton Manning, or Candice Parker, whoever it is, now we really able we are able to say, hey, look, we’ve brought in a whole bunch of different topics with people of different walks of life and different races and ethnicities, and beliefs and backgrounds. And we’ve been able to branch our inclusive umbrella to include all of these events and all of these different hobbies and skills that we really would have never had the chance to do prior to this. So I think it’s really it’s really checked two of those boxes for us and, and what I’m what I’m happy to see is that it went from maybe maybe not went from but it started with like, we’re going to do this to make sure we’re do Doing something that’s right. But it also has now turned into something that is going to be sustained and something that we’re going to see carry through and it’s turned, it’s not checking a box. It’s doing it because it’s right. And it feels good. And it’s it’s good to display all of these things that our alumni are doing.

Shiro Hatori
Thank you for answering that yet. It’s not the easiest question answer. But I am glad I asked that. Because that was that was amazing. And, you know, I think earlier, you said you had one webinar a week, which is insanity. And part of that is, I’m assuming, because a lot of work goes into promoting him, right? You can’t just Yeah, it’s not like this podcast record. It’s not just you and me, right? You have an audience, you have to promote it. You have to get other people on board, or cross departmentally. Like, and what are some of the ways that you’re you’re promoting the event? I know, your school is a big school. So you know, that adds to it. But it’s not like you’re doing nothing. Right. So what are some of the tactics using to promote the event? And what’s been working? What hasn’t? What’s been the journey, like for the last two years?

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, I mean, promotion is the name of the game, right? So it’s, it’s really like people aren’t going to be able to attend what they don’t know exist. And so we’re trying to make sure that we’re checking all of the all of the different avenues that we can we have an internal communications team here, who builds all of our graphics and branding for us. And so they have worked closely with us to be like, you know, these are different events, and we need them to be branded appropriately. So when people see this logo, or see this thing, they’re going to know, That’s Countdown to kickoff, or that’s checkerboard chats, or whatever it may be. And so it started with making sure we had a good brand and making sure that we were utilizing that brand to its fullest advantage. We originally started, when we did our very first year of countdown to kickoff, we would email all of the people on our listserv for the season and say, here are all of the candidate kickoff dates, and we would add calendar plugs in there. So they could add them to their calendars. And people could save them to know when the shows were going to happen. We use a platform called stream yard to execute all of our webinars and all of our athletic shows. So when we utilize stream yard, we go in there in advance, and we post all of the shows to our streaming platform. So we’ve been able to cross collaborate on campus, and we have access to our Tennessee athletics, Facebook, our men’s basketball, Facebook, women’s basketball, Facebook, so on and so forth. And they obviously have wide networks. And so when we promote that through their Facebook feed as well as our own, we reach a lot more people that way. And so that is something we’ve utilized. And

Shiro Hatori
because that’s something you can do through that platform, or are you like communicating with the department and say, Hey, we have this event coming up? Can you please share out like, what’s the what are the details there?

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, great question. So we do that all through stream yard. So basically, like, I’m the admin user on stream yard, and so I work with the athletic department, they add me as an authorized user to their Facebook. So when I log into stream yard, it connects the two and it’s like, hey, Jordan’s logged in, he has access to Tennessee athletics, and then I’ll go in and say, Hey, here’s the event. And I’ll send it out to their Facebook page. When we started doing that, too, we didn’t use the same photo, that we it’s kind of like the cover photo for the event. I don’t know why that’s probably my oversight. But we weren’t using the same photo. And about halfway through the season, I was like, if you’re looking at this on multiple pages, you’re not going to know that it’s the same event. So streamlining all of that making sure that all the photos match all the descriptions match all of our corporate partners match all of those things. So that way, people were seeing everything consistently across all of our platforms. So we also do promotion on our own social media, the that Tennessee alum, Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and all that stuff. And we make sure it’s promoted there as well. So I think now, too, it’s, it’s a privilege to say, we’ve created a little bit of a following and an expectation that the things are going to happen. So people like it a little bit more than they used to, you know, they’re like, oh, it’s football season, we know that they’re going to have something for X, Y, and Z. And sometimes people are coming to look for that, too. So that that’s been helpful.

Shiro Hatori
Yeah, I’m sure it does. It does get at least a little bit easier. Yeah.

Jordan Prewitt
The production of this shows is a lot more than I think people first realize when you know, when my boss was like, Hey, we’re gonna produce these shows. And I was like, I don’t really know what that means. But yeah, cool. So that’s turned into a lot of work in iMovie for me that I had never done before and a lot of different editing skills and maybe or maybe not some Facebook video downloads or YouTube video downloads that I have had to utilize at some point in my in my career as well. So it’s a lot more than I think meets the eye at first.

Shiro Hatori
Absolutely. Are you doing that like the checkerboard chats and the what’s the game day one again? Sorry.

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, countdown.

Shiro Hatori
So countdown. Yeah,

Jordan Prewitt
so I’ve got a game day. Yeah, so I do all of those. So

Shiro Hatori
that’s great. And you record them ahead of time, then it sounds like and then stream. So some of them.

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, they’re actually all live so they’re alive. But they so this was another kind of thing that we I guess I dreamed up and I’m sure my my partners in the communications team are tired of me dreaming by now. But after after we started recording all of these shows I was like, they’re live. And that’s great. But somebody’s going to have to scroll back through Facebook to find the video of us doing XY and Z. And that doesn’t seem very productive to me. So I contacted our comms team, and I was like, could we build like a video archive, where we can take these videos, we could keep them in a place. And again, driving engagement, we built a video archive where people now can go in and they can see all of the recordings of any webinar or any athletic that we’ve done, all they have to do is put in their first name, last name and email address, and they get access to the video. So we record all that data, we turn it around, we put it into our CRM, and then those alums get engagement for that. But before that, they weren’t getting anything. So it’s, it’s kind of scratched our back as well. But now we’re able to keep all these recordings. And so when I reach out to someone and say, Hey, can you join us for this countdown to kickoff and they’re like, Hey, I don’t know what that is, I can go pull that video, put it in an email and say here, watch this video that we’ve made last year, and they understand me now. So it kind of works and

Shiro Hatori
and to attend the live events. You know, whether it’s a checkerboard or countdown a game day, is there also a registration process for that with the name? Email?

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, great question. So there’s optional registration. So we realized that the majority of our viewers were just finding it on social media. They weren’t, they weren’t always registering. So we decided to do what we call a vol fan or a lady vol fan of the week. And for each show, we promote it on our website and read it and we put you know, registration is optional. But if you want to win an autographed basketball, or if you want to win a vault prize pack, please enter your name to register and then we collect all that data.

Shiro Hatori
Interesting. Do you know Do you happen to know how many what the percentages of people who actually give up information or

Jordan Prewitt
I probably don’t have that down to a percentage, honestly, it depends on the matchup, usually when we have a bigger football game, we’ll have a few 100 people that will actually come on and register because they really want to win when it’s a smaller game. And I won’t throw out another school just for respect purposes. But when it’s a smaller game that maybe isn’t as much of a marquee matchup, we may have a couple of dozen, you know, so it just depends on the game, right? And kind of what’s going on. But we are any of that data that we collect is is beneficial for us. And we actually have also now garnered a way that when we create these events on Facebook, so for to help with, hopefully explaining virtually, when we create the event on stream yard, and it goes to all of these different platforms. If someone goes to the event on Facebook and says, hey, I’m interested in this, we get their name. So we can take all of those names, we can cross reference it with our database, and then connect it to their alumni record. And then they get engagement that way.

Shiro Hatori
I love this topic and kind of transitions perfectly. So how are you measuring success? Right with all your events? Yeah, yeah, numbers are high. Right. And so but

Jordan Prewitt
yeah, we’re very blessed. I mean, numbers are really have been really great. And numbers mean something. And then sometimes they don’t mean as much, you know, I mean, that there’s, I think we speaking for myself, I got caught up in like this specific number. And I was like, Okay, if it doesn’t reach this, then I’m not doing well enough, you know, that that I think was an unhealthy mindset for me to get into. So yes, measuring success is a part of engagement and viewership. And you know, all of that. But what we have seen the really this year, and we’ve kind of shifted, what we viewed as you know, as a metric is our viewers are staying on the show longer. So we used to have a viewership time that was much shorter, like less than five or 10 minutes, and the shows are anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes. For the athletic shows the webinars can be anywhere between 30 and 45. And so we were realizing that we were losing people that were getting on the stream. And so when we pivoted this year to doing more of like the q&a and the live interaction with the with the individual people were staying on almost till the very end. So we were seeing that, you know, we were getting people to stay on the show, which the great thing is you can put banners on the show, so we would throw up banners there scroll across the bottom of the screen that would be like we have new Tennessee license plates for sale that support students scholarships, and now that message is being seen throughout a 30 minute show and you’re getting more eyes on that than if you only showed it in the first five minutes and people are dropping off. So one of the ways As we’re measuring now is how long people are staying on the shows. And another part is the retention of how many people are starting on the first game of the season. And they’re also coming back for the last game of the season. So we pull that data at the end of each year, we reconcile that. And then we kind of can get a better idea of who all is coming. Is it people showing up one time? Are they repeat? Are they repeat viewers? And we’re getting a better a better scope on that. I would not say I have that fully fleshed out yet. But that’s something that we’re currently in the process of reconciling Data Wise.

Shiro Hatori
That’s amazing. Yeah. I love that you’re moving forward. And, you know, trying to consider new metrics that are measuring the impact a little bit better versus just pure viewership. Yeah. I’m curious what kind of going back to the promoting question. Like, what are the channels that are working best? I know that, you know, you said that going to the partners is helpful, but like, are you emailing out all the all the different events that you have coming up? Are you using social like, what’s what’s what have you seen in terms of channels,

Jordan Prewitt
we’ve done a little bit of both. I’ve actually been working really closely with our communications team over the past two or three weeks, because we’ve seen differences in our total viewership for basketball this year. So our basketball for each show is around 30,000. engagements, and baseball and softball are around 30,000 also. And there was one show that was kind of an outlier, where we had this pretty drastic dip. And I couldn’t pinpoint a reason why that was happening. We I say all that to say we originally started were we emailed before every show. So on the morning of the show, we would use our listserv, and we would email out and be like count on the TIP office today, Lady Vols versus South Carolina, here’s the special guest reminder to tune in at 1230. And our email calendar for the entire system just became so oversaturated that we kind of shifted and we’re like, can we try to do this just through social promotion. And so prior to this year, every event, we would send an email. We didn’t really have a high opt out rate from those emails. But interesting, because that calendar was so oversaturated, we were finding it more difficult to find the right time and day to send that email. And these obviously, the athletic events, you can’t adjust if the game is on Thursday, then the event happens on Thursday. And that’s what it is. So I would say that that’s still ongoing for us figuring out which one is best. For the last four events, we have only used social media. And there was just that one event where we saw that dip. And so I’m not really chalking that up to be something that is to I open about it’s more so the outlier. And I’m not really sure why. And that is the hard part with social media is you don’t always know why it’s not working attributions

Shiro Hatori
not great. Yeah.

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah. But I mean, realistically, the having having, not having a high opt out rate means that hopefully our alums are not, you know, they’re engaging with those emails, we have a pretty good open rate for them. And so we’re able to look at all those metrics and kind of engage but social media, email. And then one thing we started doing in this previous fiscal year as well is we started requesting the twitter and instagram handles of the people who were going to be the guests on the show. And we tagged them in anything that we post, and then they are usually read or read sharing it on their story. And that has also been a game changer for us.

Shiro Hatori
That’s massive. Yeah, that’s huge. I can’t I could only imagine it paid man is reassuring that post. Yeah, I need to get I need to get million followers.

Jordan Prewitt
I know I need to get Peyton on the show. We had some pretty big names last year. And he’s one of the he’s one of the outliers. I wish I could I wish I could get him on there. So but yeah, so he’s, he’s got some teammates that have been on there. So he’s, he’s next on our list for sure.

Shiro Hatori
That’s awesome. Okay, cool. Well, before we kind of go into a little more detail about how you’re even taking things further with virtual events, and in person events, we do have a quick message from our sponsors over at concept 3d. So if your school needs an updated and accessible interactive map, virtual tour or centralized events calendar, please reach out to concept 3d dot com. Short and sweet. Okay, we’ll get right back at it here. So I know Jordan, through our conversation to start, you know, we mentioned that you have a strong passion for TI work, which I think you’ve mentioned a few times throughout as well. But you’re taking things to the next level with your virtual events. And in person events, making them actually accessible, which is something new, you know, I haven’t really heard too much about this. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you’re doing? And you know, why you started this as well?

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, absolutely. Well, again, I think it really does take a team to make sure that we’re practicing inclusivity with our events, especially virtual events because they are on a different it’s a different thing to tackle. So everything from the way we placed graphics and the colors that we’re using to make sure that they don’t hinder people who may have visual impairments, which are watching our shows live. Being that our speakers are on live, making sure that we have subtitles and captioning options on all of our streaming platforms is something that we’ve really emphasized and focused on. In the beginning of stream yard, they did not have auto captioning. So we actually had to pay someone who would come in, and they would type in real time and send out all of our captions and things. Yeah, so that was, that was a that was an added challenge there. But thankfully, through their updates and accessibility that they have handled, we have, we have captioning that’s available on all of our streaming platforms as well. And then just making sure that when we put things on screen, that the sizing of our font and the style of the letters that we’re using, and all of those things are accessible for people who are watching, and that they’re able to do that. Something that people often I don’t think really think about, and I don’t even know if I mentioned this when you and I talked. But one thing that we really want to make sure is that people could enjoy our shows from their cell phone, we have a lot of people who don’t have access to desktops and laptops, and maybe that’s maybe that’s not financially accessible for them. Or maybe they just don’t have one. And so are all of our events accessible to be viewed on a cell phone or, you know, on a platform like that. So those have been little things that we’ve done, but that I think, have made a larger impact again, on the community as a whole. And then And then really part of I think dei work, but, but really making sure that we’re being representative and the people that we bring on to the show as well. I mean, it’s, we work at a PWI. And, you know, a lot of our former athletes are in certain demographics and in certain identity groups. And so making sure that when we’re selecting and requesting people to come on, that we’re being aware of, who are the previous four guests who have been on or, you know, have, we only used this specific type of athlete, you know, or whatever the case may be. So just making sure that we’re being aware, in general of who we’re bringing on to the show and meeting with them beforehand. So they understand our expectations and things of that nature as well. So I think that’s gone a long way for the work that we do in that space. And I, I think something that I tried to be really cognizant of is what’s happening in the world and what’s happening around us. And we’re fortunate to have a platform and an opportunity where people are, can share what their opinions and beliefs are, or share our perspective. Specifically, when the George Floyd incident happened, and we were kind of reeling through that and trying to understand, like, how to advocate as for me, as a white, you know, cisgender male, like, how can I advocate and support my black friends and my friends of color? You know, and I came to my supervisor, and I said, I want to do a webinar, where I can pull people that are of color and black leaders on our campus and put them on a panel and allow them to share what it’s like, at an institution and what we can do as an institution to help. And I mean, so just, I think just being aware of what’s happening, and not just letting some, I think, Hey, I hate saying this, because it happens so often, but not being desensitized to what we see in the media and saying, like, Hey, I saw this headline scroll across. It’s like, Hey, I just saw this headline scroll across, and what can we do with that? What can we do to help, hopefully, educate people on on how to be more inclusive and accepting and so that’s something that I really try to keep keep my wits about myself when I when I’m working on these events.

Shiro Hatori
Thank you for sharing that. And yeah, you’re taking, you know, this is a prime example, as I’m learning more about di and accessibility is that it’s gotten many, many layers, many, many different points of view, right? Like, you talked about digital accessibility, physical accessibility, just now you talked about Dei, you know, it’s all encompassing, enter one related umbrella. And so that’s, that’s really impressive work. I remembered you also talking about digital accessibility and how the visual communication aspect is something often that I think often gets overlooked, especially in like live streaming formats, where like, they’ll show someone but if someone’s visually impaired, they can’t see it. And the description of that isn’t, isn’t shared, but I know that’s something you’re also helping to, to make sure is described as, as best can, obviously, verbally so that you’re meeting those needs as well. I thought that was really cool. Yeah, absolutely.

Jordan Prewitt
I think we have a host on all these shows, too. So that’s really helped with the descriptive part of, you know, explaining what we’re seeing or, you know, storytelling, right, it’s it’s more than just getting on and having someone talk It’s telling a story and painting the picture for the viewer, because I’ll be honest, it’s not always to just about maybe somebody can’t see the screen. It’s also the people who have it on, but maybe they’re not watching, right, it’s kind of like being on a radio, it’s like I need to paint the picture of what’s happening. So that’s part of that, too. And we’ve, yeah, to your point to about in person events. I mean, I think we’ve seen a lot of growth there. And being mindful I, the example I shared with you, when we talked first was, we host an event in the spring called volunteer 40, under 40, where we recognize 40 Alumni under the age of 40, that have made outstanding outstanding accomplishments in their career or profession and in their community. And this year, one of the things that we did that, you know, simple and not really a lot of work on our part, but something that makes a huge impact is we offered large print programs and menus for our guests. And we ordered a stack of maybe 25 Of those, we put them on the edge of the check in table and just said, you know, here’s a here’s a stack of large print programs and menus, if you or someone you know, may need this for the for the for the ceremony. Again, not a lot of sweat off of our back, many people probably didn’t use it. But if one or two or zero people walked into that event, and they saw it, and they said, Wow, that would be really great if my grandparent was here, or that would be really great if my cousin was here who can’t see on the third row, or whatever it may be, right. It’s it’s those little touch points that create a more inclusive environment for one to 510 people, but it’s bringing the whole event more inclusive as a whole to so I think it’s a little things like that, that we really can be more intentional, right?

Shiro Hatori
Again, bringing things from a business perspective, like, it’s not, it can’t be hurting, you’re making these things accessible. Like I was just having a conversation with someone that you know, that just like you had mentioned, like closed captions, something a lot of people just use now, like, I think Gen Z has the highest percentage of use use of closed captions and subtitles, because it just, it just, it’s a better way for them to digest the conversation than it is for hearing. So yeah, I think you know, it’s just adding more value. And I think that’s impressive. Yeah. Appreciate that. Thank you. Awesome. Well, Jordan, thanks so much for sharing all this information, what you’re doing at special events and how you’re taking a lot of things to the next level. Where can our audience and our listeners connect with you and learn more about you?

Jordan Prewitt
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I first just want to say thank you for the opportunity, and it’s a privilege to get to do this and to get to share some of my experiences with everyone. You can find me on LinkedIn, Jordan Pruitt, it’s PR e w i t t, also on Twitter and Instagram, also at Jordan Pruitt. And so I’d be happy to connect with anyone or you know, share, share experiences and hopefully learn something from all of the great people who have also been a part of this experience and podcast or even as are listening right now. So just want to say thank you again for the opportunity to share and like I started the podcast I’ll end it with a with a Go Vols as always.

Shiro Hatori
Thanks, Jordan. Love that. And again, if if your school or institution is looking for an updated direct map, virtual tour, centralized events calendar, please reach out to concept three.com Thank you and we’ll catch you on the next one. Thanks, everyone.

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We want Rice to be a welcoming destination for art, music, lectures, food, athletic events, lectures – a great place to visit just to enjoy the beauty of our campus. [The Concept3D] mapping system will help people find those amenities and explore those opportunities.

Linda Thrane, Vice President of Public Affairs, Rice University
Concept3D’s photospheres really allow us to show rather than tell what separates our studios from others.
Corepower Yoga
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The biggest challenge for [Claremont Graduate University] was lack of a centralized map system entirely. Roughly 30 different maps existed on our website pre-[Concept3D], created by various departments to meet their own needs.

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