Why you should attend our 2024 Spring Professional Development Conference

Why attend the 2024 CUPRAP Spring Conference?

Q&A with new and veteran members on benefits of attending

The 2024 CUPRAP Spring Professional Development Conference, to be held March 13–15 at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, is sure to deliver an exciting lineup of speakers and presentations. Maybe you’re wondering if it the conference is a good investment in your time and resources. We sat down with new member Ellie Graves, senior director of communications at University of Pittsburgh, and veteran member Lisa Baldi, director of strategic communications at Penn State Berks, to get their perspectives.

Q: Why are you looking forward to attending the CUPRAP Spring Conference?
Ellie: I’m looking forward to seeing fellow CUPRAP members whom I met at last year’s conference again — especially people I’ve been collaborating with on the Engagement, Membership, and Communications committee. The conference reinforces to me that the work we’re doing has meaning and impact.

Lisa: I look forward to the CUPRAP Spring Conference every year. I always learn something new from the timely presentations that I can put into practice as soon as I return to the office. It also provides an opportunity to make valuable new connections with colleagues in the industry. The conference is a re-energizing experience and I return to my college refreshed and reinvigorated.

Q: Are there any sessions in particular that you are looking forward to?
Ellie: Yes! I’m going to arrive on Wednesday morning to attend the workshop on measuring and articulating ROI. That topic aligns with strategic priorities of my university’s comms leadership team. And I’m a fan of Jamie Hunt from Old Dominion University’s podcast and met her in person at last year’s conference. I’m excited to hear her talk about generative AI in our industry on Thursday.

Lisa: There’s so much to choose from! I’m looking forward to the sessions on leveraging earned media for brand storytelling and on finding and telling untold student stories for recruitment. I’m also interested in the Thursday keynote on brand management and the interactive session
on crisis communications. And Friday’s roundtables are a new addition that will offer many insights.

Q: What are some of the benefits of attending the conference and being a member of CUPRAP?
Lisa: CUPRAP is truly a community of like-minded professionals who support one another in a spirit of cooperation rather than competition. Organizations that have that kind of mindset are difficult to find in today’s competitive climate. From events like the spring conference to the CUPRAP list-serv, it’s easy to reach out and get advice from colleagues. I’ve met some of my most trusted mentors and advisers through CUPRAP.

Ellie: Definitely the direct connection to a diverse network of practitioners of higher ed comms and marketing — colleagues at every level of leadership experience; across myriad types, sizes, and locations of institutions — all working toward similar missions of raising the profile of our organization and articulating our value to the communities we serve. We’re kind of a niche group and the conference’s programming targets the unique work we do.

Register now to join Lisa, Ellie, and all our attendees at #cuprap2024!