MAP to host conference for activities boards

Student activities programming boards from the Chesapeake Bay area will come together on Dec. 4, 2016, for a day-long conference hosted at Stevenson University to network and discuss common practices among activity planners.

MAP will be hosting the PB&J conference for the first time. (Photo courtesy of Kris DeJesus)

MAP will be hosting the PB&J conference for the first time. (Photo courtesy of Kris DeJesus)

The conference, known as the Programming Board Jam, PB&J, began in 2009 and allows all of the programming boards within the area to share their best practices. This year, PB&J will be held at Stevenson University for the first time.

Kris DeJesus, Mustang Activities and Programming (MAP) president, attended PB&J in December 2014 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He said that MAP can benefit from hosting PB&J this year because it will teach them “how to program a different type of event. We [MAP] usually program fun, recreational events, but this is an opportunity to program a serious conference for learning purposes.”

Students will run the workshops held throughout the conference, and they will include educational sessions, roundtable discussions, a mini school swap and presentations by schools and agents showcasing their talents.

Emily Ostrander, MAP vice president of social media and marketing, presented an educational session at PB&J last year at Mount St. Mary’s University about the MAP website that she created. Ostrander said PB&J provides a forum for student programming boards to develop professionally as leaders on campus as well as gain new ideas and skills from other programming boards.

Each programming board was encouraged to submit proposals for educational sessions that covered a variety of topics, such as creative marketing techniques, event planning tips and tricks and professional development opportunities, for example. Student leaders from Stevenson University’s programming board have provided their own proposals for education sessions.

DeJesus and Keyara Blackmon, MAP program director, will present a session on how to plan a successful event using Backwards Planning, a technique that begins by backtracking, starting with what a programmer needs to accomplish three months in advance all the way to the day of the event.

Blackmon says she is “excited for PB&J and to have the opportunity to present material that we [MAP] know. That could potentially help another programming board.”

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