A few weeks ago, I participated in SBC x Adobe x Medium’s Creative Consulting Workshop. The goal of the event was to have students work through a case about maximizing social impact on Cornell’s campus using personal experiences to come up with a solution.
I was interested in this workshop because it brought together both technical and artistic skills. Social Business Consulting (SBC) members provided guidance on how to analyze the case and maximize social impact in our ideas. The prompt was to hypothetically partner two student organizations together and propose a social impact event for Cornell. I partnered with my friends, Julia and Susan, and we brainstormed various duos. Here were our ideas:
- Women’s self defense event with an intramural group and Fortee Campus at Cornell
- Fashion and dance with Cornell Fashion Collective and a dance troupe
- Balancing work and life with Cornell Minds Matter and a business organization
- Destressing through an art mural with Cornell Minds Matter and Guild of Visual Arts
With the help of SBC mentors, our team analyzed the pros and cons to each partnership, similar to how business partners weigh the decisions they make. For example, with the proposed women’s self defense event, one advantage was that the social impact of this event could be iterated many times for future generations. It also encouraged self-empowerment, but one drawback was that it served a very niche audience. In the end, our team decided to pursue the hypothetical work-life balance event, partnering together Cornell Minds Matter and Phi Beta Lambda. These two clubs brought useful skills the to table. Cornell Minds Matter emphasized mental health and educated on how to destress and take care of our bodies while Phi Beta Lambda represented an inclusive business organization that provides business development opportunities like resume critiques and mock interviews.
Like any business, we also had to define the target audience and create a marketing plan for our event. We decided to gear our events towards seniors since they would graduate and enter the workforce. To us, it was important that they knew how to balance work and life and be happy while doing so. For our marketing plan, we analyzed the 4Ps.
- Price – free to the public
- Product – educational series the teaches financial literacy like taxes and investing and soft skills like how to network and work in diverse environments
- Place – eHub Collegetown
- Promotions – career services, work of mouth, listservs, Facebook event
Furthermore, with promotions, for the second half of the workshop, we had to create infographics to showcase our event and budget using Adobe Illustrator. Members of Medium Design Collective walked us through an Illustrator demo. As someone who was completely new to Illustrator, it was a hard learning curve, but it was great to be in an environment where I could test out the features and experiment with the software.
In the end, although it was just a case study, I still left the event with these takeaways:
Find the right team: Whether it’s for a mock case study or for a real-life business, finding the right team is extremely important. It’s important to weigh every team member or sponsor organization’s strengths and weaknesses and create a cohesive balance between skills.
Art is important: Most of the time, people view business as very technical and numerical. Yet, this workshop emphasized the power of art and its impact on businesses and events. To adequately promote your business or event, strong messaging is important. Creating a dynamic and compelling design graphic can help effectively spread the word and incentivize people to come.