Giving Attention to Underserved Groups Is Just One Reason to Start a ‘Week’ – 2 EXCEL Winners Show How

We know about the success of many cities’ Restaurant Weeks. Here in Washington, D.C., our Theater Week is upon us with all kinds of discounts and special performances. These types of weeks also can be popular (and profitable) in the association world and even some B2B. Two such “weeks” won 2022 EXCEL Awards for their efforts. Here are some tips.

I’ve written before about the value of starting a special “Week” for your niche or brand. So it’s rewarding to see two 2022 EXCEL Award winners honored for their special weeks: the American Institute of Physics’ #BlackInPhysics Week 2021 essay series—a Gold winner for Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Microsite; and American Health Law Association’s Health Law Week—a Bronze winner for Best New Innovation.

The Black in Physics essays can be quite moving. Here’s the beginning of one from Brooke Russell on their Diversity and Inclusion site.

“This past May I earned my doctorate in physics, becoming the first Black woman to do so at Yale University. …Approximately 100 Black women have received a PhD in a physics-related field in the U.S. With such a dearth in numbers, at times I experience a sense of loneliness and isolation in physics. Some people are taken aback by my presence in research settings. On a number of occasions, I have been mistaken for janitorial staff in physics departments, in national laboratories and at conferences. This is a common experience among my Black physics colleagues.”

Their 2022 Week is coming up, Oct. 24-28. In 2021, they had Open Houses, sessions such as Managing Micro-aggressions and Grad to Pro, a Job Fair, a Poster Competition and a Speaking Up Workshop. The schedule for the 2022 Health Law Week, which took place June 6-10, also looked jam-packed, with multiple recorded sessions each day, plus Harassment Training, and a Virtual Networking Happy Hour on the last day.

There’s no set agenda for these weeks—you can truly make them your own. But the excitement, focused learning and networking all make it an occasion, and something that members/subscribers/community will look forward to each year.

Here are more benefits from these types of weeks.

Highlight a group that has been ignored. What I like about the Black in Physics tagline is not only does it say they are celebrating Black physicists and their “contributions to the scientific community, but also to reveal a more complete picture of what a physicist looks like.” (my emphasis) Access Intelligence’s Event Marketer had a successful Women in Events Week for a few years. Prior to that, Event Marketer had been profiling 10-15 outstanding female event marketers. Then one year the editorial team transformed the franchise into a week-long series of experiences across 15 cities that engaged more than 1,000 industry women and generated thousands of dollars in sponsorship revenue. Editors traveled to four target markets to host full- and half-day conferences featuring panel discussions with the women featured in the articles.

Amplify engagement. The Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) just wrapped up their 12th annual Clinical Documentation Integrity Week. ACDIS conducted a series of interviews with CDI professionals on a variety of emerging industry topics. I also see crossword puzzles and quizzes, member Q&As, a state of the industry live report, and an official poster and recipe book. Business Management Daily’s Admin Pro Week in April offers five days of free gifts for their registrants.

Build your membership. AHLA’s many Health Law Week sessions and events are “open to the entire health law community and are free of charge. Additional events may be added leading up to Health Law Week. We look forward to seeing you at a virtual session or in-person reception!” Black in Physics Week gives AIP a terrific opportunity to add new members, finding physicists who may not have been known to them in the past, not to mention scientists from other diverse groups looking for more coverage.

Add sponsorships. AHLA offers $500, $1,000 and $2,000 sponsorships for Health Law Week—a sponsorship page lists seven sponsors for 2022. On the Black in Physics Week site, the Heising-Simons Foundation is prominently displayed. Several other sponsors are listed on another page including the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Cornell Department of Astronomy. Ads also appear on the pages with the essays.

Get started. How do you get started? For CDI, their web page says that a work group organized and supported by ACDIS convened over several months to plan and organize the event and develop resources and promotional events. They provide an electronic toolkit to members for downloading and getting ready for the big week. The kit includes PowerPoint training tools for CDI specialists, a poster, a downloadable logo, a special video clip, and celebration ideas. They also sell other branded items that week.


Comments are closed.