Focus on Offering Exam-AID Sessions
What Students Offering Support does is offer Exam-AID sessions to raise money to build schools. As our slogan states, we “Raise Marks to Raise Money to Raise Roofs.” Focus on this. However, don’t make the outreach trips the focal point right at the beginning. First, let it be known that you offer Exam-AIDs. Without doing this, people will associate you with outreach trips. They’ll describe you as the “guys that organize trips to Latin America to build schools.” While this is a very important part of what we do, and something that gets people excited, we can only do it if we have the money to do so.
We raise money by conducting Exam-AIDs. People need to know this. Once it is established that we offer Exam-AIDs to raise money to build schools, then you can focus more on the outreach trips than you were doing in the beginning. This would perhaps work best after midterms, after you’ve offered your first Exam-AID. A few points to consider:
- If you’re planning to set up a booth and have a bake sale and informational booth at the same time, make sure people leave knowing what you do.
- A bake sale, or something similar, is a great way to attract people to your booth. However, it’s important, again, that they leave knowing what we do. A good way to ensure this is explain to them what Students Offering Support (make sure you use the full name) does before they buy something. What we don’t want to do is become those “guys that sell cookies.”
First Impressions are Lasting Impressions
You often hear the saying, “first impressions count.” You want to be sure you are able to impress people when they first see and hear about you, similar to what we discussed in the “Booths” section. When you run your first Exam-AID session, some other points to keep in mind are:
- Make sure the logistics are clearly communicated and followed. This includes having a large enough classroom and, of course, good tutors. You also want to be sure your session goes as planned. It also includes being on time, being in the right room, not making students wait, and not canceling sessions, especially on the first day.
- Some cities, such as Toronto, have commuter schools. This means students commute to the schools, as they live nearby. You want to ensure that sessions are not held very late. It’s easy for students of non-commuter schools, such as Dalhousie, to go to their dorms and come back for, let’s say, a 9 p.m. session, whereas commuter students usually go home, and aren’t interested in coming back or staying at school for that long
Without considering these factors, students won’t appreciate what you’re trying to do, and won’t come to your other sessions, as they may believe that you are unorganized. Word of Mouth is also something you need to worry about. As mentioned above, WOM could be good or bad. Having a great review session will encourage positive WOM, while a bad session will result in negative WOM.
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