October 17, 2018
By: Morgan Macenka
RICHMOND, Va.- With Virginia Commonwealth University’s 2018 Homecoming event just around the corner in November, the Activities Programming Board (APB) focused on student interest as their top priority to make the event better than ever.
VCU will be celebrating the sixteenth annual year of Homecoming. Previous experiences were used to improve the upcoming event, according to APB. The student-led organization said they tried their best to come up with events that students will enjoy and attend based on what them and their peers would want.
Every year the organization is constantly thinking about what works, what does not, and how they can get better every year, APB Advisor Cidnye Weimer said.
“Something we did differently this year that we haven’t really done in the past, was a live entertainment survey last spring to gauge student interest on what music genres students like, how much they would pay for tickets and what artist they might be interested in,” Weimer said.
Once they had some top names they were interested in, they did a second survey listed with openers and headliners. “It was a good process for us because we knew who was available and if we could afford them,” Weimer said.
The organization used the information to help shape what activities they wanted to do this year. What students may not know about Homecoming is how much work it takes to find an artist for the RamFest concert.
“We work with a middle agent who is someone we pay to look up if the artists are available, how much they cost, and help us with the negotiation,” Weimer said. “There is a lot that goes into it, it is not a simple and easy process.”
APB Director Sabrina Rusli said working with contracts and musicians is a lot of work.
“There are industry standards we are supposed to follow, but most of the time, they do not,” Rusli said. “This is why we start in the summer to account for the variability of response times between artists and the middle manager.”
“I would really like to promote Homecoming more,” Rusli said. “I feel like since we are an institution without a football team, the school spirit sometimes lacks around VCU. This can cause a lack of awareness for our Homecoming Week.”
There are 30 events taking place for VCU’s Homecoming this year and they will start on Nov. 4-11 on campus. Reign of the Rams Court Pageant is the first event on Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. and the first Happy Hour is on Nov. 5 from noon – 1 p.m. Two of the biggest events of the week are on the same day. The VCU Men’s Basketball game and RamFest will be held on on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.
For more information about Homecoming, visit https://homecoming.vcu.edu/.