When nJoy the Rush launched in August 2017, we wanted to come in with a bang and do something for the community! Therefore, we hosted ovHERcoming obstacles.
This event was designed to inspire young ladies (between 7th-12th grade) to accomplish their goals and connect them with successful women. The event consisted of a guest panelists, etiquette and finance breakout sessions, and vendors.
Let’s dig deeper into the details planning that took place:
Step 1: Pick A Date
Picking a date for your event is like breathing. It’s the first step that lays out the blueprint for everything else. Without a date, your event will be floating in the ideas of your brain until you give it life by picking a date.
The nature of your event will give you an idea of the time and date you should focus on. For us, since it was a community event for tweens and teens, we focused on a Saturday morning until the top of the afternoon. We also wanted it to be during the school year so that we wouldn’t have to wrestle with summer vacations and the laziness summer brings. So we chose October 21st!
Step 2: Find a Venue
Finding a venue can be a difficult task when it comes to event planning. Have you ever heard the expression, “your energy introduces you before you speak”? Well, the same applies to your event when it comes to your venue. The venue gives your guest the first impression, so you want it to be perfect. Fishing around for the perfect venue can be time consuming, but you can’t waste too much time because venues availability can quickly change.
While searching for the perfect venue for ovHERcoming obstacles, we wanted a place that appealed to youth. We contacted many dance halls, gyms, schools, and recreation centers. We searched high and low throughout Greensboro to find a venue available on October 21st and eventually we found Willette, the director of the Craft Community Recreation Center. When we came to her with the idea of ovHERcoming obstacles, she was thrilled. “Many people have events that cater to young men in the community and not the females” said Willette.
We were ecstatic, the venue was PERFECT for the event! We had three spacious classrooms for the vendors and breakout sessions, and a huge gym for the keynote speaker.
Step Three: Themes, decor, and more!
At the start of our planning, we didn’t have the title ovHERcoming obstacles, we just had the overall event idea. We knew that we wanted an event that catered to the average teenage girl brain and to educate them in a fun way.
Our keynote speaker, Hope Rush
has an amazing story of being a teenage mom and ovHERcoming obstacles to be the successful woman she is today. We wanted to meet with Hope and listen to other ideas she had for the event. One idea was to allow each girl to ask an anonymous question during registration. The question could be about anything! This was a great way for the girls to open up about any obstacles they were facing and advice they were seeking.
During the meeting, Kristin came up with the title overcoming obstacles. Joy and Hope loved that name, but Kristin still thought it was a little cliche and plain, so to put a creative spin on it, she suggested throwing HER in the middle of overcoming. When she announced that idea, our eyes lit up like Christmas trees and we stamped that as the name of the event: ovHERcoming obstacles.
Everyone’s creative juices was flowing at that point and everyone started to have amazing ideas. Joy’s mind was running with creative ideas for the flyers and the decor of the event, and Hope’s mind was running with who could help. She threw out a list of names and sponsors and that helped tremendously.
She introduced us to Joyce.
Joyce is a fashion diva honey! She is classy but sassy and has a heart of gold. She is the
owner of a Rejoyce Wear, and she was the recipient of the 2017 Female Minority Achiever Award. She was the perfect teacher for the etiquette session.
Brainstorming Sidenote: Why the etiquette breakout session?
We wanted to teach the girls the importance of acting like a lady since they are constantly being introduced to negative ways women are being portrayed in the media. Joyce taught the girls how to be the bosses they were born to be, but in a respectful way. She didn’t hold back one bit as she kept it real in a way for all of us to learn a thing or two.
Our next breakout session teacher, Yvonne Rush, a successful realtor in the Triad area.
She is a very smart, wise, and hip individual who's very knowledgeable on great finance habits. She used real life scenarios for the girls to practice and much needed tips for the mothers. Yvonne left the girls with an amazing saving strategy that if followed correctly could have them "securing the bag" early!
Brainstorming Sidenote: Why finance?
This is a subject that isn’t taught in school, but is IMPORTANT to growing up successfully! Many of us aren’t taught how to budget, save and invest between 7th - 12th grade. We’re usually taught this after we’ve graduated college and already made some poor money decisions. We wanted to change that and offer our girls the opportunity to learn good money habits early to keep them from making the same mistakes. We've all heard the saying, "if you knew better, you'd do better" from our parents, well that’s the approach we took to the finance class. Teach them early!
Our planning for the event was well on the way! We had our keynote speaker, and our two breakout session teachers. The next thing we wanted set in stone was the guest panelist and host.
Our guest panel had to be full of creative women who had amazing stories of successfully ovHERcoming obstacles. We compiled a list of about 15 women who matched the criteria and reached out to see if they would be available. From our list, meet our panel:
These 5 women were perfect! Their energy bounced off each other and they told inspiring stories that touched the girls during the panel session.
Our panel did a great job of making the girls feel comfortable, take a look below:
Last but, not least we needed a host for the event to keep things running smoothly. We contacted Roxie, one of the co-host of the 3 Live Crew morning show at 102 Jamz. She was very open to it and accepted our invitation! Everyone, meet Roxie:
Step 4: Sponsors & Vendors
Whew! What a task! It’s hard to find a big group of sponsors when it's your first community event, especially since we're not a nonprofit organization. This made our journey a little harder, BUT! Thank God for Kristin M. Rush!! She put those two degrees from the illustrious North Carolina A&T State University to work and we were able to get over 10 sponsors. With the sponsors help, we made goodie bags for the girls, provided food for the event, and funded last minute hiccups that you can never plan for during an event. Check out our sponsors below:
- Subway / Kim Neal
- SHIFT Inc.
- Hair Under Construction / Marlena Macklin
- Moe's Cookies
- JL Community Outreach/Michael Grimes
- Volvo/ Hope Rush
- Cracker Barrell
- Big Frog Custom T-Shirts
- 39 Stripes Inc.
- RC Brand Management
- Mashario Morton
We were so thankful for the vendors who came and made the vendor room bright and pretty with the different services they were advertising. Check out the cool pictures on our ovHERcoming obstacles page!
Step 5: Complete the puzzle
We had our date, the venue, the keynote speaker, guest panel, host, sponsors, and vendors. Next thing up, registration and day of show logistics.
Not only is Kristin a marketing guru, but she is a logistical guru too. She made a run of show and planned how the girls would seperate into different groups for the breakout sessions.
[Run of show: a minute by minute schedule of the event]
Check out some of the creative pieces we had to make for the event, such as flyers, programs and much more. We also created a special tab on our menu bar for ovHERcoming obstacles so that each girl could register and learn more about the event.
Overall, our first event was a success! Stay tuned for more information on this year’s ovHERcoming obstacles! Thanks for stepping into our world today! Until next week!