Planning an IlliniFest that highlights both diversity & unity

Since joining the Office of Strategic Marketing & Branding and starting my listening tour over the past month, I’ve heard a lot about both diversity and unity at the University of Illinois. Our campus draws strength from bringing together people from all backgrounds and providing them opportunities to thrive. Our individuality actually binds us together. It’s a powerful experience that begins on campus and is carried forward by our alumni community around the world.

Right now, I'm part of a team that's working hard to put on a virtual IlliniFest that will showcase a cross-section of campus units, disciplines and people. After reviewing dozens upon dozens of video submissions, I've discovered why diversity is a brand differentiator for UIUC and a point of pride for the Illini family.

The videos and ideas that have poured in are amazing. As a new guy on campus, I've been blown away by the incredible stories and talent that have been uncovered during our planning. I wish we could include them all in the program, but we only have 60 minutes. January will require that we make some tough choices. But we've seen so much good content we're also exploring the idea of creating an IlliniFest playlist that includes all videos submitted, whether or not they were featured in the one-hour program.

Whether your unit is chosen for Illini Fest 2021 or saved for another opportunity, know that your contribution has been valued. Your unit’s stories can be told through a myriad of outlets, and part of our job in SMB is to help you narrow in on those opportunities. Brand building is not a destination, but rather a journey that is fueled by great content and determination. And from what I can see, we’ve got plenty of both on this campus.