The MBA Marketing Club will sponsor the 4th annual Marketing Symposium March 25-26 at the Mendoza College of Business.
The Symposium will emphasize the growing importance and implication of the use of social media in the modern business environment.
Club president Jack Johnson said the event will be a bit different this year because it is free and open to undergraduates.
“We’ve been doing Symposium for four years and in the past it always was focused toward MBA students,” he said. “This year we were able to open it up to undergraduate students as well. We also used to charge admission and this year we actually have sponsorship from DIF Solutions, which partners with big consulting companies.”
Johnson said the sponsorship enables students to register online for free to attend lectures as well as enjoy free food throughout the Symposium.
Listed among events for the Symposium include an opening reception at Legends as well as a number of guest speakers and a Web Case 2.0 competition, which is open to both MBA candidates and undergraduates.
The competition is an opportunity for students to propose solutions to a real-world business application, Johnson said.
“A couple of the programmers, designers and salesmen will come in and give registered teams a brief demo of what the application can do and examples of how other companies have used it. Teams will have a week to come up with a way to take this application and bring it to market,” Johnson said.
The competition is open to students from any academic background, and students are encouraged to draw on their experience to draft a short proposal solving a specific issue.
Teams of three to five students are encouraged to register by today. A panel of judges will assess the submitted proposals, and the chosen top teams have a chance to win $6,000 in prizes, Johnson said.
“Students are competing for a $3,000 grand prize, and there is a special prize for $1,000 prize for the best undergraduate team,” he said.
The first round of competition will take place on March 25, the first day of the Symposium, and the final round will occur the following day.
Aside from the competition, executives from several businesses will be on hand to discuss with students their use of the social media.
“Brandon Solano of Domino’s will come in and speak, as well as bring free pizza and lava cakes for everyone,” Johnson said. “The president of Nielsen Online, Jonathan Carson, will speak about how people use social media for advertising. The company does a lot of tracking for Facebook advertising.”
Also attending will be representatives from major corporations including MTV and Navteq. They will be on hand to participate in keynote lectures and panel discussions.
Johnson said the Symposium usually has a turnout of 150 people, but he expects more this year because of the inclusion of undergraduates.
“If you want to network, meet some Domers and get free food on Friday, then you should register for the Symposium,” he said. “It’s also a bonus that it’s free thanks to the sponsorship, so we don’t have to charge the students.”