On 16th of April, the anniversary of AEGEE’s founding event, our association turns one year older. In 2016 the network did something special at this occasion for the first time: it officially celebrated the AEGEE Day — with the active participation of 77 antennae, which organised 136 local activities. The project team just met in Brussels in order to make the celebration this year even bigger.
GT: The second AEGEE Day is coming. How are the preparations going?
AEGEE Day Team: The preparations are going really well! We had a live meeting in Brussels last weekend where we planned the next two months and came up with many ideas on how to engage even more locals to participate and how to make the project more visible.
GT: How many locals and bodies did already express their interest in organising something?
AEGEE Day Team: From the feedback form of last year’s edition we know that 100% of those locals are willing to repeat this year! Also, 16th of April falls on Easter Sunday this year and in order to involve more locals and members we decided to have a week of celebration. We assume that locals which didn’t have time for proper preparation last year will have the time to develop better activities this year.
GT: Until when can they announce their participation?
AEGEE Day Team: Of course during the weeks before the AEGEE Day we offer our help to plan the event to whoever needs help. But as long as they fill in the evaluation form after their event, they can do a spontaneous activity without telling us before.
GT: The first edition last year was a success, despite the fact that the preparations started late and that it was the first edition. Which lessons did you take from last year’s coordination?
AEGEE Day Team: As this year we started the preparations earlier, we have more time and more promotion possibilities. We will involve European bodies, the AEGEE Day ambassadors and the opinion of members who come and visit our table at the EPM Zagreb fair. Like this, the ideas for activities come directly from the members, not only from the core team and we raise more awareness about this special day.
GT: How many activities took place last year?
AEGEE Day Team: Last year 136 activities took place in 77 antennae all over the network!
GT: Can you give three examples of very original contributions?
AEGEE Day Team: AEGEE-León organised several activities, such as a cultural exchange with the Muslim community. AEGEE-Eskişehir organized a week of celebration with activities like languages and cultures game, a sign language course and a EuroTrip game which ended with a big cake cutting. AEGEE-Kyїv held a conference and training called “Skill School PR & Marketing”.
GT: What do you estimate: how many locals and bodies will participate this time?
AEGEE Day Team: We hope to reach as many local as possible of course, specifically the ones that we couldn’t reach last year. We aim at uniting the whole network and spreading the spirit all over by increasing the quantity together with the quality.
GT: Do you have guidelines or best practices examples for the participating locals and bodies? If yes, in what form?
AEGEE Day Team: We will have guidelines again with ideas for activities that will achieve our objective of this year’s celebration: building bridges with and within AEGEE!
GT: Can you share with us some pieces of advice what organisers should keep in mind for their event?
AEGEE Day Team: They should always keep in mind organizing events within the frame of “Building Bridges”, whose aim is to bring diverse groups and topics together. Guidelines will be there to help them through the way and they can always contact their Ambassadors or us in case of advice or questions.
GT: Will everyone celebrate for himself or will there also be a central celebration?
AEGEE Day Team: As this year’s AEGEE Day falls on Easter week the celebration date is flexible, locals can choose a date in the week of the 16th of April. We are planning to organize some online activities which are moderated by professionals and open to the whole network. The AEGEE Day will also be celebrated at NWM Nijmegen and NWM Bamberg. There could be one final event as well but more information on that will be announced later on.
GT: Will there be some live streaming or social media connection?
AEGEE Day Team: The activities won’t take place at the same time, so live streaming is not possible. However locals can live stream their activities with #AEGEEday. And of course we invite all of you to use the hashtag #aegeeday in your posts in social media and follow us on our Facebook page and Twitter.
GT: You have a coordination team without project manager. Who is in your team, how is it structured and how do you work together?
AEGEE Day Team: Let us introduce you the core team. Suzan Dilara Tokaç (AEGEE-Eskişehir) and Katharina Jiménez Weese (AEGEE-Bamberg) are both responsible for PR. Maria Maris (AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca) and Marta Pąk (AEGEE-Warszawa) are responsible for the content. Our appointed Comité Directeur member is Lia Touska (AEGEE-Sofia). Joanna Pankowska (AEGEE-Warszawa) and Maarten de Groot (AEGEE-Amsterdam), also from Comité Directeur, are helping us. Suzan and Lia were both part of last year’s core team which helps a lot to reflect what we should continue doing and what we can improve this year. Next to us, there is a big team of ambassadors.
GT: What are the ambassadors doing?
AEGEE Day Team: They are helping us to promote the AEGEE Day. They communicate with their assigned locals, monitor their activities and report us what activities have been done. At the moment we’re looking for more ambassadors so if you are interested in becoming one and being part of the team, check the Open Call on Announce-L or ask your Netcom.
GT: Anything else you would like to add?
AEGEE Day Team: We are looking forward to many bridges being built in AEGEE this year! For any questions don’t hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.