Adaptive Engagement: BizFrosh 2020

Although we find that the present-day classroom may lack a desired level of peer interaction, IBA strives to connect students despite the challenges of doing so given the constraints of social distancing guidelines. Last month IBA held BizFrosh, an event to introduce incoming commerce and management students to each other, as well as to welcome them to the IBA team.

The event saw many changes before arriving at its final format. When discussing the planning of the event, Yrdna Muneer, the chair of BizFrosh in charge of organizing and running the event explained that the event originally was imagined in a hybrid format. When planning of the event began in early July, there was proposed to be an option to attend an in-person component to be held at Erindale Park, alongside the online event. However, the pandemic continued to escalate as the event approached and the in-person component was deemed to be too much of a risk. Instead of cancelling, Yrdna and her team quickly adapted BizFrosh to be all-online, while still offering an engaging event that connected new students and received positive feedback from attendees.

The theme for BizFrosh was Netflix TV Shows, where attendees formed groups based off of their favourites. The three-day event began with introductions and various icebreaker activities, allowing the incoming students to get acquainted with each other and the IBA team. The second day involved the TV show-based teams engaging in challenges to compete for some prizes. The challenges took advantage of the home-attendance environment, offering attendees ways to get creative and engage with each other over their shared TV show interests. Some of the activities included dressing up as characters from the group TV show, trivia about the shows, story writing, among many others. The third and final day, a personal favourite of the BizFrosh chair, saw groups expressing their creativity and engaging with each other as they made cheers based around their respective TV shows while dressed as their favourite characters. The event allowed the incoming students to form new connections with each other, and engaged them with IBA, with students signing up for various future events.

Although the BizFrosh team had to quickly adapt to an all-online event, many precautions were taken to ensure that the event ran smoothly. With BizFrosh successfully having been conducted online, the IBA team has taken note of the challenges associated with hosting events as involved as BizFrosh is, such as managing all the different breakout sessions while keeping students engaged, and will have insights from the experience when looking at planning future events.