University of New Orleans Vietnamese American Student Association

Most Outstanding Social Event - Progressive Dinner

Provide a detailed description of the event and the population it served. Details MUST include: date of event, number of participants, program purpose (goals, objectives, etc.), use of resources (finances, community support, etc.), and marketing techniques. 

Progressive dinner has been a stable event of UNO VASA since 2013 when it was first introduced. This past year we held the event on December 9, 2017. We had about 24 participants, not including E-Board. The purpose of Progressive dinner was to always have a fun way for general members connect with each other through fun games and activities instead of the typical Christmas Party. What sets Progressive dinner apart from a regular Christmas Dinner party is that we split the member amongst teams where they race amongst each other. Per activity there is a pairing of a different location and type of meal, starting with the Appetizer, then Entree, and finally Dessert! Whichever team wins that location’s activity eats first! Also, within Progressive Dinner, there is a point system where we calculate the total then announce the official winning team of Progressive Dinner! The official winning team basically earns bragging rights at the event! Thanks to our connections with our, Alumni they were able to let us use the following locations: People’s Realty Inc. (we called this location the senior center due to how involved the senior community is with this location) and Yogurt City. Also, all the attendees are required to either bring food or $5 entry, which helped us focus on spending money on the game and activities supplies for the members, in order to make the games the best they can be. In terms of trying to encourage members to participate in this events, we mainly promoted this event towards our general members during general meetings. We were open to other schools participating, but we mainly wanted to bring in our general members to reward them for the hard work they put in during Fall Semester.

What efforts were used to motivate and involve the organization's members?

The efforts we used to motivate and involved the members was ensure teams were created to balance one another, as well to ensure that the activities were fun and enjoyable. In terms of team creation, we ensure that every team had at least 1 talkative person in order break the ice within the team. As well as every team we paired with a car driver, thus when the teams drove to each location, they were able to bond and talk to each other outside the activities.
In terms of activities, the first two made it easy for members to communicate and get to know each other. The 2nd activity made them pop balloons with the announced body party such as “calves” within 60 seconds. This made members become really close because they had to communicate with each other in order to pop the balloon on time. Our third activity made the members get closer because it involved them doing dares together that involved some extreme things such as something small as an egg toss to something crazy like picking each other’s noses. It was always up to the teams if they would like to do the dares, and surprisingly, a lot of them did the dares. We ended the night with a simple activity which was gingerbread house building, this gave a chance for members to really bond and talk to each other.

How did the organization overcome any challenges that arose while planning and implementing the event?

One main challenge that we had was our original first location was going to be at Lynn’s house using her backyard. However, as the week got closer it showed that it would be raining, thus we would not be able to use Lynn’s House. How we adjusted around this was by having the members go to Senior Center first, then Yogurt City, and then back at the Senior Center. That way the members are always moving somewhere, and we did not have to find a new location last minute. Another issue that occured is that some members dropped with and without notice. We adjusted around this situation by having our Senior Advisers and some UNO Alumni fill in these spots last minute.

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