Cabrini’s Integrated Marketing Communications class spent their day at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia helping run the Upper Merion Farmers Market booth at the Philly Farm and Food Fest.
From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 13, the class, taught by Dr. Dawn Francis, had all of its 28-members speaking with prospective vendors, promoting the market and communicating with fellow markets and agricultural businesses.
Francis’ students had been preparing for the event since the beginning of their spring semester and went through several stages (or milestones) to prepare them for the Philly Farm and Food Fest.
The students’ work didn’t just limit itself to the classroom. Students went out and investigated specific demographics to focus their marketing strategies on. The groups investigated ranged from fitness minded and families, to prospective vendors and the elderly.
“I really wasn’t too sure about what marketing entailed before this class,” Imani Fussell, junior communication major, said. “Dr. Francis got us right up to speed and I think we really did well out there.”
Fussell wasn’t the only person to think that she and her classmates did well. Francis also was highly impressed with the students.
“I found that I was really surprised and excited when I saw everyone in the class step up and represent the farmers market as if it was their own business,” Francis, who did not know what to expect out of this experience, said. “The students were out there really talking knowledgeably about the market and what it has to offer. I thought the event was really successful.”
As for next year, this marketing opportunity will live on for students, but not in the same way as it did this year. With the advent of the new communication major, digital communication and social media, this opportunity to manage the Upper Merion Farmers Market will find itself in a different class, which is more tailored to this opportunity.
“I guess I’m the type of professor that really feels when you marry theory and practice you get much greater and significant learning outcomes from a course,” Francis said.