Courtney Dickson, Roving Editor Ω
What appeared to be a decline in attendance levels at International Days this year, was “not unusual” according to Adrian Conradi, member of the International Days planning committee. Events that coordinators expected to be low in attendance were and events such as the showcase on Friday afternoon, that coordinators expected to fill-up fast, did.
“Overall, attendance is way up,” said Conradi, who is also the associate director of international student services and study abroad through TRU World.
Many lectures were poorly attended, partially because faculty had encouraged speakers to visit their classes prior to presentations, so some of the most interested listeners had already heard them speak.
Other factors for poor attendance included venue size and location, time of events, limited audience interest and the reliance on speakers to invite the community to listen to them speak, according to Conradi.
Advertising on TRU World’s part was not an issue.
“Marketing efforts were much better this year,” Conradi said.
Lectures were also live-streamed online, primarily for TRU’s Williams Lake campus to get involved in the festivities. Though few people tuned-in for lectures, it was no extra cost to TRU World so Conradi believes it was worth it.
“We want the campus and community to value the students we bring here,” he said.
The showcase on Friday afternoon was packed early. Conradi expected approximately 3,000 would come in and out of the TRU Gym during the five-hour show.
Delhi 2 Dublin and Shred Kelly, the two musical events added to the program this year, were also very well attended.
More than 100 people attended The Games People Play art display in the gymnasium each day, which encouraged organizers to let the exhibition run for another week.
Ankur Sud, post-baccalaureate in international tourism development, attended various events and noticed fewer students compared to the number of Kamloops community members.
Sud said the Cooking Around the World session was especially popular for students and community members, alike. Organizers even had to turn people away.
“We had to discontinue getting people in the room,” he said.
Sud also attended the Living Library session and said, “It was just okay. Not many people were there.”