NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Speechapalooza 2022: Planning an in-person event post pandemic

NECC’s eighth annual Speechapalooza event is Thursday, April 21 from 1-2:30 p.m. in Lecture Hall A in the Spurk (C) building.  Hosted by NECC Public Relations students, Speechapalooza was created in the hopes of bringing back the sense of community so many of us have lost because of the pandemic.

As a student in a Public Relations course this semester, I have gotten a behind-the-scenes look into what goes into making those events — the ones we always see in our weekly newsletters—come to life. From press releases and venue booking, to flyers and mass-texts, I have come to learn that planning an event is no easy act. Add on the pressure of this being the first in-person Speechapalooza in two years, and you’ll understand the chaos that has been this planning process.

Throughout this process, we as a class have worked through our beginner confusion, as well as our mid-semester stress to create a solid plan for Speechapalooza. One of these fellow classmates, Leiliana Igartua, a NECC journalism major, has always been the person to plan family events and keep everyone on track.

When her Public Relations class began the process of planning this year’s Speechapalooza, Igartua knew her organizational and planning skills would be put to good use; she was given the title of PR Director.

As PR Director of Speechapalooza, Igartua was responsible for overseeing all communication with others on the team as well as participants and advisors. She also played an integral role in the creation of flyers and other promotional tactics.

This event acts as many of our first involvement in a professional event, and with this comes responsibilities and chaos. “It’s nerve-wracking,” Igartua shares, though she finds comfort in being part of a team.

“I enjoy working as a team with my fellow classmates” said Igartua. “If I ever came across a challenge, all I had to do is send them an email and we all get to work to fix it.”

This year’s Speechapalooza planning has been quite the contrast from the past two years; the pandemic had once again changed the trajectory of an event, which has been around for nearly a decade. Igartua shares that one of the best parts of this process has been sharing the same space with classmates. “From seeing the venue we will host this event in, to brainstorming in class, we are definitely creating some fun memories together in our classroom!”

Though the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 put a damper on in-person events like this one, we are more than excited to share a space with our fellow students and amplify our voices!