Campus Night Out

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Illustration Joey Pasko

Party promotion business launches on Main Campus.

An idea that sparked nearly two years ago is showing its potential as it flourishes in popularity and shows promise for the college party scene.

Although most Temple students go back to their hometowns for summer vacation, there are some who choose to stay in Philadelphia.

Senior economics major Craig Thom was one of those students two summers ago, pressed to know who else was around Temple for the summer months.

Thom had the idea that there needed to be, “some type of congruent network that can link all the students together so that they can see what’s going on, on a weekly and daily basis,” he said.

Although Philadelphia event-information providers existed, Thom, 23, said there weren’t really any catered toward college-age students at the time.

Through this desire came “If you’re down at Temple for the summer,” a Facebook page operated by Thom and senior advertising major Yonatan Abiye, directed toward the 18-to 24-year-old demographic. The event promotion page “blew up,” Thom said, with more than 1,000 users.

Campus Night Out was officially developed a few months later, when Thom, CEO, and Abiye, president, saw the potential for such a hub that could link students – not only from Temple, but throughout Philadelphia – to events happening in and around the city.

“We want to be the link between campuses and nightlife and entertainment geo-censored to location,” Thom said. “We want to provide clear, concise, relevant information that pertains to our demographic and pull in a lot of viewership to our website based off of our web content.”

CNO started out on a small-scale during its first year of inception, with just Thom and Abiye coordinating weekly events for bars that reached out to them.

Although successful in their individual efforts, Thom said he and Abiye became burnt out.

“We realized that we were putting too much effort into too many things, so what we did was we got a team together,” Thom said.

The CNO team now consists of eight determined individuals and a slew of interns who have been marketing, coordinating events and working several days a week to establish a credible company name.

“We’re able to execute really well because we’re concentrated on doing one thing and one thing over and that’s serving college students,” Abiye said. “We know our target market, and we know them well, so we are able to serve them as best as we can.”

Senior sport and recreation management major Lauren Langton has been working with CNO since October 2011 and is now the chief operations operator.

“Once I started working for Campus Night Out, I just started being like a promoter then we decided it was a company that we needed a lot more organizational structure,” Langton said.

After constructing a team and everyone’s individual responsibilities, CNO was able to “do a lot more bigger projects and a lot faster than before,” Langton added.

Just this academic year alone, CNO has promoted or planned numerous successful events. One of which was a Halloween function – with about 600 attendees – at the Frat House Night Club on Seventh and Arch streets, which featured up-and-coming local artists Ground Up and Moosh & Twist.

“We really like to get out there and find the new talent and we like to sponsor them,” Thom said.

CNO remains a close business partner with Ground Up, sponsoring the band’s new tour “The Get Up.” Last week, CNO members sold $10 tickets in the Student Center atrium for Ground Up’s mixtape release concert at the Theater of the Living Arts on March 24.

Before February, when the CNO website was first launched, most of the event outreach was accountable to social networking including Facebook and Twitter. With CNO’s newly developed, comprehensive website, which took about six months to develop, Thom said he hopes it will become the focal point that, “gives you a very accurate analysis of the events that will be pertained to our specific demographic.”

Within three weeks of the website launch, Thom said the CNO website had more than 5,000 page views.

“We’re getting a great response, people are actually coming on and checking it out,” Thom said. “Average time on the site is like five minutes.That’s enough to go through the whole site.”

People who are interested in promoting an event to the college demographic may submit their idea directly onto the CNO website, and after it’s reviewed, the event will be placed in the “around campus” section. If an event is received that CNO members believe should be highlighted, they will place it in the “what’s the move” tab.

“You want to know what’s going on, you want to know where everybody is,” Langton said. “Our main mission statement is that we don’t just promote every event, we promote the most exciting ones, the most fun ones.”

Thom wants CNO to gain a large web following, in which students use the website to see what is happening around Philadelphia, ultimately pushing traffic to the sites where the events are occurring.

“Once we have that web presence, we’re going to use our hub to push traffic to monetize that, and also host our own events,” Thom said.

Having a strong web following will contribute greatly to CNO’s sole-coordinated events, like one Thom has planned for April 5 at Whisper Club, 1712 Walnut St., featuring DJ NouveauBeats from Holland.

Still setting the framework down for the company, CNO has not been making enough money to sustain wages for employees. But, Thom is currently creating a business plan with other CNO affiliates to get investors, and is entering CNO in Temple’s 2012 Be Your Own Boss Bowl, which has a grand prize worth approximately $115,000 in cash, Microsoft products and professional services.

“Campus Night Out is like my child, I’m seeing it grow in front of my own eyes,” Thom said. “The reason that I know that Campus Night Out is really starting to flourish is because I know a lot of people that [doubted] in the beginning are starting to hold their tongues.”

Lauren Hertzler can be reached at lauren.hertzler@temple.edu.

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