Cotton Candy and Conversation about Family Business

by Pranay Sakhrani

What is “Cotton Candy and Conversation?” On October 27th the Tulane Family
Business Center- with help from the Lepage Student Fellows- held a Outreach Event
entitled “Cotton Candy and Conversation.” And yes, both the cotton candy and the
conversations were quality. The purpose of this outreach was to identify the students
who come from a “family business” background, as they often go unidentified. The
Family Business Center wanted to use the outreach event to market their first “Meet
and Greet.”
Almost everyday I see a table outside the LBC, so when I was tasked with marketing
the “Meet and Greet” I instantly thought about having a table set up. Each table
normally had their own gimmick or incentive for students to come up. I thought, “What
would attract the most people, regardless of age or background?” The answer was
elementary; Cotton Candy! Through Mrs. Roz, the assistant director of the Family
Business Center, we found a cotton candy operator and he allowed us to use his
cotton candy machine to attract the interest of walking students. The operator
provided us with the machine, some sugar, and lots of cones. However, we still ended
up making our own cones out of copy paper as the demand for our cotton candy was
so high. Which, in reality wasn’t a bad thing. I had a great time swirling up the cones
while taking in all the different types of students strung together by one common
factor; family business.
Once at the table, students would fill out a short questionnaire, then claim their treat.
The questions were created to figure out the demographics of the students who come
from or are affiliated with family business. Each response was saved and the total
came out to nearly 70 responses. 60% of the responses were from freshman, and 40%
of the responses said they did come from a family business. We then complied all the
students emails who were from a family business and sent them invitations to the meet
and greet, along with a link to RSVP. By sending out the email invitations with the RSVP
link, we were able to target the right student demographic and get an accurate number
of people who would be attending the “Meet and Greet.”
Also, I got to meet a pup!