In August 2020, BYU-Idaho launched a new university calendar with its own social platform: I-Belong. This new platform, offered in both mobile and desktop formats, offers students and employees multiple options to get involved with campus organizations and activities at BYU-Idaho.
With over 3,000 events hosted each year, I-Belong allows students and employees to easily find events and activities scheduled on campus. Focusing on student involvement, I-Belong strives to help students connect with others, who have similar interests, through events and activities posted on the platform.
University Relations Marketing and Channel Data Manager Arnold Thiebaud expressed his desire to help students and employees utilize this new platform to improve campus communication.
“A huge benefit with I-Belong is the fact that they aren’t competing with outside companies. You also have a high view rate of posts, emails, and mobile app push notifications whereas other social media tools limit your visibility. By encouraging and driving traffic to I-Belong, students [and employees] will be able to see your events and other campus events,” Thiebaud said.
Along with viewing the official university calendar, students and employees are able to access live devotionals, use their digital I-Card, view campus maps, sync personal calendars, and much more on the I-Belong platform. On the backend, additional group functions include helping users communicate with specific areas and students through posts, email newsletters with analytics, and optional mobile app notifications.
“There are so many ways to engage with each other in I-Belong groups. It really is an online community where students can find activities, encourage others to get involved, and benefit from having a mobile app to always stay connected,” Dan Mahler, Activities Advisor, stated.
As BYU-Idaho activities resume this fall with a pace of activities similar to those in years past, I-Belong will keep students informed about campus events, thereby increasing involvement. For students involved in societies and other activities, event and meeting information can easily be found in the app’s calendar.
“Because campus scheduling is the single point of entry for events, I-Belong and RSS feeds can provide additional ways to distribute events on the university’s website, digital signage network, and other applications. Departments only need to enter the event once and then it can be displayed in multiple places,” Trish Carvajal, Scheduling Manager, said.
Within the I-Belong platform, those who host events can control the event branding. This includes the banner image, event descriptions, and images that pertain to the upcoming event or activity. Filtered views can help viewers quickly and accurately receive information that pertains to upcoming events.
Employees can enjoy the benefits of this platform as they share information with colleagues and students, use the student and employee directory, watch devotionals, and other offerings. They can also stay informed of upcoming events through I-Belong and also import those events to their personal calendars.
In an effort to encourage others to utilize the I-Belong app or website, consider inviting students to download the app and join groups. When posting about upcoming events on social media, consider information that can link back to I-Belong directly. For more information, visit byui.edu/ibelong or email email@example.com.
The I-Belong mobile app is available for both Apple and Android. To download the I-Belong app, visit go.byui.edu/ibelong on a mobile device. Additionally, a completely new version of the app, with additional filters and functionality, will automatically update the current app at the first of Fall 2021.