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NKU Event Planning & Management Class Partners With BLINK, Bengals for Hands-On Experience

NKU Students at BLINK

Oct. 10, 2022 - Students in Northern Kentucky University’s Event Planning and Management course (SPB 335) are receiving hands-on experience with two of the Greater Cincinnati area’s hottest attractions, the upcoming BLINK lights experience and Cincinnati Bengals games. 

Through a partnership with AGAR, founded by NKU alumnus Joshua Heuser, students worked together with professionals on four BLINK projects, including logistics planning, entertainment, parking, lighting, guest communication, social media strategy, and more. BLINK Cincinnati runs Oct. 13-16 throughout downtown Cincinnati and parts of Covington. 

"It has been great having NKU students engaged in a few of AGAR’s planning events for this year’s BLINK,” Heuser said. “Through our partnership, the students are getting real-world experience, and a behind-the-scenes perspective of the region’s largest event. Importantly, they’re also learning that not all things go according to plan – or budget, and you must have the willingness and ability to adapt.” 

“Working with the AGAR Agency on a high-caliber community event such as BLINK has been invaluable to our students,” Jennifer Gardner, director of the Sports Business and Event Management program, said. “The fact that they get to not only participate in the event planning but also see the event happen in person is the type of experiential learning we strive for in the Haile College of Business. It had been amazing to see the students’ individual skill sets come alive as they learn some of the important facets of real event planning.” 

The four events NKU students aided in production on included the Alley Jam and FLOW Reception on Oct. 8 and the painting of a Who Dey mural in honor of the Cincinnati Bengals. The fourth student group will work the Secret Walls event on Friday, Oct. 14, when two artists will paint murals side-by-side. Judges will then determine a winner. 

“It has been an interesting experience,” Shauna Walker, a student in the class, said. “As a marketing major myself, I’m glad to be able to use everything I’ve learned in school so far to plan this event. It is great to see how quickly everything has been able to come together closer to the end.” 

In addition to the BLINK events, students have also helped the Cincinnati Bengals during gameday operations, helping fans navigate mobile ticketing and connecting to the stadium Wi-Fi services. Students have already worked one game in the 2022 season and will continue to work several more games this season as the Bengals make a push back to the playoffs and into the Super Bowl. 

To learn more about the NKU Department of Marketing, Sports Business & Event Management, and Construction Management, visit its website.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit