Planning an event takes attention to detail, creativity, time and energy. The information on this site is designed to guide and assist anyone planning an event for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Pre-Planning- What? Why? Who? When? Where?
When planning an event, start by answering these questions:
WHAT type of event? - Meeting, reception, lecture, student recruitment, alumni relations, etc. At events offering food and beverage service, allow enough time for guests to eat leisurely, network or socialize with colleagues or friends and family, and enjoy all presentations or ceremonies, if there are any involved.
WHY are you doing it? What is the purpose of the event? - Welcoming new students, improving relations, fostering alumni relations, to show appreciation for a generous donation, fund raising, etc.
WHO is coming to the event? Number of attendees expected - This is important both for the budget and for the space. Always make sure you have room to grow, never assume that the first anticipated number will not change.
WHEN and WHERE is the event? - Timeframe and location - brainstorm multiple possible dates and locations for this event. Be prepared to be flexible based on calendar conflicts and space availability.
A list of on-campus venues may be found here. If your event will be held in classroom space, Classroom Management will not reserve rooms until the third week of classes in that semester.
Prepare a timeline for producing invitations, event promotion, registration and production of meeting materials.
HOW MUCH will it cost? - Develop a detailed budget for the event. Use this process as an opportunity, rather than a limitation. Where and how we spend our money reflects our values, so the way that we spend money on events should reflect our vision and mission as a college and university. Be sure to consider air and ground transportation needs. Be realistic with numbers and always build in some additional cushion to cover unexpected expenses.
- Develop a detailed list of tasks. It may help to work backward from the date of the event to include each major step. (Example: Invitations should be mailed 4-6 weeks before the event. Keep in mind all print materials must be reviewed by Public Affairs, prior to being printed.) Sample timeline here.
- Be sure to thank all sponsors and include approved wording in all materials advertising the event.
- Communicate with speakers or presenters to confirm AV needs. More often, presenters are using computer LCD projectors and high-intensity overheads.
- Designate an administrative person to create name badges and coordinate written material.
- Seek feedback on similar past events and don’t be afraid to make thoughtful changes that better meet the goals and purpose, and are more aligned with the vision and mission of the college and university.
If you have any questions or suggestions for other links to add, please contact Kristi Morgan, Director of Outreach, at (405) 325-2347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.