Things to Consider for Your Next University Event — Use This University Event Checklist
From scheduling to organizing, there is no question that a significant amount of effort goes into planning an event for a university. Whether the event is for new students, the faculty, or visiting parents, you need to make sure the event goes off without a hitch. Certainly, that means being prepared.
The best way to be prepared is to create a foolproof university event planning checklist. After all, it isn’t about just hosting an event, but planning for one in a way that allows you to stay in control and keep stress at bay.
When planning for your university event, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Establish your objective
It may seem obvious, but knowing the purpose of your event will better help you plan for it appropriately. And this means considering all of the aspects of the event. For instance, who is the audience? What are they going to gain from this event? What is the expected attendance? Is there going to be food or live music? What do you hope is the overall takeaway of the event?
Questions like this are what you need to ask yourself before you start planning your university event. Having an event planning checklist will inform what you must include in your event. Therefore, it will help you plan accordingly.
Organize your approach
Scheduling an event, as you know, comes with many steps. Before you book a venue (whether on campus or off) you need to have an idea about your attendance numbers. And you don’t want to have your event at the same time as another university event that might interfere with how many attendees show up. But, this doesn’t simply mean picking a date and hoping for the best.
There are tools for such planning that you can take advantage of. For example, a school event calendar is a great way to keep everyone in the loop about the details of your event. You can promote events or inform your audience all from one location. There is no need to speak separately to students, parents, or the community. Such a tool can help you consolidate your efforts.
However, this isn’t the only tool you should be utilizing when building your university event planning checklist.
University Event Checklist
Below in this event planning checklist are all of the things that you’ll need to consider to organize and put on a successful university event. Take note: this is a starting point marking all of the biggest factors. You can expand on this list as much as you’d like.
1. Event Goals, Objectives, and Budget
- Establish a committee of all of the stakeholders in the university event--everyone who will be directly or indirectly involved in its planning and execution. Make sure that someone is responsible for publicity and marketing.
- Set goals for what you want the event to accomplish. Is it supposed to raise funds? Maybe it is supposed to create freshman involvement? Or to provide cultural experiences? What are your registration and attendance targets?
- Using the goals you’ve set, determine what type of event you will want to put on, and who will be the audience. Will the event be in person or virtual? Is this event for students, staff, alumni, or everyone? Note that this step and the previous step can be taking place at the same time. They both need to happen, but it can be collaborative.
- Considering all prior discussions, put together an event master plan, get costs estimates, and draft an event budget. Get these pre-approved by the committee prior to moving to the next step.
2. Event Logistics
- Once the plan is finalized and pre-approved, set a date. Make sure it does not conflict with any other major or similar events happening on campus, or any major holiday or school break.
- Secure a venue according to the event’s requirements. For example, seating or standing capacity, venue type, venue location, etc. Make sure the venue you picked has physical facilities to handle the crowd. Do you have enough bathrooms? Access to water and food? How much does the insurance cost?
- Depending on the type of university event you are hosting, you may need to secure the speaker panel, performers, exhibitors or sponsors. You may also need to coordinate with suppliers by renting special equipment, or arranging catering and travel for staff or speakers.
3. Event Promotion
- Brand your event. Part of this will be to ensure the event is listed online on the university events calendar.
- Ensure that your publicity and marketing people are working to spread the word. For example, posting about the event on social media, sending email newsletters and news releases.
- Invite special groups to attend, if the event suits it. These special groups could be cheerleaders, the mascot, alumni, the university president, coaches, etc.
4. Event Registration
- Determine if your event requires pre-registration. Regardless if you are hosting a free or paid event, you may want to know in advance who is coming to your event. There are several software tools available to help you collect RSVPs or sell tickets to your event.
- Determine registration fees, and set up online registration.
- Create email notifications, including ticket purchase confirmation and event reminders.
- Create promotional codes, and release early-bird tickets or time-sensitive ticket lots to encourage registrations.
5. Event Operations
- Confirm that you have all the appropriate technology and equipment to check in your attendees at the event without causing any disruption or long lines. For instance, if you collected RSVPs or sold tickets, you may need to scan their tickets at the door.
- Make sure that you have adequate staffing for the event, whether it is volunteers, staff, or paid students.
- If necessary, make sure that there is proper security involved and that they are aware of the details of the activity with enough advanced notice to prepare.
- Train volunteers and workers as needed.
- Finalize all plans and double and triple check with all members of the committee that they are prepared.
- Enjoy your activity!
Utilize your resources
From online school agendas to event booking software, there are tools at your disposal that can help you plan a university event that is sure to be a success. Event ticketing software, for instance, can be a major bonus and help you keep track of how many attendees you can expect, and this information is updated in real-time, so you are always preparing for your event as accurately as possible.
When it comes to university event planning, it isn’t only about planning for the details of the event. It is also about putting the resources in place that will assist in your planning efforts, making your communication more effective, and enhancing the overall process.
Try our university event management software today.
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