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Event Planning 101- Student Activities Workshop

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Ashley Owen

on 10 September 2015

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Transcript of Event Planning 101- Student Activities Workshop

An Event Planner's Timeline Example
Some thoughts on backwards planning
Quick Tips for common event planning challenges
To talk about HOW to plan an event from START to FINISH
Make you aware of the necessary STEPS for a successful event
Talk about some important CONSIDERATIONS to make when planning your event
Assist you with any QUESTIONS you may have for an upcoming event

Event Planning 101
Who's Here?
class year
Tell Us Your...
What are you hoping to learn here today?
Student Activities Office
Davidson College

Events that start with a goal in mind are most successful.
That goal should align closely with the mission and strengths of the organization.
Backwards planning allows you to think about what your event looks like and participant experience. Then, you can plan out a realistic timeline to accomplish that vision.
Backwards Planning
Steps in Backwards Planning
Create your timeline for accomplishing each step
Work out the fine details of each major step
Assign tasks to specific individuals
Give yourself time limits and set deadlines
Consider your institution's timelines (i.e. how long it takes to process a contract or cut a check).
Put these details on a calendar or create a checklist

State what your finished result will be.
Identify the major steps to accomplish the finished result.
No task is too small. Break the big tasks down into as many small steps as possible. This helps with execution and delegation.

Steps in Backwards Planning
Steps in Backwards Planning
Be aware of possible obstacles or distractions
Work the Plan!
Revise and be flexible as needs arise
Complete the plan and accomplish your tasks!
Look for a great advisor
Determine what is a priority for you from an advisor
What is expected, optional, and not necessary? Do they come to events, meetings, have consultations with officers, help manage the budget, provide historical context and documentation, etc?
Needs to be involvement beyond the signature
Should be a resource and challenge/support you as a leader
Have a great treasurer and work closely with them when planning your events
List out all potential expenses for your event and make sure you have sources of revenue to cover those.
Always overestimate expenses and expect less revenue than past years
Consider inflation and increased costs from vendors from year to year
Fundraiser tips & tricks
Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Have a committee of volunteers!
Start small- Don't ask a new volunteer to plan an entire event.
Tap into what people want to help with and where their skills lie so that they're motivated
Pay attention to who attends your events and ask them to be on the planning committee
Check in regularly
Be a coach
Lead by example
Let it go!!
Holding members accountable
Set expectations as a group of one another in the beginning
Set people up for success by giving them resources they need
Address unmet expectations quickly
1) Find a neutral location you can talk 1:1 and confidentially
2) Use "I" statements when sharing your perspective
3) Refer to the agreed upon expectation(s) or responsibility that was not met
4) Determine a plan of action to resolve the unmet need and the consequences if that is not met by the determined deadline
Contracting dos and don'ts
Do not sign a contract as a student!!!
Do not commit to anything over the phone
Only speak in terms of price quotes and date availability
Discuss what requirements they have in terms of technical support or venue requirements (their "rider")
Do not have anyone sign a contract for you without the money for an event or the venue finalized and reserved
If you're contracting with someone you've never worked with before, think about requesting a demo or reference checks
Accessibility @ events
Publicity- go beyond the flyers!
Evaluate everything
Include "If you have special needs for this event, please contact ____ at ____ to discuss accommodations" on your publicity.
Hold events on the first floor and have ramps for people who use wheelchairs
Be located near accessible bathrooms
Have visual cues, such as charts, posters, etc available so that you're not just presenting verbally
Make copies of handouts in large print for folks with visual impairments
Keep "hidden disabilities" in mind
Don't ask folks to read aloud unless they volunteer
Give important information both orally and in writing so members can process during and after the event
Use person-first language (i.e. "people who have visual impairments" instead of "the blind"). This emphasizes the importance of the person rather than equating them with their condition.
Targeted & Engaging Emails
Create listservs at the beginning of the year at activities fairs & add people who come attend events. Let them opt in.
Use a free service like MailChimp to send interactive and colorful emails
Stay active in social media on your campus
Delete accounts you don't keep current
At Davidson, Instagram takeovers by members, yik yak, and snap-chat geofilters are most popular right now
Highlight students & impact, not just event details
Get creative with your on-campus publicity
Become a walking billboard
Create large artistic banners or 3D objects that draw attention in the days right before an event
Create a sense of mystery and only release certain details in increments leading up to the event
Try to have a logo to create consistency in your event publicity and organization branding
Types of Evaluation
Outcomes Assessment
What did participants learn, gain, takeaway, etc?
Financial Assessment
What is the cost effectiveness of your programs, activities, or services?
Satisfaction Assessment
Are participants satisfied with their overall experience? Why or why not?
Organizational Assessment- How are the roles of the organization currently functioning and meeting their mission?

Ways to get feedback
Survey (survey monkey or google forms)
Focus groups
Minimum # of Days in Advance for Tasks
Minimum # of Days in Advance for Tasks
Minimum # of Days in Advance for Tasks
7-8 weeks: Brainstorm ideas with members of your organization/committee. Research performers/artists/presenters availability and pricing. Narrow ideas to a final decision on the event.

6 weeks: Check venue availability and put a hold on space. Use Virtual EMS (ems.davidson.edu) or talk with Ruth French/Amy Elkin. Remember: ALWAYS HAVE A RAIN LOCATION!

6 weeks: Meet with your advisor or someone from the Student Activities Office to discuss the event & potential needs.

4-5 weeks: Finalize space request and release any extra space holds. Ask advisors or someone from the Student Activities Office to put in any offers for performers and request contracts from vendors to be completed by the advisor or someone from the Student Activities Office .

4-5 weeks: Develop an advertising and marketing plan. Some popular ways to advertise on campus are the crier, master calendar, banners in the Union, flyers, & digital signs

4-5 weeks: Request ticket sales through the Union Ticket Office if selling tickets. Request transportation through Physical Plant Motor Pool.

3 weeks: Order hospitality, decorations, and/or food for the event. Put in technical services and room setup needs in EMS. Request the film rights from Emily Eisenstadt if you plan to show a movie at your event.

3 weeks: Review your budget. Have advisor or someone from the Student Activities Office submit invoices and contracts to Gina Nossel in Student Activities for payment.

2 weeks: Implement your publicity plan, if not already started.

2 weeks: Recruit any volunteers needed for transportation, setup, cleanup, and running the event itself.

A Week Before Your Event
Confirm facility reservations and setup
Confirm all arrangements for speakers/performers, including transportation, hospitality, and hotel.
Confirm that all volunteers know what they should be doing.
Make a check-list of last-minute details that must be taken care of (supplies, refreshments, decorations, etc)
Request a credit card from the Student Activities Office if you need to go shopping for anything.

One Day Before Event
Day of the Event
Confirm all arrangements: setup, cleanup, food service, last-minute publicity, technical services, security, schedules, staff duties, payment for artist- Everything!
Contact everyone involved (including co-sponsors, volunteers, the performer, the tech crew) and make sure they know when be where.

Arrive at least 1 hour before the event begins.
Make sure all setup is going according to schedule
Keep all receipts for anything you purchase!
Make sure you have a cleanup crew!!

After the Event
If you used a corporate credit card, fill out receipt forms and return to the Student Activities Office.
If you have receipts for reimbursement, bring them to Bridget and Gina in the Student Activities Office
Thank everyone involved! Write emails or notes to anyone who made a contribution.
Complete a post-event eval for your organization; communicate suggestions and event plan to future planners and sponsors.
Follow up to ensure all bills are paid promptly if any come in after the event.
Full transcript