Event Planning 101
Congratulations! You have decided to participate in creating an event with your organization for the campus community to enjoy! Effective planning is very important to the success of your event and the time you spend planning will help your program succeed. The amount of time you will need depends on how much time your are willing to spend developing and implementing your program. The process will be different for each event- since specifics of each event will vary. The following will outline the steps you need to take to have an effective event. Remember program planning is a learning experience and you may encounter difficulty along the way.
Feel free to come to Student Activities if you would like discuss your event or need assistant with the event planning process.
Event Planning 101 (PDF guide)
Step 1: Decide on Event and Determine Goals
What is your program?
What will your program accomplish?
Who will benefit?
What is the purpose and goals of the program? Recruitment? Provide service to the college? Have fun?
Is your program realistic and can it be done? Will your group be able to implement the event? Are students interested in this event?
Create a timeline in order to accomplish your tasks.
Step 2: Secure Funding
Student organizations can receive funding for events through the Student Finance Committee of the Self-Government Association. Budget hearings are held during the second week of classes each semester.
Budgeting tip: Be realistic about costs. Ask if you will need to pay for hotel, food, travel, security, etc. and incorporate these costs into your itemized budget.
Step 3: Select Date and Location
When and where will your event be held?
Your organization may want to have several dates and locations in mind since your first choice may not be available.
Also, please review the college calendar to determine what else is happening on campus on your selected date. This will prevent major events from occurring on the same date.
Most importantly, be realistic about the location! For example- if your event is a movie, reserve a space that is conducive to watching a movie.
Step 4: Reserve Space
Space on campus is reserved through the Office of Conferences and Events (x7329, located on the lower lever of the Campus Center). Since campus facilities are in constant demand it is in your organization's best interest to reserve the space well in advance of your event. Also, be sure to reserve the space prior to contracting an artist.
Students should become familiar with the online room reservation system. You will be expected to complete the online form and submit the information for publication on the College Calendar.
When completing the room reservation form you should know the following:
1. Room Set-up: What does your organization want the room to look like?
2. Equipment and Technical Needs: Does your organization need tables, chairs, etc. for the event? Also, what are the technical needs of the artist? Will you need to provide sound, microphones or other technical equipment? Does the artist need a dressing room?
3. Food: Will your organization have food at the event? Please remember food must be provided by Bryn Mawr College Dining Services unless a catering waiver form is completed and approved by Dining Services.
4. Event Time: When will your event start and end? Also, how much preparation time will you need in the space prior to the event?
5. Do you need additional spaces to use as, for example, dressing rooms?
Step 5: Contact Artist/Agents and begin the Contract Process
Your organization has an idea of what they want to see happen. Now is the time to make that idea reality.
Go to the Contract Process website
- I know what I want, who will provide it and where to get it ...
If you know what you want to have on campus and who will provide it, you are ready to proceed to the contract process.
- I know what I want but don't know where to get it ...
Your organization will need to do some research for your event. Here are some ways to find what you are looking for:
- Student Activities promotional material: many artists and agencies send material for potential booking. This material is available for student organizations to look through.
- Email Student Activities Looking for a cotton candy machine or other novelty items? I may know of someone who has what you are looking for.
- Magazines, Newspapers and even the phone book
- Get out and explore the area; you may see a great band and want to bring them to campus
Step 6: Develop a Promotional Plan
How will other students find out about your event? Here are some ideas:
- Fliers and posters
- College Calendar
- Activities listserv
- Table Tents
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Press Release
- Sandwich Boards
- Campus Newspaper
- Campus Radio Station
- Tabling in the Campus Center or Dining Hall
- Publicity should be true, specific, easy to understand and read.
- Don't forget to include all of your event information — time, date, location, etc.
- Be creative! There are lots of posters out there — make your organizations stand out!
- Make time for a publicity campaign — don't begin advertising two days before your event!
- Remember good publicity is creative and different!
Step 7: Make a checklist and delegate!
Make a list of what needs to get done to make the event a success.
Examples of what might be on the checklist:
- Contact Conferences and Events with updated event information
- Pick up decorations/ food
- Work with Student Activities on the contract
- Contact Artist/Agent to work out event day details
- Create and distribute publicity
Remember your organization is responsible for the event and everyone should participate in making the event a success. One person should not be responsible for everything — delegate!