Here in the student union, we had more than 5700 events and meetings last year–is that crazy or what? Thankfully, having so many events in the CMU pretty much makes us event planning experts and we thought, “Why not share the love?” Here are a few event planning tips for you!
1. Give yourself enough time. In short, this means plan ahead! Your student union is a busy place (5700+ events last year, remember!?), and we do our best to accommodate all the student groups who want to host events here. However, we do have a finite amount of space and a finite number of days in the semester–which unfortunately means that someone else might have booked the space you want on the date you want. Think ahead, plan ahead and reserve early!
2. Share the responsibilities. We know our students are phenomenal, but you also aren’t an island. Be sure to divvy up the event planning responsibilities among members of your organization. Support one another and hold each other accountable for tasks.
3. Advertise. This might seem like a no-brainer, but I’m serious–you need to advertise your event if you want people to come. And by “advertise” I don’t mean “put up posters and make a digital sign.” Think about your advertising and strategize for the audience(s) you want to reach. Are there other student organizations to invite? Are there classes that might have an interest in your event? How can you leverage your personal networks to boost attendance? Don’t just tell people what the event is, but also why they should want to come.
4. Don’t just do what you’ve always done. The only limitation to your creativity is you. So dream up something great and awesome that people will want to be part of. Just remember, great ideas often take time and some work, so refer to number one.
5. Think it through. A crucial part of a successful event lies in logistics–and you need a plan for success. How the room is set up. What time the food will be delivered. How the program is structured. Who will be doing the talking. Who will be behind the scenes making sure everything is running smoothly.
There you have it–five things that will help you in event planning. Remember that your student union staff members are here to help to plan successful events, and we’re pretty great resources! Stop by the CMU Admin Office any time with questions or for help scheduling your events.
If you want even more event planning info, come to Take the Lead on Tuesday, February 25 at 5:30pm in CMU 101. The CMU’s own Annie Wood is presenting a session on Event Planning for Student Organizations.