What Does it Take to Plan an On-Campus Event?

Elizabeth Gillespie, Staff Reporter

Have you ever wondered what it takes to plan an event on campus? It is likely a more involved process than one would assume.

The event planning process may vary amongst organizations, but the basic steps remain consistent across campus. The first step is establishing a basic idea of the event that one would like to hold. This may include general aspects such as the purpose of the event, the people who will attend, the location of the event and the theme of the event. One should ask oneself, “What do I want attendants to take away from this event?”

After establishing a basic event proposal, the next step is discussing the plan with the organization’s executive board or faculty advisor. This discussion should include topics such as whether the events align with the organization’s mission, if it is financially feasible to host the event and whether the organization has the resources to make the event a success.

Although reserving spaces on campus is free to organizations, it is important that they use “25Live” to request spaces to prevent overlap between different events.

Then, organizations should focus on gathering materials for the day of the event. They should assess which materials they will need, which materials they have  and which materials will need to be purchased.

If the event requires catering, decorations or other expenses, then organizations can use the funding that they receive from the Student Government Association. Organizations cannot make purchases themselves. Instead, they should sign an online request to spend money at least two weeks in advance.

After these steps are completed, advertising for the event can begin. This often includes making posters, posting on social media and talking to students on campus.

On the day of the event, several members of the organization will arrive early to set up for the event with tables, chairs, decorations, supplies, food and other necessary items. Organization members will typically set up a speaker and create a playlist during this time.

Once people start arriving at the event, students are checked in through “Presence,” an app that tracks attendance based on student ID numbers.

Trevor Zimmerman, member of the Student Programming Board (SPB), planned and carried out his first event this year “Capris and Canvases.” At the event, he guided students through a still life painting and provided Capri Suns as a refreshment. When asked what goes into planning an event, he responded with the following statement:

“So much work goes into having an event campus. When I organized the “Capris and Canvases” event, over 70 people showed up when we were only expecting around 20. We had to search for additional materials, but we were so excited about the turnout! I would largely attribute the success of the event to the advertisements that I put a lot of time and effort into.”

A significant amount of planning, organizing and work goes into these events, so take advantage of these opportune to relax and socialize. Make sure to let loose, have some fun and check out the events!