The start of a new year is when many recently elected student committees turn their attention to organising events. If you’ve never done anything like this before it can appear a bit daunting and many first-timers feel the pressure of putting a successful event together. Here are our top tips for making sure your event goes with a bang.
The Right Details
It’s important not to leave anything to chance, whether you’re organising a committee meeting for six people in a hired room or helping to put on an extravagant summer ball. Rooms and venues need to be hired, deposits need to be paid, people need to be there to let you in and then lock up after you’ve gone; some events – flash mobs and performances, for example – and some activities like leafleting and putting up posters may need approval from the university first. When the event is underway, make sure that it doesn’t breach any relevant health and safety rules and isn’t too loud; remember that many venues have noise limiters that will kick in once the volume goes above a certain level. Finally, check what else is happening and make sure that your event doesn’t clash with any others.
The Right Venue
It’s important to match the venue to the event. A local community centre with harsh, strip lighting, plastic chairs and no bar probably isn’t the right place to put on a Battle of the Bands event; but then neither is a swish, sophisticated cocktail bar. Students like to socialise and are likely to be loud so make sure your evening uses a venue that is used to hosting that kind of event. Then everyone who turns up will stand a much better chance of having a good time – including the management.
The Right Marketing
Since everyone’s online, it makes sense to promote your event via Facebook and Twitter but you can also encourage friends to let other friends know via WhatsApp which cost them – and you – absolutely nothing. Don’t neglect more traditional means of promotion though. Askz someone to create a little flier, print four to a single sheet of A4 and then photocopy it at a copy shop to hand out around campus; and be sure to do an A4 version you can put up on noticeboards. Got a student radio station? See if you can get a guest spot to promote your event.
The Right Budget
Most events have got a budget and you’ll need to stick to it. So do your groundwork – and sums – first and make sure they’re correct. There’s no point in putting on a fantastic event in front of a packed house if you charged so little on the door that you can’t afford the venue hire and the wages of the staff. Have two ticket prices – one in advance and a higher one on the door. This encourages people to commit to your event to get a better deal and gives you a firmer idea of likely numbers. Think how many times you’ve said ‘yes, I’m coming’ to an event only to change your mind on the night because you don’t feel like it; if someone’s already paid, they’re more likely to turn up.
The Right Connections
If you’re responsible for organising an event that brings an employer onto campus be sure you initiate and then maintain good communications with them and with the rest of the student committee. You may have your own ideas and expectations for the event, but they’ll certainly have theirs as well and the key to a successful event is making sure both sides get what they want. That means feeding back and refining your objectives so that you’re able to stage an event that puts the right people in front of a potential employer so that both are satisfied. Last, be brave and bold because employers like Enterprise are open to all sorts of events and are looking for all sorts of potential employees – here’s just a sample of the current opportunities on offer – so this is your chance to get really creative!