While in high school, you may have had the opportunity to hold some type of leadership position. With this leadership, a common responsibility is planning some type of event for your peers. Planning an event in high school comes with its own difficulties and rewards. Like high school, planning an event in college comes with its own unique set of challenges and benefits. The biggest difference between planning an event in high school and college would definitely be the level of responsibility you hold when thinking, planning, and finally implementing an event idea. For as long as I can remember, I have been a part of some sort of student leadership position. Due to these experiences I have planned, assisted, and overseen a wide range of events. Some of the most important lessons you will learn when planning an event will be a result of trial and error, and as someone who has gone through many of those trials and errors I would like share my best tips when going forward in planning an event from scratch.
Step 1: Start Early– A successful event takes a long time to plan. Think of an early time to start thinking about a possible event and then start three months before that. Starting to plan an event early will help you anticipate problems and hopefully ease some stress later down the road.
Step 2: Do Some Research- Another preliminary step to planning an event is gauging your audience’s interest in the event that you wish to plan. In my case the audience that I plan events for is mostly my class. One way I gauge interest is by sending out campus surveys, or simply asking my peers what they would be interested in.
Step 3: Check the Budget- In my case, and the case of most colleges, there is a specific amount of money you have to work with for possible events. It is important to be very aware of that number if you should need to appeal it or raise more money for your event in advance (this is why we plan early).
Step 4: Do More Research- Sometimes you have this great and awesome idea and it simply is not plausible or allowed under your college’s guidelines. Be aware of your college’s rules and regulations in order to make your classmates and administrators happy.
Step 5: Work with a Team- I work with a team of officers when planning an event for my class. A sure way to not get too overwhelmed with your event is to assign everyone specific duties, from reserving the space for your event, to advertising and decorations. Allotting everyone a specific task will make life much easier .
Step 6: Advertise! Advertise! Advertise!- Sometimes you plan this great event and not as many people show up as you would like. A HUGE reason why this occurs is because they simply did not know what the event was or what it was all about. Send emails, put up posters, get creative! and tell as many people as you can about your event.
Step 7: Establish a Perk- A common attitude towards most events in life is, what’s in it for me? A great way to increase audience turn out is to offer an incentive to attend. You shouldn’t blow your budget on this, some food will usually do the trick in encouraging individuals to attend.
Step 8: Get Excited- Check your bases, run through the final plans of your event, and be excited. Excitement is contagious and others are more apt to come to your event and see all of your hard work if you are excited about it.
Planning an event is hard work, but with careful planning and dedication the benefits will far exceed the stress.