Planning an event can make even a seasoned coordinator a little nervous. If you’ve been selected to plan your next open house, speaking engagement or reception, just relax. Our helpful tips can make the process go a little more smoothly and successfully.
What kind of event are you organizing? Who is the audience? Will your event be open to the public? What are you trying to accomplish and are there goals that you’re trying to meet? With all of this in mind, you’ll want to make sure that every detail is thought out so that your guests have a great experience and want to come back.
Planning your event
- Make a checklist
- Plan and track all of the details by using an event check list. You’ll want to want to go back and take a look at it regularly to make sure that no detail is missed. If your event includes the community or is a higher scale event, you may need to submit a Marketing Request Form as you may need consultation or assistance with event collateral.
- If your event includes expenses, make sure that your operating budget has the required funds to cover necessary requisitions and POs that you’ll be processing. Take into consideration time that Purchasing or the Business Office will need to handle your transactions. Don’t wait until the last minute to check on this as vendors should be paid soon after your event is complete.
- Book a venue
- If you’re planning an on-campus event, you might want to check the college-wide calendars to make sure that there isn’t something going on at the college that might conflict with your event or audience. You’ll also need to submit a room or space reservation and complete any necessary documentation as required by the Campus Manager. If you need a facility off-site, be sure to check with Purchasing as they may or may not need to post an RFP pending event size.
- Refreshments or meals
- Some events occur during a mealtime or you maybe you just want to serve light refreshments. Pending the circumstances and whether or not your event is open to the public, you’ll want to find out if you need a Temporary Food Permit from the local agency. A good rule of thumb is if your audience has RSVPd or you have a guest list, you may not need a permit. Items can be store bought but you need to make sure that food or beverages or kept hot or cold pending your menu. Purchasing may have a list of approved catering vendors should you want to have prepared food brought on-site. If your event is open to the public, you may need a Temporary Food Permit. Contact Dahlia Anzaldua-Torres if you need more information
- Publicity and marketing
- You’ve planned your event but how do you build the attendance? If you don’t have funds for formal advertising such as ads or media promotion, you can promote on a budget. Social media, campus monitor slides, Channel 19, posters and fliers are a good way to get information out to the public about your event. Don’t forget to include your event on the college-wide calendar so that others are made aware that your event is going on.
- Program and entertainment
- Are your speakers or panelists relevant to the subject of your event and are they engaging? If you plan to have a high-level speaker on your program, it would be a good idea to let the College’s Office of Communications & Marketing know as we might be able to lend a hand with exposure.
- Special Accommodations
- Parking & Campus Police
- It is good practice to touch base with Campus Police should you need numerous parking spaces especially if your event occurs while classes are in session. It may also be possible to reserve a couple of spaces for VIPs.
- Swag and collateral
- Planning in advance is good when it comes to swag and printed collateral. If you have money to order giveaways, programs, posters or handouts, you’ll want to back-time placing an order at least 2 ½ months in advance.
- The College’s goal is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 thus attention to sustainability and the impact that we have on the environment is important. It is important to keep event waste at a minimum and for organizers to strive to create a Zero Waste event when possible. Organizers should contact that Office of Sustainability for information and ways of making the smallest eco footprint as possible.
- Survey your guests as a way to determine whether or not you met their expectations or to find out what you could do to make your event even better.
- The final item on your checklist should be a debrief with all of the critical players involved with the event.
Don't Forget Our Mascot
Since November 2010, R.B. the ACC Riverbat has been a representative of the College and a regular fixture on campus. He is an exemplary example of Riverbat spirit at student events but also personifies the mission of the College while out in the community. The premiere mascot siting might happen at family friendly, student oriented or events centered around education.