Helpful Hints: Event Planning Online: 14 Essential Social Media Tools
Hosting a successful event on campus can be very rewarding for a student group, but it requires plenty of planning to ensure you maximize your event's potential to generate attendance and visibility for your group.
Be sure to look for tips to help you out with items for each area.
Don't go it alone. Share the responsibilities of event planning by forming an Event Committee with a few key members of your student group. Meet well in advance of your proposed event date and discuss ideas.
Here's a few initial questions to review with the Event Committee.
Don't let the planning start and end with brainstorming though. Work together to assign tasks and identify how and when you'll follow up as a group with ongoing plans. Each of the above questions correlates to part of the Event Planning Process.
What your group could achieve from a lecture can be very different from a date auction. Starting with a clearly identified goal will help ensure that you're planning an event that's tailored to meet that goal. For example, to create more awareness for a specific cause, it may be more appropriate to host an event that features an expert on that issue or cause rather than hosting a dance. If you're looking to foster community and create connections among students, hosting an event that's social in nature makes more sense.
Determining what goals you have for the event will help make the rest of the planning process simpler.
Lectures and dances require very different event planning. Make sure you choose to plan an event that meets your goals. Here are some events that have been hosted in the past:
In your event committee, identify a timeframe you'd like to host the event, along with a few back-up dates and times. If you will require space to host the event, you'll want to identify spaces that meet your needs.
Here are a few commonly used facilities with reservable spaces. Make sure to give yourself ample time (one month or more for large events) to meet with the facility's Events & Conferences Office.
Comstock Memorial UnionIn the Comstock Memorial Union, student organizations & departments do not pay for the rental of space. Off - campus groups & organizations do. The Comstock Memorial Union offers meeting rooms and large event spaces.
Outdoor SpaceOutdoor spaces on campus including the campus mall are all available to reserve for outdoor events. If you are interested in reserving these spaces, contact Campus Scheduling. Large outdoor events, including concerts, will require additional planning time, please submit request up to twelve weeks in advance.
Your event's success is directly related to the amount of marketing you plan and implement prior to the event. Depending upon the goals of your event, the marketing strategies are different.
For example, if your event is meant for group members only, an email to your listserv, plus a few phone calls and meeting announcements will probably do the trick; however, if you are hoping for a larger audience, you will need to market the event to a broader population. Here are some suggestions:
Student organizations may use texas markers and banner paper to create promotional banners. Design space is located in the Activities Resource Center. All banners need to be approved by The Compass prior to display. Horizontal banners and oversized posters shall be no larger than 3’x7’. Vertical banners and oversized posters shall be no larger than 5’x3’.There is a limit of one banner per event regardless of the number of sponsoring organizations. Banners and oversized posters may only be placed on the railings above the Main Lounge. All banners and posters must be in good taste and will be removed by The Compass within 24 hours after the event.
Posting fliers on campus is still a very effective way to inform people of your group and event. Academic buildings and residence halls have different policies on posting. You should ask for permission and specific procedures at each building.
You can also post fliers and posters at the Comstock Memorial Union on the approved boards. Ask for details at the CMU Information Desk, The Compass.
Student Organization Listserv - The listserv is open to all MSUM students, organizations, and staff. Once you have subscribed, you will receive emails about upcoming events on the MSUM campus and will be able to let others know about your events.
Other important listservs include:
Every recognized student organization receives a mailbox in the OSA. These mailboxes should be checked frequently, as important information from the OSA and MSU Moorhead is dispersed in this way. If you would like to place advertisements in the mailbox, please have them approved at the OSA front desk.
Are you looking for an effective way to advertise your upcoming events, activities, and meetings? If so, the Office of Student Activities has an opportunity for you!
You can reserve ad space in the table tents by submitting the online request form. Please wait for an email notification before submitting hard copies to the Office of Student Activities, CMU 229. View the OSA website for more information.
Advertising in on-campus publications like the Advocate can be very effective, as many students are frequent readers. Costs vary depending on the size. We recommend contacting the paper to inquire on costs for student groups.
You can also submit a press release which details the "who, what, where, when and why" of your event to attract media coverage at your event. Make sure to highlight why your event is newsworthy, especially to those who may have no affiliation to your group. Most local papers, web sites and on-campus newsletters accept press releases. Please note, this is not a guarantee they will cover your event.
Officially recognized MSUM student organizations, departments, individuals (students, faculty or staff) can register to chalk. Chalking is allowed only on the sidewalks in the campus mall area and on the main sidewalk from 11th Street South to 17th Street South.
No chalking is allowed on any steps or non-sidewalk surface, any building or any other University property except along the above route. All other chalking will be washed immediately at the expense of the individual(s) responsible for the Chalking. No individual or groups external to the University are allowed to chalk. Sponsoring of external groups is not allowed. Refer to Chalking Policy for specific guidelines.
To register the Chalking Space, complete a “Request to Chalk” form (PDF) which can be received from Security and be submitted to Security no less than one week before the requested date of chalking. The request will be approved within two working days by Security.
Bulletin BoardsAll fliers/posters need to be approved and stamped by The Compass prior to display. There is a limit of 3 posters/fliers per event regardless of the number of sponsoring organizations. All posters/fliers must be in good taste and will be removed by The Compass within 24 hours after the event.
Can Stands and Sandwich BoardsReservations for use of can stands/sandwich boards and/or CMU space to place stands/boards shall be made at the CMU Recreation and Outing Center. There are three locations in Comstock Memorial Union in which can stands/sandwich boards may be used to advertise events. These locations are available on a first-come, first-served basis to student organizations and departments. Can stands/sandwich boards may be utilized only the day before an event and the day of an event.
CMU Display CasesDisplay cases are located in the main hallways of the CMU and can be reserved at the CMU Main Office. Any recognized student organization may use a display case for a two week period once during each semester. The user is responsible for removing all display materials on the last day of the reservation. Student organizations may schedule a display window during the current semester for that semester.
Main Lounge TablesInformation and promotion tables are available in the CMU Main Lounge. Reservations may be made through CMU Main Office. Recognized student organizations on campus will be permitted to sell items that are not in competition with merchandise on sale in the CMU. No sales will be for personal profit. Student organizations selling trips in the CMU will be charged a flat rate per week. This same fee applies to rentals of less than a week.
When event planning, there are many things to take into consideration. Here are a few forms that you may need.
If planning an event, please ensure your guest have appropriate parking. Contact the Parking Office when you have groups needing temporary parking passes. Check the Parking Rules & Regulations.
Temporary Parking Permits - May be issued to persons holding paid permits when their registered vehicles are unavailable.
Parking/Public Safety Office1616 9th Ave. South | Moorhead, MN 56563218.477.2675 (Voice) | 218.477.2980 (TDD)firstname.lastname@example.org
Is your event outside, will it include a dance or other activity or is it meant for more than 100 attendees? If so, you will may need event liability insurance. Proof of insurance must be shown prior to your reservation.
Events that produce sound outdoors will only be permitted between the hours of 12pm & 1pm during weekdays, from 5-10 pm on Fridays, and 12-10 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. There are no exceptions for student groups to the sound policy.
For some events, the University requires that you hire Camps Security to serve as security officers at your event. You must schedule this at least 10 business days in advance. Please contact Campus Scheduling or Campus Security to make arrangements.
It is really important to keep your timeline clear as you plan ahead for your event. Make sure that you are organized and that the event is well thought-out so that you can ensure success. Check out the Event Planning Guide.
Do we have a true timeline for events with 6-months out, 2 months...and so on?
Make sure to draw up a plan for day-of event implementation that details responsibilities for each member of the Event Committee. Try to find volunteers to help out with set-up, event implementation and take-down.
Congratulations! The event is done, and it's time to measure how effective you were. Revisit your goals, and see how your implementation measured up to the goals. Have a post-event meeting with your Event Committee to celebrate your successes and review areas for improvement. Check out the Post-Event Evaluation for specific questions.