Monday, May 12, 2014

Guidelines to Planning an Event

by Esmeralda Vargas

During my attendance at Phi Theta Kappa’s International Conference in Orlando, Florida I attended a workshop that elaborated on the ways one can effectively coordinate an event. There are many factors to take into consideration when organizing for an event because even the smallest of details can tremendously effect the affair. Here I will share the tips and tricks one can follow in order to ensure their event is close to flawless.
            In order to get an idea of what matters need to be taken care of first, a timeline can be created to help give guidance. List the priorities that immediately need to be taken care of, and at the end of the list write down the items that can wait to be completed. Once this step is finished, then add dates indicating when these tasks should be completed. Next either print the copy or email a copy of your timeline for your peers to follow and begin delegating the work that must be completed.
            If you deligate the work that has to be done, you will feel more at ease and as a result will have a clear head to properly organize the event and fix any missing details. A trick to deligate work is to match individuals with responsibilities that involve topics that interest them. For example, if a peer is pursuing a major such as media studies, then have them create a short film for the event where they can apply their knowledge and properly complete the project. In addition, by doing so the volunteer does not feel they are completing a chore but rather enjoy helping out.  
            Obtaining volunteers for one’s event will help the affair run smoothly. As stated above having people help with tasks that need to be completed helps the occasion run smoothly. Volunteers can be easily found, it surprising how many people are willing to give a helping hand. There are different ways to get the attention of prospective volunteers. The most effective are posters and flyers, create both these items with catchy titles, slogans and designs to grab attention. Furthermore, one can also approach other active on campus organizations such as Student Life in order to find volunteers. A great suggestion that was made at the conference I attended, was to create a point system where volunteers would get points for every time they offered their services, and once a certain number of points is obtained they can win gifts such as a t-shirt. Lastly make your volunteers feel special. This can be done by publicly thanking them for their help and or put a thank you section for them in the events program.
            Having proper directions and or signs for an event is also very crucial, there is nothing more frustrating then getting lost. In order to ensure that attendees can easily find their way it is important to post sings leading to where the event is taking place. I also suggest that one sends directions to attendees a few days prior to the event. Furthermore, make sure to make accommodations for anyone with special needs, for example make sure ramps are accessible or have an interpreter, if needed.
            These basic suggestions will help improve one’s event and ensure that it runs smoothly. There is much more that one can do in order to create a successful celebration and or ceremony, but my suggestions are the starting blocks that will help lead to an effective event.

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